There are approximately 2.4 million separated families in Great Britain including 3.5 million children (Department of Work and Pensions 2020). Many of these children risk losing contact with a parent within the first two years of separation; this could be as many as 1 million young people (Centre for Social Justice, 2013).

The majority (92%) of all lone-parent households with dependent children are headed by mothers meaning that there could be nearly 1 million children/young adults in the UK growing up without any meaningful contact with their father. A lack of contact or exposure to conflict, has a negative impact on a child’s emotional health (RCPsych, 2017) and educational wellbeing (Institute of Education, 2009), as well as having a negative impact on the wider economy (Relationships Foundation, 2016). These negative impacts can start from 6 months-old and last into adolescence and adulthood (Action for Children, 2017).

Children who experience family breakdown are more likely to experience behavioural problems, perform less well in school, need more medical treatment, leave school and home earlier, become sexually active, pregnant, or a parent at an early age, and report more depressive symptoms and higher levels of smoking, drinking and other drug use during adolescence and adulthood.

NACCC provides robust and detailed statistics on the operation of accredited child contact centres across the UK. We collect statistics from accredited centres on a quarterly basis. Information is collected online and is provided to The Ministry of Justice, Cafcass and available on request. Centres are required to submit statistics as part of their accreditation process to meet NACCC’s standards. We capture the number and origin of referrals for contact, capturing referral sources including ‘online’, ‘self’ referrals, ‘Cafcass’, ‘solicitors’, ‘local authorities / children’s services’, ‘family mediation’ and ‘courts’. We also monitor the number of children, families, volunteers, and paid staff working in supervised and supported centres.

Additional research links;

Impact of Family Breakdown on Children’s Well-Being: Evidence Review

Coronavirus: Separated Families and Contact with Children in Care FAQs (UK) October 2020

MoJ Assessing Risk of Harm to Children and Parents in Private Law Children Cases Final Report June 2020

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