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Resolutions in the Family Court: when can it be safe to return children to a perpetrator who denies abuse?

Date:24 AUG 2021
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Charlotte Worsley, Natalia Perrett and Victoria James, Park Square Barristers

The ‘Resolution Approach’ provides a unique method of assessing risk in circumstances where carers maintain denial following findings that they have perpetrated injuries on their child. Traditional methods of assessment can struggle to assess in these circumstances, due to the paucity of information surrounding the injury.

The Resolution Approach utilizes a hypothetical family to explore key issues with the carers and develops a plan for stages of intervention, timescales and how progress can be measured. Also, key to the approach is the sharing of an age-appropriate narrative with the child to avoid secrecy and the development and testing of a rigorous friends and family safety plan.

An initial screening assessment identifies families that can benefit from the Resolutions Approach and as such avoids unnecessary delay in cases where it will not be successful.

The article details the method, real-life case scenarios where the approach has been used successfully and a critique of the strengths and weaknesses of the model. Awareness of the approach differs dependent on geographical location and consequently this article aims to highlight this approach which may represent the only option for reunification in a particular case.

The full article will be published in the September issue of Family Law


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