Staying Mum: new research highlights link between poor social work, domestic abuse and child removal

Researching Reform

An important piece of research by London-based charity AVA (Against Violence and Abuse) shines a light on the connection between preventable domestic abuse and child removals, and offers powerful insights into the way the family court system is used by perpetrators of domestic abuse to traumatise — and separate — children from their non-abusive parent.

The study involved 33 women with experience of domestic abuse and child removal, and peer researchers who conducted 26 semi-structured interviews with mothers in 2021.

At 47 pages it is a thorough piece of research, and in its recommendations echoes much of what Researching Reform and others have said over the years about the need for humane child protection practice and a deeper understanding of toxic patterns of behaviour which put children and their non-abusive caregivers at risk.

Very little in the report touches on how children were impacted by these phenomena as AVA is…

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