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Study into the impact of family breakdown on wellbeing

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Help FNF with research - It's quick, easy and valuable!

How much distress do men and women experience when going through a family separation?

Dr. John Barry of University College London is working in association with FNF to find out about the impact of family breakdown on wellbeing.

It is totally confidential and ethically approved, and the study will help to improve knowledge of what aspects of the breakdown cause the most stress e.g. family court hearings, child access etc. Whether you are a father or a mother, if you are still going through family separation and/or making arrangements for your children in family courts, through mediation or privately, then your participation would be welcome. The more people that take part the more persuasive the results will be.

The study will involve an online survey taking about 2 minutes to complete. It will be done several times over a year, so in total will take about one hour of your time over a 12 month period.

If you want to take part, please email Dr. Barry for further information, who will provide you with a code to activate

FNF is not only supporting this research but sponsoring it financially. The results of this study will be published and form part of a programme of work we will be doing to help policymakers make informed decisions when reforming family justice and other related policies, so please support it and share this with friends to whom it may be relevant.

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  • A leave to remove case that has gone terribly wrong and the child has been abducted. There is risk of harm if identified and almost certain harm from losing a father. Furthermore, it seems unlikely appeasement will work and doing nothing will certainly not deter others from such damaging action. Please support FNF by liking this post, sharing it, following us, registering for free on our website, making a donation or becoming a member.
  • A Whitehall source said that Rudd wanted “universal credit to receive a fresh parliamentary mandate and be personally sure the system is working in the interests of every claimant”. Let's hope that the "every claimant" bit means that they will ensure that Universal Credit takes into account Child Maintenance payments made by those in receipt of state benefits. Too many are now asked to make unaffordable payments and are driven to despair. If you are affected by this, ask your MP to raise with Amber Rudd and please let us know how you get on on Please support our work by sharing this post, liking our page, registering for free, becoming a member or making a donation online.
  • We spoke today to a law journalist from Malta. It's not that they don't have any problems to overcome, but enforcement of child arrangement orders is not one of them. It is a criminal offence not to comply with such contact orders. People get fined and at third offence imprisoned. Most people are not imprisoned as orders are generally obeyed.
  • LegalAid cuts have been indiscriminate and destructive. They have also fuelled false allegations as only accusers get help. Lack of access to justice is not justice. One side being represented and the other struggling alone is not justice. Failures to enforce orders is also a failure of justice. The system needs a complete redesign so fewer go to court in the first place. The incentives for conflict must stop and shared care must become the default. There are no prefect systems around the developed world, but few fail as badly as ours. It is good that a former minister is recognising that parents are giving up their fight for their children because of the lack of support offered - the government initiatives were always wholly inadequate. If you need help, please call our Helpline 0300 0300 363 or attend one of our local meetings. To support us, please follow us, share our posts, make a donation, register for free or become a member.
  • At FNF we hear many sad stories of children who won't be able to see their dads or, in some cases mums and often grandparents too. These stories increase in number and intensity at this time of year that we so strongly associate with family time and children. Inevitably, when things go wrong we think of what could have been, the joy, the laughter and fun. If you are seeing your children in the coming days, we hope you have a lovely time. If we helped you to achieve this outcome then please feel free to share your story with us (at If your children won't be seeing you in the coming days or weeks then please stay positive - your children need you to be healthy and be there for them for when they do see you or hear from you, so please try not to let your upset get in the way of putting them first. They need to know that both parents love them and that they, or at least one of them, warmly supports them having both their parents in their lives. If your children are not with you, perhaps write to them or if you can't then write to them and keep the letter - one day they may well be happy to know that they were in your thoughts all the time. Also, if you are alone, do contact friend and family and resolve to get help by calling our Helpline or attending one of our local meetings. You can also get involved by helping others next year by volunteering support at our branches, Helpline or national office. Whatever your situation, we wish you warm season’s greetings and a Happy New Year! We include here a video we shared last year created by Andy Remic. For those who are new or did not see it or anyone wanting to see it again. If you know anyone who is having a particularly difficult time please let them know you are there for them.If you are struggling yourself then do speak to Samaritans on freephone 116 123.

FNF HSSF Kite Mark Award

Families Need Fathers has been awarded the Help and Support for Separated Families Kite Mark which is a new UK government accreditation scheme for organisations offering help to separated families.

Families Need Fathers work with a range of family law professionals, including Family Law Panel


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