Skip to content

Information sheet


    We are grateful for your participation and your safety and well-being is our priority.

    About the consultation

    In April following major rapid changes in the way court hearings were held, the President of the Family Division asked the Nuffield Family Justice Observatory (Nuffield FJO) to undertake a rapid consultation on the use of remote hearings in the family court. The report of this initial consultation is available at

    Nuffield FJO are undertaking a second survey. They have asked the Parents, Families and Allies Network to help them to strengthen the information about parents’ views by providing safe and confidential places for parents to talk about their experiences. We are holding a set of small group meetings and individual interviews online to which you are being invited. The anonymous information from these groups will be used as part of the Nuffield FJO consultation report and by PFAN to promote justice for parents.

    The groups will have no more than 10 people plus two leaders. One or two of the leaders are parents with personal experience of the child protection system and court hearings and the other an ally with research experience who will mainly be a note taker. The group will last around 90 minutes. If a family member/supporter/McKenzie Friend was involved in your hearing he or she can also join us to share their views. Each participant will be given a love2shop voucher for £20 towards their expenses and we will email this to you after the group.

    Safety and Well-being

    You don’t have to answer any questions if you don’t want to and we won’t press you to do so.

    You can leave the group at any time simply by clicking a button. You don’t have to give a reason for why you want to leave. It would be helpful to tell the people running the group before leaving so that we know you haven’t lost connection and we don’t try to reconnect. You will receive your voucher for expenses if you leave the group early.

    We recognise that discussing your or others involvement in court and legal proceedings may be upsetting for you. If you get upset during the group and would like to talk things through, we will show you how to send a private message to the people running the group who will talk to you in private. If you’d like to talk after the group email us on or text on and we will contact you.


    Zoom allows you to choose whether you want to turn on your video and you can choose not to if you prefer.

    We will not ask you for any information that could identify you or your family other than an email or mobile number which will be used solely for us to invite you to a group and send you your voucher unless you specifically ask us to contact you. We will never ask for your address or bank details.

    Please avoid using the names of any professionals associated with your case and also avoid using your child’s names. Should you say something that could identify you or your family we will not record this information in any way including in reports to the Nuffield Family Justice Observatory. However, in the interest of your family’s security, try to use titles such as ‘son’, ‘daughter’, ‘social workers’, ‘judge’ etc.

    Group chats will be recorded on zoom if all members agree. This is purely for use to go over and draw out themes and to ensure accuracy. These recordings will not be shared beyond our team doing the research. Nonetheless, these recordings will be destroyed 5 working days after the end of the consultation. We will however keep our written notes.

    The Nuffield Family Justice Observatory’s report will be widely published and sent to the President of the Family Division (who is responsible for family courts). Please rest at ease that nothing will be published in a way that could identify any individual.

    If you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to ask for more information.

    Comments and complaints

    If you would like to talk to someone other than the group leaders or to make comments or complaints contact Andy Bilson on