Using the Separation from Source Protocol: Tracking Effectiveness in Transfer of Residence Cases in the UK

The Separation from Source Protocol is my preferred name for the gold standard treatment route of transfer of residence in parental alienation cases.  This protocol, which we are evaluating in our work now, is sometimes called the ‘nuclear option’ by unaware alienation practitioners.  The lack of alienation awareness which is denoted by the idea that separating a child from the source of the abuse they are suffering is somehow a radical or dramatic or too powerful an act, is typical of those working in family services in the UK. It is also typical of anyone who works with alienated children but who has not ever witnessed the remarkable transformation that comes when a child who is being abused by a parent via alienating strategies, is liberated from that parent’s coercive control.

Coercive control, as I have written about previously, is perfectly showcased by the alienating parent’s relationship with their child.

Evan Stark described coercive control as  ‘a pattern of behaviour which seeks to take away the victim’s liberty or freedom, to strip away their sense of self’

Used largely by the political ideology of women’s rights campaign groups, the idea of coercive control being something which is enacted by a parent over a child has yet to dawn on the collective unconscious in the UK.  This is however, exactly what underpins an alienation reaction in a child. It is therefore exactly what needs to be addressed when intervening to create change in a severely resistant child.

At the Family Separation Clinic, we intervene in such cases and carry out transfer of residence to begin the treatment of alienated children. We also work therapeutically with children and their families post residence transfer which is, in my view, the only place where therapeutic work, systemic or otherwise, belongs in severe cases.  Whilst hybrid cases may well respond to therapeutic adjustment work, which is very different to therapy and combines psychological education with behaviourally contracted compulsion to change, pure and severe cases should, in my experience, only be treated by using the ‘separation from source’ protocol.

I like the term ‘separation from source’ because it describes perfectly the underlying pathology of the case, the source of the problem being the alienating and unhealthy parent and the separation being the placing of the child with the rejected parent.  In my work I have separated from source, children who have not seen a parent for one, two, three, four, five six and in one case, seven years. I have placed these children with the rejected parent in combinations of direct transfer, stepping stone transfer and kinship transfer. In every such case I have seen the remarkable transformation that all alienation aware practitioners know about. The child moves from the presentation of feral, ferocious and fearsome resistance, to warm and loving acceptance. The longest period of time I have seen a child take to make this transformation is just under 96 hours, the shortest time is minutes. In each and every transfer I have undertaken (and I do these more and more regularly now that the UK is finally accepting that transfer is the right way forward in such cases), the child emerges with the attachment bond with the rejected parent wholly and fully intact and their capacity for recovery undiminished. Supporting optimum recovery however, is about how the ongoing relationship with the source of the problem (alienating parent) is managed over time in combination with how the resilience of the child can be built and their  insight into what happened to them supported.

Separating a child from the source of the problem is however, in itself, THE problem for too many practitioners who profess to be alienation aware but in reality are either only at the start of their understanding or still in resistance to the reality that alienation of a child is true child abuse.  I have worked in pure and severe cases where practitioners have resisted a transfer of residence seeing it as being draconian or nuclear based on the assumption that if a child is transferred to the rejected parent they are somehow at a risk of harm. This is a fundamental lack in understanding and causes cases to drag on and the child to continue to struggle with the double bind they are placed in.  What such practitioners fail to understand is that the child’s presentation of fear and anxiety are the acting out of the alienating parent’s agenda. That is why a child’s proclamations about a rejected parent sound so brittle, they are not their own but a photocopy of their parent’s beliefs and feelings, that is why an alienated child appears to be, at times, to those who understand their presentation, slightly ridiculous. The drama of the alienated child is that they are acting out a scene which is not their own, it is a parental script which, if you look closely  at the alienating parent, is an attempt to tell a story of something that happened, not to the child but to them and not in the here and now but in the past, sometimes the long gone past.

The truth is that the real source of the problem of parental alienation may lie in the dead and distant past and the enactment of the family trauma in the here and now is simply a mimeograph, a haunting, a ghost in the nursery come to life in the child.  When we are dealing with trauma patterns from the long dead past, there is little hope of therapeutic treatment because none of the markers of this trauma are actual in the people enacting them in the here and now. This is why therapy with pure and severe or  in truth,  hybrid cases, has little hope of success and why therapeutic programmes without changing the underlying dynamic of power and control are so pointless. It is like delivering therapy to living descendents in the hope that long dead relatives might change. In alienation cases, children do not have time to wait for those historical trauma patterns to change, which is why separation from source is the way to go to give children their childhood’s back.  And giving children their childhood back is what transfer of residence actually does.

A long time ago when I first began this work I encountered my first transfer of residence of a child who had not lived with his father since being preverbal and who had been in proceedings for seven years, professing a deep hatred and fear of the father for most of that time. This story is told in the book Please Let me See my Son by Thomas Moore.  Before I worked with this family I had an awareness of the problem of parental alienation and I had heard from Psychiatrists that transferring the child to live with the hated parent was the way to go. All through my work with Thomas he told me, ‘just give me an hour with my son and I promise you all will be well‘ and I tried to believe him even though I wondered whether it could possibly be the case that all would indeed be well.  His case, which is so eloquently told in his book, was complex in so many ways and my work with his family showed me the first real outline of how difficult such cases can be.  It was my first foray into forensic psychotherapy and it opened my eyes to much of what I know to be true today.

When Thomas’s son was separated from the source of the problem (his mother) he went into foster care. Shortly afterwards he was reunited with his father and has lived with him ever since. The route to reunification was simple, Thomas went to play table tennis with him. That is all. Nothing fancy, nothing therapeutic, simple exposure and a warm and loving welcome. Though the road after reunification was long and tricky at times, the actual reunification utilised the loving bond between father and son and in moments the alienation was gone. That is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth of parental alienation. It appears complex, it appears fearsome, it appears abusive to take a child and place him with the rejected parent but the truth of the matter is, it is not. It never was and never will be. Which is why the separation from source protocol, used in the right way, provides immediate relief for the child. And it is the child we are concerned about in alienation cases.

In so many ways as I track the outcomes of the transfer of residence cases we work on in our research programme, I am becoming more and more aware that the problem in parental alienation is not the family affected by it but the practitioners who work with it. The infection of the doubt and disbelief that such interventions work being the primary cause in so many cases of the lack of change for the child.  At the Clinic we are regularly instructed in cases which have been to a number of other practitioners before they reach us, all of whom have cautioned against transfer of residence for one reason or the other, the most common of which is that the child cannot be transferred because they have not seen a parent for xxx period of time. And in looking at this previous work with families, it seems to me that the barrier to the separation from source protocol is not actually the appetite for it for there is certainly growing appetite amongst the judiciary in my experience, but the risk averse timidity and the slavish dependence on the voice of the child agenda amongst practitioner groups.  It is within the mindset of these people that the fear begins and it is this fear which the alienating parent plays upon, sometimes for many years, in order to ensure that their coercive control is continued.  These cases are infectious, they cause whole groups of mental health and legal professionals to act out and they cause mayhem in emotional and psychological responses within adults. All because what is being presented to them is challenging their own personal beliefs and bias and all because they do not have the awareness that the attachment bond between a child and a loved parent can never be broken.

I am not advocating the use of the separation from source protocol in every case, there are some cases where I would not recommend it and I would not carry it out if I was asked to either.  Without clearly differentiated analysis which shows me that this is a case which will respond as I expect it to I would not be foolish enough to separate from source and undertake a transfer because in some cases that would mean transferring the problem with the child. These are the hybrid cases which are layered with complex dynamics and which require a robust framework of intervention and testing.  Where differentiation and analysis shows it is the right thing to do however, separation from source is something I would undertake without hesitation because it provides for the child the immediate relief from the horrible dilemma they find themselves in. Beyond that, the longer term programme of recovery and resilience building is the core focus for the Clinic and we are working on several such cases at one time with our growing team of alienation aware practitioners.

Separation from source provides immediate change for the child, the restoration of normal healthy loving relationships with all previously rejected members of the family and a return to the full range of emotional and psychological resources available to the child. A key learning point from our research being that there is an arrest in the child’s use of a full range of psychological skill sets during alienation which are released upon recovery.  Thus we see children move from mirroring the alienating parent’s fixed and fused fearful beliefs to the freedom to develop their own sense of self, hold their own views and independent opinions and explore the full spectrum of emotional and psychological responses in the relational world. Children move from being fixed and frozen even in their physical appearance, to being relaxed, flexible and communicative. In all the cases we work in there is a return of a joyful childhood innocence which allows the child to return to the unconscious world of the development of the self.  This is, for me, why the separation from source protocol is so powerful and so ethically correct for any alienation practitioner to use. Though it is radical it is far from being nuclear, it is kinder, fairer and healthier and it gives children back the childhood which has been stolen from them by a parent’s unhealthy mindset.

The Separation from Source Protocol is being studied now at the Clinic using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis and Discourse Analysis to understand the benefit to children of this gold standard intervention. The multiple layers of influence, starting with coercive control and including transgenerational transmission of trauma as enacted by the child are demonstrating that such a protocol provides children with the opportunity to recover immediately and build resilience to being further affected by the alienating strategies of an unwell parent. Travelling with children from the alienated state of mind to a year or more beyond separation from source, it is possible to describe the benefits and dispel the myths which cause fear in the minds of practitioners.

These journeys are a privilege to track and record and will, I hope, provide the next generation of children with  the protection provided by alienation aware family services so that no more children have to be put through programmes of forced contact with the child living in situ with the alienating parent (unethical in the extreme due to the harm being done to the child who is left to navigate the rage of the alienating parent alone) and no more rejected parents are exhorted to change just a little bit more so that practitioners can alleviate their own anxieties.

The Separation from Source Protocol, coming soon if we have our way, to family services near you.

The Family Separation Clinic is currently involved in several initiatives to drive policy and practice responses to parental alienation in the UK and in Europe.

  1. A UK working group to examine  protocols in working with parental alienation in the UK family courts.
  2. A funded Research Programme to establish the effectivness of protocols as described above.
  3. The convening of the European Association of Parental Alienation Practitioners, to examine best practice in legal and mental health responses to the problem across Europe.
  4. A series of clinical seminars to raise the awareness of effective treatment routes for parental alienation in the UK.
  5. Two policy seminars in London and Edinburgh for the Judiciary at which the outcomes of the research and working group initiative will be presented.

The purpose of these initiatives is to raise public awareness and provide evidence based outcomes to drive policy and practice in the UK and in Europe towards an effective response to the problem of parental alienation.


  1. Karen you seem to be saying that the alienating parent is always the resident parent and hence removal from source means a transfer to the non resident parent. Can you clarify this because it seems to be opening up a scenario where the resident parent is defenceless against a charge of PA from the non resident parent?


    1. Sadsam, you really need to read about parental alienation to understand the subject. The resident parent is the alienting parent in 99.9% of cases in my experience and the NRP is not. I don’t really have time to answer all of your questions, you will learn much from reading around on here and then perhaps reading more about it through the established literature. I wonder if other people on here might be able to answer your questions for you because you are clearly new to the subject and need guidance to understand what parental alienation actually is – Woodman? Could you help Sadsam? Or perhaps Willow or Cara or CG might help you.


      1. Then Karen I am devastated. I was the resident parent. I must be incredibly stupid, self unaware etc to not be able to see that yes, I was apparently the really evil person who did this to my child. And that now I deserve to be the rejected parent..


      2. If you are female Sadsam and your child was persuaded away from you by the father then you are not alone and there are mothers on here who share your experience. I would not recommend that you share your details of what happened to you on here but you can email me at and I will put you in touch with people who can help you. In my experience the very small percentage of people whose children are persuaded away from them by the non resident parent are usually women. If you are a father and you were the resident parent you are in an even tinier group of people but it doesn’t mean that you are stupid or un self aware – PA is a particular animal, it causes mayhem and when it strikes it can foil even the sharpest person. Do email me and I will do what I can to help.

        If you have been accused of alienation and your child transferred please do not continue to see this in a good/bad splitting way, you are not evil and your child desperately needs you to be able to understand what has happened so that you can help repair the splitting. We work with alienating and alienated parents, we do not subscribe to the good/evil paradigm and we never disregard the alienating parent who is as key to the child’s health as the previously alienated parent was and is. Do email me at and I will help as much as I can. K


      3. I’m still wrestling with the idea that “The resident parent is the alienting parent in 99.9% of cases in my experience and the NRP is not.”. I draw attention to an earlier statement you made Karen in a reply comment to ‘William’ in the Post 4 posts back “I am working with parents who have more or less full time care of their children and their children are still alienated from them (caused byThe resident parent due to lack of knowledge in family services about how to help alienated children) and parents who have more than 50 percent of the care but who still go on to lose their child to alienation.”. When a professional experienced in this field makes such a definite statement that “The resident parent is the alienting parent in 99.9% of cases in my experience and the NRP is not.” it makes it almost impossible for those cases where this does not hold true, as you recognised in your comment to ‘William’ , to be acknowledged and accepted. It is always difficult to be in the apparent minority situation and get justice. Your statement seems to make it even harder.


      4. yes I get that point SS but the thing is that the point is true and I cannot change that fact and the fact itself when analysed holds true and so it is hard to deny it. I think you misunderstand my statement to william which is basded on children who have been moved to live with the non resident parent but who continue to be alienated by the previously resident parent because that parent will not stop their behaviours. I think your situation, in which you are alienated without a doubt but the route to alienation is different to the majority, is such a tiny minority that you can be overlooked. But you are not overlooked, you are that .1% and I acknowledge that. K


    2. sadsam
      can you clarify what you mean by “where the resident parent is defenceless against a charge of PA from the non resident parent?” To be clear, what do you mean by ‘charge’? Do you mean accusation? Or do you mean attack? Or something else?


      1. Not sure if my correction to Post this morning is in the right place. Just to reiterate the statement I referenced from Karen to ‘William’ was from Post “The Battle for Britain’s Alienated Children”. Can’t always use technology correctly…


  2. This is a fantastic article. Thanks!

    However, I am aware of cases where the alienator can alienate from over the phone, and even by making their presence know through intermediaries. And the alienator can alienate even within “intact” families.


    1. and further on from that – I’ve often referred to the alienator’s hold as being that of a Pavlov’s dog response – the child is terrified and cowed by the thought of the phone call from the AP (when they’re with the NRP), even before the phone call happens (which it invariably does). The effect os the same whether that phone call gets made or not. Invisible (but not to those of us that look AND see it), silent, relentless pressure on the child


  3. Unaware practitoners have to go through the stages of grief as they let go of their predetermined philosophy: –
    And yes, that is actually the key – education – not the judges (although extremely important), but all the social workers and CAFCASS officers. Good luck with some of them.


  4. “The resident parent is the alienating parent in 99.9% of cases in my experience and the NRP is not.” In my case and others in two target parent groups I moderate, we start out with more or less 50% custody, but through the use of cell phones and constant contact, there is a Greek chorus in the background inducing the children gradually to see you as inadequate, inferior and maybe abusive. So I don’t agree think this quote is completely accurate. The AP has all kind of ways to get to the kids, while we’re not even aware a war has been waged, nor do we have the ability or inclination to fight it on their terms.

    This sentence is perfect: “This protocol, which we are evaluating in our work now, is sometimes called the ‘nuclear option’ by unaware alienation practitioners. The lack of alienation awareness which is denoted by the idea that separating a child from the source of the abuse they are suffering is somehow a radical or dramatic or too powerful an act, is typical of those working in family services in the UK.” Sadly, typical of those here in Sacramento as well.

    Thanks for another amazing article, Karen. You’re doing such important work, on and offline.


    1. the refrain is often given – ‘well at least he/she’s with his/her mother/father’ – the inference being that the parent the child lives with can’t be ALL bad, and its better than foster care or some such. However, as soon as you challenge the view and ask people to consider would that be appropriate if this was physical abuse, or sexual abuse, then normally people concur that parents can be bad sometimes. Why is there such institutional blindness, still, to the very real and evident emotional abuse that is happening all around us every day?


    2. David-the scenario you mention is not only typical in the UK and Sacramento, this is the case internationally. I am in the Maryland US. Separating the child from the source of abuse is extremely frowned upon and judges and the officers of the law will keep the child (ren) with the unhealthy alienating parent. Their excuse is that if they remove the children from the alienating parent it will affect them adversely. So they keep them in an abusive environment and torment to suffer along until a light bulb moment in their adulthood.


  5. Firstly my thanks to Karen for her compassionate approach (see earlier). I don’t profess to understand PA in all its detail (though I am learning). I would like to share my observations:-
    1. The allocation of titles ‘Alienator’ and ‘Alienated’ are highly emotive, as is the word ‘Abuser’. It is so important that their use is confined to the result of careful, detailed ‘differential analysis’ which seeks to separate out the various strands involved.
    2. The need for the recognition that not all PA is deliberate and contrived. That PA can be the result of ‘unwitting’ behaviours, either subconscious or not recognised by the parent as harming, as part of the problems harming the children involved.
    3. A recognition that the blame for alienation does not always lie at one door or the other, but may well be a hybrid of both. And the importance of this to be recognised, where applicable, in the differential analysis phase.
    4. The recognition that discerning between ‘justifiable’ and ‘unjustified’ rejection can be a complex and difficult task to get right. That the presentation by the child may be extremely convincing and so a parent is driven to believe their allegations against the other parent. Getting things wrong at this stage can lead on to a heap of unnecessary conflict, grief and harm. It is a tight rope to walk in which you are dammed if you do report it and dammed if you don’t.
    5. The importance of understanding the degree of conflict in the parental relationship, what drives it, what the power relationship is etc. How the responsibility for the conflict that so affects the children caught up in it, is apportioned between the parents…..can any one parent really say they are whiter than white, totally the ‘innocent victim’ of a nasty other and does such an approach really help the children involved?
    6. The importance in understanding the ability of each parent to resolve conflict, to understand the ‘ghosts in the nursery’ and to work with the parents to improve their conflict resolution skills. To address this issue in both parents not just one. To avoid propagating the idea that one parent is ‘better’ than the other, ‘innocent’ versus ‘guilty’, ‘superior’ versus ‘inferior’ etc.
    7. To focus not just on ‘rights’ of the parents and the children, but the ‘responsibilities’ each has.

    With hindsight, time, space to reflect, perspective etc I look back in horror at my own sorry tale and wish fervently that someone, somewhere, had stopped us all and said it’s time to stop this ‘blame game’ – a game played by both parents, social workers, IROs, psychologists, court etc. Time to stop this adversarial approach. Time to offer support to all sides, to educate, parents and kids alike, all at the same time. I lost count of how many times I sought advice, support, only to find myself clutching air or given inappropriate support. I wish I could go back, wipe it all out and start again. But Life isn’t like that. We are where we are……. I’m still searching for the right support to try to salvage something from this heartbreaking, unwanted scenario created by a combination of myself, the other parent, the ‘ghosts in the nursery’, and the long list of ‘professionals’ who put in their two pence worth and then walked off.
    Yes, real, properly defined, analysed and confirmed as PA IS child abuse. But can we remember that not all of it is deliberate because a person is nasty and cruel….. It happens with parents who care, who love, but make mistakes, who get caught up in things they neither understand nor know how to cope with, who seek help only for that help to make things worse – the blind leading the blind is worse than useless, it can be positively damaging. Thank you Karen for your compassionate approach to all those involved and may you succeed in persuading others to follow your example.


    1. sadsam, I believe our situation was a hybrid one, and I spent a lot of time going over and over in my head how my husband could have behaved differently to stop the alienation train (and sometimes being angry at him about it). No question he made mistakes, was too adversarial at times, sometimes made his son feel caught in the middle – but all of it was done in reaction to what he saw happening before his eyes: his relationship with his son falling apart, with clear (to us) help from the alienating parent (some of it conscious and some unconscious, in my opinion) that no one else seemed to see or believe. But I’ve heard stories of target parents who were agreeable, pleasant, not adversarial at all and they ended up alienated too. Now, 2 years into more or less full alienation, I no longer believe there was anything my husband could have done differently given the ignorance of the courts and the mental health professionals – it was always going to go this way. If the approach had been like the one Karen outlines, with a collaboration between aware courts and therapists, I believe that it could have been stopped and that the alienating parent would have been possibly workable – but without that, there was no way to prevent my stepson from going into the alienation reaction because the power dynamics went unchanged or even recognized. So until we have a better/different approach, it makes no sense to beat yourself up about what you could have done differently (in my opinion).


      1. That was me, Cara, by the way … something happened when I posted and it came out anonymous!


  6. Hi Cara/anonymous! I agree beating myself up doesn’t change anything or help anyone. Sometimes I need to remind myself that I couldn’t do what might have been the more appropriate things to do, when I didn’t understand what the hell was going on and got ground down over many years. In terms of how professionals handled things I have to accept that many of them had limited understanding as well. As you say let’s hope things improve going forward.

    I’m reminded of the words of a Philip Larkin poem…..”Your parents they will f**k you up, they may not mean to but they do”. Utopia has yet to arrive.


  7. Correction of a mistake in my comment just now….the statement I referred to from Karen to ‘William’ is from the Post ” The Battle for Britain’s Alienated Children”. Apologies for any confusion.


  8. Still quietly reflecting…… I am struck how in Karen’s work she seeks to heal/maintain the separated family triangle of Parent 1, Parent 2, and child(ren) in spite of what has transpired between them all, unless the alienating behaviours, wherever it originates and in whatever apportioning between the parents, is not relinquished. I cannot even begin to appreciate how tough such work must be. In the cases she works with I’m assuming she will not have jumped to any quick conclusions about the sources of the alienating behaviours but will only have allocated titles of ‘ Alienator and ‘Alienated’ after detailed investigation and analysis. And with those distinctions is able to then, with confidence, advocate ‘removal from source’ where appropriate.

    But what of the parents given those labels? In all the mess of negative emotions of bitterness, anger, rage etc, how do the parents involved face up to accepting the importance of each of them in the child(ren)’s lives going forward? Doesn’t the ‘Alienated’ gloat, feel self righteous and vindicated over their ‘victory’? Doesn’t the ‘Alienator’ feel victimised and branded? It takes a truly ‘big person’ to rise above it all, acknowledge their real feelings towards ‘the other’ and set them aside in such a way that they do not go on to negatively affect the child(ren) in their care/lives, consciously, let alone subconsciously. It is easy to say ‘put the child (ren) first’ irrespective of how the ‘the other’ sticks in the gullet but to truly act this out in practice takes enormous strength of mind and emotional control. And how many humans can really, hand on heart, say they can? The sheer magnitude of the problems facing separated conflicted families, navigating bringing up children in such a scenario can be overwhelming. It is easy to judge, to condemn. It takes real compassion to show understanding to those involved and try to educate and support them, with love, through it all. Once someone becomes defensive they are less receptive to support, especially if given in a judgemental environment. How I wish social workers would remember this.


    1. Hi Sadsam, when we start work with a family we say aligned and rejected parent, when we have completed our assessments and know the formulation we say alienated child, influencing and rejected parent, when we experience a seriously influencing parent we will say alienating parent conscious or unconscious – we do not subscribe to labelling parents good and bad or alienating and alienated because of the problem of splitting which already exists in the child and which is furthered by those labels. Some influencing parents cannot come to the table ever, it is simply not possible for them to reformulate their views and behaviours however we try to help, these are the personality disordered parents who see life differently to everyone else. Some unconscious influencers are horrified when they realise what has happened, those are the parents we can help very quickly. But there is a curious phenomenon too, some rejected parents, once they are in the role of primary carer, also become influencing parents, sometimes because they are scared that the other parent will gain control of the child again, sometimes because they can. This is what no-one in this field ever talks about, the fact that some rejected parents have been in a battle to influence the child and have lost and if they win the child back they will go on to influence the child to reject the parent. The is why differentiation is so important and why working with the family for a long period of time is important, within what are called the hybrid cases are many many different dynamics and it cannot be said that one treatment route fits all. Social workers should not be doing this work because they are not trained and have zero experience in working this way, most of the social workers I have worked with have not had the first idea what to do although many of them will crash ahead believing that they do. When a family is treated for an alienation reaction in a child it requires a soft and quiet approach to entry and then a core ability to hold the line and demand new behaviours, it requires being on call 24/7 for a period and working in people’s homes. It can be scary although I am rarely scared by it these days but for anyone new to the field it can feel very scary indeed. It requires the ability to appear to be without power whilst being willing to wield power in the strongest manner possible, it can require one to be duplicitous in gathering information which will, if change is not forthcoming, be used to demonstrate to the court why an action is necessary. It is working in the messy parts of people’s very private lives in order to untangle the mess that has captured the child. And finally it requires one to go the extra ten miles for a child in order to spring the trap they are in. This morning – Saturday – I am many miles from home about to go and do another piece of work with children. I have transferred five children so far this year, all successfully, all about to go back into the relationship with the previously influencing parent. Roads ahead for each of those children which must be kept clear of debris and old rubbish so that their recovery is continuous now. Social workers cannot do this, they do not have the time, skill or remit to even go near it. Teams of people like me will eventually do this work, one day in the future when the world understands the harm that is done to children who are left in such situations and the harm that family separation itself does and the risk it brings of children’s alignment patterns. Happy to help you however I can SS. K


      1. Karen, you are an amazing lady. When you say “Social workers cannot do this, they do not have the time, skill or remit to even go near it.” I could not agree more. The fact that they ARE doing this is, from my own personal experience, only heaping damage upon damage. The sooner someone like you is able to make SWs see that this is not within their role, the better for everyone.
        Thank you for taking the time to help me understand more. I look forward to working with you when you can. Bless you.


  9. “Social workers should not be doing this work because they are not trained and have zero experience in working this way, most of the social workers I have worked with have not had the first idea what to do although many of them will crash ahead believing that they do. ”
    So true, absolutely spot on. I never thought I’d wish so much that a cafcass officer had handled our case….rather than a ‘normal’ local authority social worker who was absolutely useless. So please FSC, roll out this training to wider Social Worker teams & not just cafcass.


  10. Ally, beware what you wish for. I know I won’t be the only person reading your comment who recoils in horror at your wish for Cafcass to be involved (although of course I understand why you think that would be preferential) but Cafcass officers or guardians come with a heavier weight, so when they are just as PA unaware, or more dangerously think they ‘get it’ so come with a professional ignorance reinforced by false understanding, then any wedge they drive in the family, as they did in ours, comes with the weight of a sledgehammer behind it, and is much much more damaging. Cafcass closes rank on (wrong) decisions made by its practitioners, even when it’s clear they didn’t follow procedures, didn’t seek advice when they were going beyond their own understanding (as they should have done in line with their own recommendations), behaved badly in with holding information until there wasn’t enough time to consider a proper response, and the list goes on. I know some Cafcass staff are good, and know what’s happening, but when you have the head of Cafcass Anthony Douglas, saying, as he did recently, that PA is emotional abuse but they won’t pursue and sanction parents who are guilty of alienation as to do so may ‘harm’ the child, the. You see how very deep and how very high, professional ignorance, and the professional status quo is reinforced. The circle of people protecting each other’s backs, whilst children are abused in front of them, is nothing short of horrific.


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