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A qualitative exploration of the views and experiences of family court magistrates making decisions in care proceedings involving parents with learning disabilities

Kollinsky, L, Simonds, LM and Nixon, J (2013) A qualitative exploration of the views and experiences of family court magistrates making decisions in care proceedings involving parents with learning disabilities British Journal of Learning Disabilities, 41 (2). pp. 86-93.

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Abstract

A small evidence base suggests that parents with learning disabilities are likely to have their children permanently removed from their care. There is no known research involving magistrates in England, despite their role in care proceedings. This study aimed to explore the experience of magistrates making decisions in care proceedings involving parents with learning disabilities. Four family court magistrates took part in a semi-structured interview. The findings suggest that the magistrates in this sample perceive a distinction between themselves and others in terms of their ability to accommodate complexity in conceptualising learning disabilities. The ability to appreciate such complexity was considered important by magistrates in them adopting a more proactive role when presented with expert opinion. Four main influences were spoken of when determining the best interests of the child: timescale and age of the child, expert opinion, parenting abilities and support. Participants indicated how their experiences with people with learning disabilities outside of the court system have impacted on their role within care proceedings and have shaped their awareness of the limits of their own knowledge. Magistrates indicated a general need for more training about learning disabilities. Limitations and implications for practice are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Psychology
Authors :
AuthorsEmailORCID
Kollinsky, LUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Simonds, LMUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Nixon, JUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date : June 2013
Identification Number : 10.1111/j.1468-3156.2012.00726.x
Related URLs :
Additional Information : This is the accepted version of the following article: Kollinsky L, Simonds LM, Nixon J. A qualitative exploration of the views and experiences of family court magistrates making decisions in care proceedings involving parents with learning disabilities. British Journal of Learning Disabilities 41(2):86-93, which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-3156.2012.00726.x
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 08 Aug 2014 17:53
Last Modified : 01 Jun 2015 01:08
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/712097

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