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importance with which such matters are viewed by those concerned. There are many and various types of after-care provision and, although it may seem trite to say so, almost anything would be an improvement for the families concerned on the complete lack of provision which prevails today. Parents have indicated that they would welcome a forum where they could share their experiences with others, as well as professional guidance in terms of parenting their abducted, now returned, children and support in dealing with their own, very mixed, emotions. Parents have also expressed concern regarding the effects that the abduction has had on their children and whether difficulties will surface later on in the children’s lives. Often parents say that the children do not want to discuss the abduction event or their feelings. Parents have expressed their wish for a child centred forum where the children could share experiences with others who could understand their feelings and where the children could feel able to “let go” safely. This accords with the findings in the Child Report (supra) that the coping strategies developed by children may be deliberate strategies to cope with and avoid distress. The children in this sample seem to prefer to talk to friends, rather than counsellors. A support group for children may provide the “friendly” environment that would benefit children who prefer a less formal situation than a conventional one-to-one counselling session. It is possible also that the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators in schools in the jurisdiction of England and Wales might have a useful role to play in monitoring and providing opportunities for children to speak about these issues. In England and Wales, CAFCASS may also be able to provide valuable therapeutic support but it is recognised that the more usual investigative role played by CAFCASS may inhibit its acceptability to some children. One form of after care which may be most valuable for the children, and ultimately the families, who need to adjust to their lives post-abduction, is that which would enable the parents to manage the conflict between them and thus, in turn, enable contact to work beneficially and safely for the children, who almost always wish to have contact with the abducting parent and the wider family with whom they feel a close connection. Some jurisdictions, e.g. Australia, Canada, Germany and some States in the United States are developing co-parenting programmes which are designed to address these issues in order to produce the best outcomes for the children in terms of the quality of the contact they can enjoy. Teams from the Centre for Research on the Child and Family at the University of East Anglia carried out research into three in-court conciliation schemes as well as the year-long family resolutions pilot project in London, Brighton and Sunderland (See Making Contact Happen or Making Contact Work? The Process and Outcomes of In-Court Conciliation, Trinder, Connolly, Kellet, Notley and Smith, March 2006, Department for Constitutional Affairs Research Series 3/06, Evaluation of the Family Resolutions Pilot Project, Trinder, Kellett, Connolly and Notely, Research Report RR720 for Department for Education and Skills). While conciliation helps to reach agreement, the researchers say it does not teach parents how to handle conflicts in co-parenting. They recommend the introduction of US-style co-parenting programmes which help parents to understand how conflict harms their children and to manage their continuing relationship as parents. These include programmes tailored to high- conflict cases, which "aim to shift thinking and behaviour by raising parents' awareness of the impact of the dispute on their own children". See Parents in Battles Over Contact Need Help in Reducing Harm to Children, Clare Dyer, Legal Editor, The Guardian, Monday 27th March 2006. Also see Hunt and Roberts, University of Oxford Family Policy Briefing No.3, January 2004, quoting Pryor and Rodgers B (2001) Children in Changing Families, Life after Parental Separation (Oxford) a meta- analysis of international research, who state: " Examination of the whole body of international research tends to show that it is the nature and quality of parenting by the contact parent that is crucial, not contact in itself." It may be that co-parenting courses could be pursued more widely within the Hague community but research will be required into the effectiveness of such schemes before they are more widely used. See Hunt and Roberts, University of Oxford Family policy Briefing No 4, Sept 05 "Intervening in litigated contact: ideas from other jurisdictions" which concludes, " If any of the interventions covered in this paper are considered to be worth pursuing here it is important that they are carefully designed and evaluated so that a body of knowledge can build up as to what works, for whom and why”. Although it is accepted that the Hague Convention is premised on the exchange of trust within the Hague signatory states, a system of initial monitoring of children returned following an abduction would be welcomed by most of those interviewed, including both abducting and left-behind parents. It need not be seen as a challenge to the mutual trust described above, but rather as a mutual service, and could be organised through bi-lateral or multi-lateral arrangements between participating States. This would admittedly mean that there were some States in which there was better post-return provision than others but, as there is already an acknowledged unevenness of the playing field in abduction

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