Shortage of experts

A shortage of child/ child and family psychiatrists and psychologists was widely reported throughout the country. As Table 1 demonstrates, adult psychiatrists too were in short supply across England and Wales (37% (n=110)). Risk assessors were also identified by a wide number of respondees (33% n=98) to be limited across the country. These experts are often considered to be “necessary” at the “welfare stage” in public law proceedings and in assisting the court in providing evidence as to mental illness, personality disorder, attachment issues and risk to a child. This shortage of experts self-evidently has significant implications; it is usually an assessment that cannot be undertaken by another professional within the proceedings.

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