One of the difficulties with family work is that it is a fast changing and complex discipline which requires organised and proactive reactions to new advances in the many fields it incorporates. It also requires meticulous application of knowledge combined with a sensitive and skilled approach to child welfare matters, much of which is often missing inside the family courts, either in part or in whole. This latest open letter written by established legal and medical professionals calling on the justice system and the professionals who work in it to proceed cautiously when diagnosing Shaken Baby Syndrome, is a good reminder of the need to be extremely careful when handling cases inside the family courts.
Shaken Baby Syndrome is a growing area in terms of our knowledge about it and there is still a lot of room for error. The lack of resources inside the system combined with a need for speedy resolution of cases in a system which is backlogged and under new time restrictions, all causing a sense of urgency and added pressure, mean that the margin for error increases. Do read this letter if you have time, as it is considered and thoughtful.