As the end of another year approaches, we would like to thank our readers and posters for taking the time to explore our site, share their thoughts and help to raise awareness around child welfare. We are hugely grateful for your support, and this year you have helped to take the site and its work further than ever.

Our most read stories in 2018 reflect growing concerns around self-serving politicians and government bodies, a keen interest in child welfare professionals challenging forced adoption, the impact of the care system on families and a surprise entry in the form of a post on child pornography:

  1. A Mother Got On Her hands And Knees In Court And Begged Me… Please Don’t Take My Children Away.”
  2. The End Of Forced Adoption In The UK? Meet The Social Workers Challenging The System.
  3. MP Calls For Government Review Of CAFCASS
  4. Is Virtual Child Pornography A Safe Alternative?
  5. Theresa May’s Husband Set To Profit From New Cannabis Medicine After Government Relaxes Ban“

This year Researching Reform exposed malpractice inside the child protection sector, from child welfare professionals forcing parents to sign illegal documents taking away their recording rights during proceedings, to councils using Section 20 arrangements to unlawfully detain children and place them in care.

In August, we were humbled to announce that the project’s website had been nominated as one of 15 websites to follow around the world for child welfare. Thanks to The Times’ generosity, we were able to write a letter to Family Court President Andrew McFarlane, asking him to remove the courts’ adversarial processes.

Many of our stories come from readers who feel as passionately as we do about child welfare reform in the UK and internationally. We would like to thank these readers for giving their time and sharing information with us, and as we always explain, this site would not be what it is without your incredible kindness.

We would also like to say thank you to the children we write this site for. You are our inspiration, we think of you every time we write or launch a project at Researching Reform. A special thank you to those of you who shared your experiences in care and those going through the family justice system, yours is the voice we value the most and the one we will continue to amplify.

Although there are still a few days left before we reach the new year, we already have new projects and new stories for you, new issues to tackle and new faces to introduce you to in 2019. But that doesn’t mean that we’re leaving behind the core principles that we built this site on: transparency, open dialogue for all and innovative ways to improve the child welfare system.

To those parents who can’t be with their children during the holiday, our thoughts and hearts go out to you. Stay strong and please remember that no legal bond is ever as strong as a natural one. Your children feel your love always, and time moves, nothing stays still forever.

And so we wish you all a very merry Christmas. Let’s raise some hell together in 2019.

With love,

Researching Reform

Addams Merry Christmas