The urgent project hopes to develop guidance to support families and professionals in managing virtual contact when face-to-face contact is restricted, and to use the findings to innovate “long-term solutions”.

The Nuffield Family Justice Observatory, which has commissioned the project, is inviting everyone to offer their experiences of birth family contact during the lockdown.

The research will be conducted by Professor Elsbeth Neil and Ruth Copson from the Centre for Research on Children and Families at the University of East Anglia.

The press release says:

“The research team is looking for families and practitioners to share their experiences of maintaining contact between children and their birth relatives during the crisis. This could be social workers, guardians, contact supervisors, foster carers, adoptive parents, birth relatives or others involved in managing contact.”

You can get in touch with the team using the contact details below:

Ruth Copson: or by phone/text on 07858 134673.

Beth Neil:

The Observatory also provides a fact sheet explaining the project further and why it is needed, as well as a very good explanation of your rights as a contributor.

You can access the full press release here.