Browse the glossary using this index

Special | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | ALL

Page:  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  ...  12  (Next)


Active Listening

Being totally focused on the speaker and showing that you understand and are interested in the account by verbal and non-verbal cues.


A legal representative representing a party in court proceedings, either a barrister or solicitor.


Bankruptcy proceedings

Court proceedings issued where a person is unable to repay outstanding debts. The court will appoint an administrator who will take control of the individual’s assets and be responsible for repayment of the debt.

Basic Disclosure Certificate

A document containing impartial and confidential criminal history information held by the police, commonly used as part of recruitment.

Biderman’s chart of coercion

An explanation of the coercive methods of stress manipulation used to control the environment of people so that they comply with the perpetrator’s demands. Often used by those working with domestic abuse survivors.


C100 application

An application for a child arrangements order, specific issue or prohibited steps order under Children Act 1989.


A public body which promotes the welfare of children and families involved in family court proceedings in England and Wales. 

Child Arrangements Order

An order setting out where a child should live and the contact they should have with the other parent.

Child Contact Intervention

A short term intervention for supervised contact where a child is reintroduced to a parent with whom they have not had contact recently.

Child Law Advice

A charity offering specialist advice and information on child, family and education law to parents, carers and young people in England.  For further information please see

Citizens Advice Bureau

A network of independent charities offering confidential legal advice online, over the phone, and in person, for free.  For further information please see

Closed question

A question which can be answered by one word such as ‘yes’ or no’.

Coercive and controlling behaviour

An act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is either used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim or designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent.


Collusion in the context of supporting clients is when we agree with a client to the detriment of another, usually the other party.

Counter allegations

Where a party against whom accusations have been made (usually of domestic violence) makes similar accusations towards the party who made the original complaint or charge


DBS checks

A check carried out by the Disclosure and Barring Service which sets out a record of a person’s criminal convictions and cautions. Typically used as part of a recruitment process where an individual is looking to work with children or vulnerable adults.


A court order setting out the steps the parties must take to prepare their case so that a hearing can take place. This will typically involve the parties filing statements and expert evidence.

Dispute Resolution Appointment (DRA)

The hearing following the preparation of a child welfare report (usually a section 7 prepared by CAFCASS) or other expert report. The court will identify and try to resolve the key issues and give directions to enable the case to be listed for a final hearing.

Domestic abuse

The Home Office definition is: any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. This can encompass, but is not limited to, the following types of abuse: psychological; physical; sexual; financial; emotional.

Domestic Abuse Perpetrator programme

Behaviour-change programmes for people who use violence and abuse towards their (ex) partners.

Duluth’s power and control wheel

A diagram which illustrates the different control tactics perpetrators use against victims.

Dyn project

A project in Wales which supports men experiencing domestic abuse.  For further information please see



A document, typically attached to the end of a court statement, which is presented to the court in support of a party’s case.


Family Procedure Rules

The procedural rules for family proceedings in the High Court, County Courts and Magistrates’ Courts. They are supplemented by dedicated Practice Directions and forms.

File a statement

Ensuring a copy of the court statement is on the court file.  This typically means visiting the court office, paying a filing fee, and submitting the document to be filed (usually the original and two copies).

Finding of Fact hearing

A hearing to decide any significant facts which are in dispute so that interim decisions can be made regarding contact or an exert witness can carry out an assessment (such as a Cafcass officer preparing a section 7 report). This usually involves determining allegations of domestic abuse or substance misuse.  

First Hearing and Dispute Resolution Appointment (FHDRA)

The first hearing in a case for a child arrangements order.  The court will consider the safeguarding information, identify the issues and encourage the parties to try to resolve matters by agreement.  If this is not possible, the court will make directions to enable the matter to proceed to a fuller hearing.


Finding Legal Options for Women Survivors is a project bringing together a team of experts from the Family Team of the Royal Courts of Justice RCJ Advice, working in partnership with Rights of Women. They provide a network of trusted and fully vetted advisers to provide legal advice for domestic abuse survivors.  For further information please see

Form C100

The court application form to apply for a child arrangements order, specific issue or prohibited steps order under the Children Act 1989.

Form C8

The court application form to keep a party’s contact details confidential.


General Data Protection Rules (GDPR)

The law concerning data protection and privacy which require organisations to gain consent for keeping information about individuals, keep that information safe and only to use it in authorised ways.


Indirect contact

Contact between a parent and child which does not involve a face to face meeting.  This can include contact through telephone calls, emails or letters.

Instruct a solicitor

Asking a solicitor to represent and act on behalf of the client.


A person who facilitates two-way communication between a vulnerable person and the other participants in the legal process.


Legal Aid

Payment from the state for legal advice and representation in court proceedings. Legal Aid is only available for certain types of cases (mostly criminal cases) and for those whose income is below the eligibility level (low income or on benefits).

Litigant in person

A party in court proceedings who is not represented by a solicitor or barrister.


Non molestation order

A court order available to victims of domestic abuse to prevent a person from molesting, threatening or using violence against them.


Occupation Order

A court order available to domestic abuse victims which will specify who is (and is not) able to live in the family home or the surrounding area.

Open question

A question which must be answered with a number of words and sentences.


Party to the proceedings

A person, company or organisation who is one of the entitles involved in court proceedings, either as an applicant or defendant.  

Possession proceedings

Court proceedings to determine whether an individual should be ordered to leave their home. This usually involves those living in rented or mortgaged homes where the rent or mortgage has not been paid.

Private law proceedings

Court proceedings under Children Act 1989 to resolve a dispute regarding the upbringing of a child between two or more individuals, such as an application for a child arrangement order or parental responsibility order. 

Prohibited Steps Order

A court order specifying that a party should not do a particular act in in relation to the upbringing of a child.

Public law proceedings

Court proceedings under Children Act 1989 to resolve a dispute regarding the upbringing of a child between the parents and the local authority, such as an application for a care or supervision order, emergency protection order or secure accommodation order.


Reasonable adjustments

Changes made to the court room or proceedings to enable a vulnerable person to participate in the court proceedings.

Regulated activity

Types of activity, jobs or roles which require a person to undergo a DBS check before carrying it out. The activity will usually involve being responsible for a child or vulnerable person.

Risk assessment

A process of evaluating the risks involved in a particular activity to remove or minimise those risks. Often contained in a written document.



Protecting a person’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect.

Section 7 report

A court report which can be ordered in private proceedings, usually in proceedings for a child arrangement order. It is written by a Court Adviser from Cafcass and advises the Court on the child’s circumstances and what needs to happen to ensure a safe outcome for the child.

Section 8 order

A child arrangement order, prohibited steps order or specific issue order made under section 8 Children Act 1989. These set out where the child should live and with whom they should have contact; what an individual cannot do in relation to the upbringing of a child; or what an individual should do in relation to the upbringing of a child. 

Serve a statement

Send a copy of a statement filed at court to the other parties to the proceedings.


The act of explaining to a client where they can go for further advice or support.

Special Measures

Adaptations, concessions or arrangements made by the family court to assist a vulnerable person to participate in proceedings or to give evidence at a hearing.

Specific Issue Order

A court order specifying that a party should carry out a particular act in in relation to the upbringing of a child.

Stark’s coercive control tactics

The tactics used by domestic abuse perpetrators to deprive victims of their liberty and reduce their ability for action.

Statement of truth

The final paragraph of  a court statement which says that the maker of the statement confirms the truth of everything in the statement.


Trauma Informed approach

A way of working with clients who have suffered trauma which recognises that the way clients react is related to the trauma they have experienced and enables the worker or volunteer to respond appropriately.


Unconscious bias

An assessment of a person or situation which is affected by social stereotypes or preconceived notions, often without the individual being aware of this.



A characteristic which means an individual is more likely to be physically, emotionally, or mentally hurt, influenced or attacked. In the context of court proceedings, it is a characteristic which makes it more difficult for the individual to fully participate in the proceedings.


Women’s Aid

A national charity which provides services to domestic abuse victims and their families and carries out campaigning work on the issue of domestic abuse.  For further information please see

Page:  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  ...  12  (Next)