Dr Kate Hellin is a consultant chartered psychologist. Following a thirty year career in the NHS working with people with personality disorders, with substance dependence and in psychotherapy and general community mental health services, she has spent the last 15 years undertaking psychological assessments of parents for the Family Court.
Kate’s work involves bringing an understanding of the human condition – in particular the ways that people respond to stressful situations – to the family courts. Her psychological assessment of the parents involved in Lancashire County Council v M and others (Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group intervening) was described in Mr Justice Hayden’s 2021 judgement as a ‘landmark report, the analysis of which requires wider dissemination’.
During this conversation, she will discuss how ordinary reactions to extraordinary circumstances can be misinterpreted in family court cases – and how recognising and responding to stress and emotions can improve relationships between professionals, families and others.
The Nuffield Family Justice Observatory aims to find and fill knowledge gaps, highlight areas where change will have the biggest impact and foster collaboration to make that change happen.
This new ‘In conversation with…’ series will bring you leading thinkers, experts, practitioners and those with lived experience for frank discussions on a variety of themes related to children and families in the family justice system. Questions from the audience are welcomed before and during the discussions.
Look out for October’s issue of Family Law and the article by Dr Kate Hellin – ‘Trauma and conflict in families and professionals in safeguarding systems: finding understanding and breaking down barriers’. It is essential reading.