P-05-751 Recognition of Parental Alienation



This petition was submitted by Families Need Fathers Both Parents Matter Cymru having collected 2,058 signatures - 752 on paper and 1,306 on-line.


Text of the Petition

We call upon the Welsh Assembly to persuade the Welsh Government to protect children and young people in Wales by formally recognising 'Parental Alienation' as a form of emotional abuse of children. We further call upon the Welsh Government to take specific actions to reduce the impact of Parental Alienation on children and their families.


Additional Information

We propose the following action by Welsh Government:


  • Recognise 'Parental Alienation' as emotional abuse of children with a definition incorporating the one given by the Ministry of Justice (paragraph 1) here https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/164983)


  • Commission and fund mandatory training for professionals including but not limited to Social Work and Cafcass Cymru staff, in recognising Parental Alienation including pathways to protect children from harm.


  • Establish and fund a national campaign to inform children and families about Parental Alienation and the harm that it causes.


  • Place a duty on Welsh Ministers to act to protect children from abuse and harm where Parental Alienation has been identified.


Parental Alienation has been defined by the Ministry of Justice as:

‘In cases where parents are separated, parental alienation refers to a situation in which one parent (usually the parent with whom the child lives) behaves in a way which creates anxiety in the child, so that it appears the child is opposed to living or spending time with the other parent.’

This definition is taken from the first paragraph of the Government’s response to Mr. Darren Towill’s petition. https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/164983


CAFCASS in England have already recognised Parental Alienation as an abuse of children. CAFCASS CEO Anthony Douglas stated in an article in the Telegraph online dated 12th Feb 2017 about Parental Alienation that '“It’s undoubtedly a form of neglect or child abuse in terms of the impact it can have". http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/02/12/divorced-parents-pit-children-against-former-partners-guilty/


Child and parent

Child and parent



This petition was considered completed by the Petitions Committee at its meeting on 07/07/2020.

The Committee considered further information and noted that Cafcass Cymru has published guidance on ‘Children’s Resistance or Refusal to Spend Time with a Parent’ and provided training to its practitioners in how to recognise this issue, in the time that the petition has been under consideration. The Committee has also considered a significant body of correspondence and held evidence sessions with the petitioners, Cafcass Cymru and the (then) Deputy Minister for Social Services. Following a vote, it was the majority view of the Committee that there was little further which could be achieved during the remainder of this Senedd term and that the petition should be closed.


Full details of the consideration of this petitions by the committee and related documents can be seen on the Meetings tab above.

It was first considered by the Petitions Committee on 09/05/2017.


Senedd Constituency and Region

  • West Cardiff
  • South Wales Central


Further information


Business type: Petition

Status: Complete

First published: 26/04/2017