On the whole, family life should be peaceful, where everyone gets along well and there are no issues that require outside intervention. Family relationships may become strained and difficult to maintain at times when there is significant upheaval or difficulty within a family. During such situations, external actors may be necessary in order to help resolve the situation as quickly and effectively as possible.
As far as familial upheaval and its effect on children is concerned, there is a specialist agency known as the Children’s Panel. In instances where concerns exist about a child’s welfare or if it appears that the child will be at particular risk or be vulnerable to harm, decisions are made by the Children’s Panel. Consequently, the Children’s Panel plays an important role, and we need to understand when it and indeed the courts will be required to make decisions regarding children.