Miss Bushellis very experienced, intelligent, well read and informed, and very impressive and persuasive both on paper and in presence. She attended court on a number of occasions, and spoke confidently and with authority and gravitas to the judge. She was always very careful to be fair to both parties, and acted at all times in the best interests of the child.”
Ms R, Senior Counsel, London
“I have the highest regard for
Alison’swork and integrity. She is extremely competent, very child focussed and has boundless energy.
Alisonis particularly good at building a rapport with families in very difficult circumstances, whatever the nature of the allegations or difficulties they are experiencing. Her inter-personal skills are second to none. She is highly articulate and very bright.
Further she is extremely good at court based work and not intimidated by the nature of the often distressing and hostile litigation involved in her work. It is also right to say she has commanded the respect of the court, I cannot recollect a case where her recommendations were not ultimately followed.”
Ms W, QC, London
“I was initially wary of our instructing
Alisonas the expert as she had been suggested by my ex husbands lawyers and I thought she might not be impartial as they are known to deal with parental alienation. However the judge spoke highly of her and it was eventually agreed that she do the assessment of our family. I am now glad that she was chosen as she was lovely and the boys took to her straight away. She brought Captain the little dog and that broke the ice as they had been nervous about meeting her.
Alisonis clearly very experienced and was scrupulously fair to everyone. Her recommendations were fair and the follow up support was excellent.
I have in fact recently recommended her to a family friend who is in a similar situation”
Mrs K, Bournemouth
"Having been involved in supporting parents in family courts for over 20 years, I consider
Alison Bushellas an expert in her field. She has an innate feeling for what is right, combined with a passion for children's welfare."
E J. ‘Family Court Help’
"A passionate advocate for children and their unalienable rights to have a safe relationship with both parents post separation.
Alisonis pragmatic and skilful in her approach placing the wellbeing of children at the centre of her work"
P.O. Alienated father and shared parenting advocate.
"I heard from a
Miss Clarissa Stevens.She is a family support worker.
She is employed by a respected organisation called Child & Family Solutions which emphasises focus on the subject child and it is directed by a very experienced and respected social worker.
A little while ago Ms Stevens became concerned about the impact of contact and the arrangements on H. She was, I find, entirely correct to be concerned.
She is not a social worker. She has essentially experience with children of a variety of ages and a wealth of backgrounds.
The document that she presented is a litany of her concerns, it is not balanced, it is not measured, it is not analytical as (counsel for one parent) eloquently demonstrated, but neither was it intended to be. It was simply setting out what her concerns were in relation to H.
The concerns that Clarissa Stevens highlights point generally to a persistent anxiety that L is controlling of contact. That he uses his control as the parent with whom H lives to exercise authority over his former partner. Miss Stevens will have seen this, as I have, on many occasions in the past. I am entirely persuaded by her that that is precisely what L does."
Taken direct from the judgment ( anonymised by CFS) of a High Court Judge sitting in the Family Division 2020
"My ex wife didn't want me to see my children. She made false allegations to try to stop me from seeing them. After two years the court granted for me to see them, but by then my children believed I was a horrible bad person that didn't know how to love them properly.
Luckily, my solicitor recommend that I use a family support worker in the first few months of reconnecting with my children to avoid any further false allegations and to help me with any tricky situations with my girls. He suggested I use
Alisonand her team as he had worked with them before. I am so so grateful to
My children were still being encouraged to dislike me and
Ashleyhelped us through that. She wrote detailed reports on everything that was said and it made it clear that I was being alienated from my children.
Juniorencouraged my ex wife to stop alienating the girls from me.
I now see them every week and they no longer believe I'm a bad father. We're close again and they look forward to spending time with me.
It's been a very difficult journey and I wouldn't now have the relationship I have with my girls if it wasn't for
Juniorhelping us through that.
If you’re reading this because you're trying to find someone to support you in reconnecting with your children then I cannot recommend
Mr S, Herts
Alisonand her team were appointed by the Court to assist in a very challenging and highly-charged case of suspected parental alienation, in which there had already been several court hearings and the children were increasingly resistant to spending time with their father. By the time
Alisonbecame involved, the relationship between the children and their father had effectively broken down completely and it was hard to see a positive outcome to the court proceedings. We were swiftly heading to a costly and damaging final hearing, which would further polarise the parties and even if the father obtained the order he sought, he feared it was likely to be ignored by the mother and/or resisted by the children.
Alisonand her team worked closely with both parties, gaining their trust and co-operation and providing recommendations to resolve the children’s issues with their father. The children were initially very resistant to these recommendations, but
Alisonand her team provided support and advice throughout, which enabled the parents to deal effectively with the challenging situations that arose.
The parents have now just filed a consent order agreeing all matters and the children have a flourishing and positive relationship with their father once more. I do not believe this would have been possible without the expert involvement of
Alisonand her team."
"I highly recommend CFS.
The best decision I made was to engage Child and Family Solutions Ltd. After 8 years of family court proceedings I eventually found a person in
Alisonwho was experienced, knowledgable and not easily swayed or pressurised by parents (my ex partner being a solicitor) but maintained a professional approach which was always child focused.
I now enjoy great time with my daughter and continue to build on that knowing that I can always approach
Alisonand her team for further assistance in the future.
The unfortunate reality is the courts and cafcass are overworked so meaningful conclusions are delayed for many years. I was close to giving up any hope that contact could meaningfully progress but
Alisonand her team cut through the bureaucracy by providing an accurate, child focussed, picture to the decision makers so informed decisions could be made.
My only regret is that I wish
Alisonwas engaged earlier so precious years between me and my daughter were not lost. If possible, avoid cafcass and try to get
Alisonengaged as soon as you can. If you have limited resources, this is where your money is best spent, more so than even a barrister.
That being said my barrister said "thats one of the best ISWs I've heard giving evidence, she was undeterred and was brilliant".
Juniorfor your professionalism and help to promote my relationship with my daughter. We are both very grateful.”
Mr D. Suffolk
Sophiewas so good with the children, she made it a positive experience for them to talk about their wishes in such a difficult situation.”
Miss K, S.E London
Sophiekept the boys centre of her enquiries and has enabled them to have a voice in the court case.”
Dr P, Maidstone
Sophiefor your time on this case and for speaking to the children, you have been excellent to deal with, very sensitive and sympathetic.”
Mrs H, London
Sophiefor all you have done for our family. I wasn't optimistic at the start of this but having you assess the children's situation has been helpful. Myself and S’s mum have been able to reflect on your conclusion that it was our conflict that was causing the issues for the children and your suggestions and advice have been invaluable”
Mr S, Kent
"I have suffered with anxiety & depression since I was 16 and have usually been able to control it quite well. Until recently, I worked as a staff ICU nurse for 2.5 years in the critical care unit at an oncology hospital. I loved my job and although it was sad sometimes, I found it rewarding.”
"Unfortunately, a couple of months after the pandemic began I was in my most anxious state of my life. I felt completely lost at work and would spend half my shift crying under my PPE because of fear of the unknown, being stuck in full PPE for hours on end, understaffing, and consistent poor outcomes for patients, as well as just general heightened anxiety that I didn’t know how to cope with. I was really at a low in my life and had to take a couple of months off work on stress leave. When I came back i managed my stress but never felt the passion I had for being a nurse as I had before the pandemic. ??In November, someone informed me of ‘frontline 19’ but to be honest I’d had counsellors and spoke with therapists before but I never found them useful so doubted this would be much different but I was desperate. I was surprised how quickly I was given someone to talk to and was apprehensive about our first conversation, thinking nobody understood and nothing would help.
I was given
Mike Flinnas a counsellor and I cannot tell you how grateful I am for the support he gave me, and for your service as a whole. I’ve never been able to speak to a therapist without feeling embarrassed or like it’s a waste of time but Mike made me feel at ease straight away. He reassured me that I wasn’t the only one going through the emotions I was going through and he gave me tips, thoughts and ideas that changed my anxious behaviours and helped me cope. Things he taught me are now part of my daily routine.
I’ve never been able to tell a professional how I truly feel until my sessions with him. He always made me feel like he cared and was listening but was also very professional and gave me great advice. I spoke with him weekly, to two weekly from November until April when we last spoke and I felt like I didn’t need any more support for now. He was always keen to check in on how I was doing, making it clear we could talk as little or as much as I wanted, and he made me understand what I was going through.
I’ve never been able to understand why I feel a certain way until I had someone to talk to who had the patience to listen to my whole story, who was empathic and gave me really good advice and tips to manage the feelings I was having. He also shared stories about when he had been through relatable times (whilst keeping it professional and confidential of course) and this really helped me feel like I wasn’t alone in the way I felt. I just want to send you my thoughts and praise from the bottom of my heart, I’m in a new role as a research nurse for breast cancer now but I feel so passionate about it and love it and I honestly don’t think I’d be at this point without the support he gave me. He helped me find the confidence to return to work and to help find the passion I had for nursing.
I don’t know if you give out awards but if you do he seriously deserves one. Thank you so so much for the service you provide, I’m sure you’ve helped so many people like me all around the country. I recommend you to everyone. I’m so grateful. Thank you.”
"So grateful to
Emmafor her support and giving me an understanding of the abuse and trauma I have lived with and continue to go through, not excuses but an understanding.
Emmahas given me coping mechanisms to move forward for my own well being and to help guide my children through the emotional roller coaster as our abuser will not change but we can. Slowly I am building confidence and strength to move on and accept this is not my fault.”
Ms. H, Surrey
Emmais exceptional I was nervous to see a counsellor and open up but it has helped drastically. She immediately made me feel at ease and quickly built up a rapport. She is attentive with a kind caring nature, empathetic, warm, understanding and genuine with a wealth of knowledge. She is supporting me through what has been the hardest time in my life, without her support I could not have come this far and I could not be more grateful for her. Highly recommended!”
Mr K, London
"Could not recommend
Emmaenough. We were lucky to stumble upon her through the sheer luck of Google and she promptly responded with availability.
Emmagave us a free 10 minute consultation on the phone to discuss what we wanted out of the process and really listened to our needs.
Emmais incredibly easy to warm to and made us feel instantly at ease and able to discuss any topic. We only worked with
Emmafor a short time (3 months) and she has completely revolutionised a couple of aspects that we needed to work on. We could not be happier to have gone through this insightful and educational process and without a doubt it has made us stronger and closer than ever before. Thank you
Emma, we will always be very grateful for your help.”
Mrs and Mrs N, Farnham
Juniorworked with my family over a two year period, although this was a difficult, emotional and challenging time for my children and I, from my very first meeting with
AlisonI was put at ease. It was clear from that first meeting that
Alison'sfocus was on the children’s best interest and she showed over time that she would act with compassion and impartiality.
Although initially apprehensive, my children soon felt comfortable chatting with
Alisonmy daughter who was then 14 said “Alison was very caring and I always felt she wanted to help us”.
Juniorlater became involved with my family, he immediately established a rapport with the children - my 11 year old son said of him “Although the situation was stressful, I liked chatting with
Junior, he used to make me laugh a lot and I always felt he listened to what I was saying”.
Throughout the whole process the emphasis and focus was always on what’s best for the children, and during this time the children grew quite fond of both
Mr G, Sussex