For Cafcass practitioners, who work with over 145,000 children each year, children's mental health is a factor in many of the cases they deal with in the family courts, either as an element in proceedings or as a by-product of parental acrimony.
One in ten children aged between five and 16 have a clinically diagnosed mental health problem. Half of those with lifetime mental illness first experienced symptoms by the age of 14. It is an area which often requires specialist support services outside of increasingly swift court processes. It is also an area which is gaining an increasing profile, publicly and politically.
The Department of Health recently released its 25 priorities for mental health, inclusive of children and young people. The Time to Change campaign by Rethink and Mind has been praised for raising awareness and de-stigmatising mental health, and the Commons' health committee has launched an inquiry into children's mental health.