The perceived utility value of two attachment measures in care and contact recommendations by family counsellors: A pilot study
Currently in the South-African context, more than 52% of divorces involve children. This reality created a need for family counsellors to mediate and inform the court on the best interest of affected children concerning care and contact decisions post-divorce. In the current practice at the Family Advocates offices, no validated attachment measures are used to determine the caregiver-child attachment. The lack of validated attachment measures in care and contact recommendations is a concern, since research indicates that the better the attachment with a caregiver, the better the post-divorce adaption of the children. This study explored the perceived utility value of two attachment measures (Parental Bonding Instrument and Child-Parent Relationship scale) in care and contact recommendations of family counsellors. This was achieved through training family counsellors to use the Parental Bonding Instrument and Child-Parent Relationship scale as part of their care and contact assessments. In addition to following their usual assessment protocol, the family counsellors applied these measures, albeit only for the purpose of the research. The researcher then collected data through conducting semi-structured qualitative interviews with the family counsellors. The qualitative interviews reflected on their opinions and experiences about the value of these measures in making recommendations about the care and contact of children. This study has the potential to inform the current practice of the family counsellors in order to have an evidence-based assessment with regards to care and contact recommendations. Evidence-based assessments carry a bigger weight as evidence in court, making recommendations more credible.
- Health Sciences 
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