Children and young people using child contact services should be encouraged to share their views about the Family Justice system.
Children and young people using child contact services should be encouraged to share their views about the Family Justice system. Children are the most important people in the Family Justice system and their voice needs to be heard in proposed reforms to Family Justice, says an independent panel set up to review how it could be reformed. Children and young people are to have their voices heard at the heart of Government as an independent advisor invites them to gives their opinions on reforming the Family Justice System into a service tailored to their needs.
The innovative Young People’s Guide, drawn up by Children’s Rights Director for England Roger Morgan and published today by the independent panel, is written specifically for young people to accompany the interim report published by the Family Justice Review. It gives them a unique opportunity to participate in the ongoing consultation and their views will be given the same consideration by the Panel.
David Norgrove, Chair of the Family Justice Review Panel, said:
“Children are the most important people in the Family Justice system and it is vital that they have a voice in shaping its future. The publication of the Young Person’s Guide gives them this opportunity and the Panel will carefully consider what they say.
“Our recommendations aim to bring children to the forefront by creating greater coherence through organisational change and better management, making the system more able to cope with current and future pressures and diverting more issues away from court where appropriate.”
The recommendations of the review include reforms to the existing Family Justice system to see children and families all the way through the justice system with greater support and more efficiency; reforms to the way existing agencies work with families which deliver results more quickly for children; and a simpler service for families which are separating, aimed at helping them to focus on their children and to reach agreement, if possible without going to court.
Roger Morgan, Children’s Rights Director for England said:
“I spend a lot of time listening to what young people have to say about how they are looked after and reporting these messages to Government. It is essential that children and young people are told about proposals that will directly affect them and that they are given a voice in the decisions which are made about their future, and I am pleased to have played a role in the publication of the Young Person’s Guide to the Family Justice Review.”
The Family Justice Review Panel will make its final recommendations to Governments in England and Wales this autumn.
The Young People’s Guide to the Family Justice Review can be found on the Ministry of Justice website, along with a full summary of the panel’s recommendations: http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications/policy/moj/family-justice-review.htm