Children are the most important people in the family justice system and their voice needs to be heard in proposed reforms.
The innovative ‘Young People’s Guide’, published today by an independent panel, is written specifically for young people and in language they can understand.
It accompanies the interim report published by the Family Justice Review and gives children a unique opportunity to participate in the ongoing consultation.
Their views will be given the same consideration by the Panel as an independent advisor invites them to gives their opinions on reforming the Family Justice System into a service tailored to their needs.
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.
‘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 panel include giving better support to families, reforms to the way existing agencies work with families 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 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.