Children must be at the heart of the justice system, Family Justice Minister Caroline Dinenage said today.
The comments were made at the third annual ‘Voice of the Child’ conference held by the Family Justice and Young People’s Board (FJYPB) whose aim is to make sure the views of children and young people are listened to in the family justice system.
Today the message was heard loud and clear by Family Justice Minister Caroline Dinenage who attended.
I am privileged to have been invited today, and to meet and hear from some really inspiring young people.
I know only too well the impact that divorce and parental separation can have on a child and young person.
It’s fantastic to see so many young people working alongside professionals from the family justice world – the very people who will be making decisions that affect their lives.
Addressing the group of 43 young people who have had direct experiences of the family justice system the minister acknowledged their contribution on family justice issues and reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to having a court system that both recognises and encourages young people’s views.
The event included a full day of engaging workshops, speeches and activities put on by the board.
FJYPB member Nicole, aged 10, said:
This is a big day for us, we really want to be listened to and work with people who are responsible for making decisions about our lives.
When my mum and dad split up the court said my brother was too young for his side to be heard. This upset me because I was worried that there would be no one to protect him.
I feel like sometimes adults forget that our views are also important. This is why being part of the FJYPB has been fantastic – I finally feel like I am being listened to.
The day was attended by legal professionals, family charities, young people from the board and parents.