Our website is set to allow the use of cookies. For more information and to change settings click here. If you are happy with cookies please click "Continue" or simply continue browsing. Continue.

Family Law

The leading authority on all aspects of family law

28 OCT 2014

Hearing the voices of children and young people in dispute resolution processes: promoting a child-inclusive approach (£)

Hearing the voices of children and young people in dispute resolution processes: promoting a child-inclusive approach (£)
Family Law

JANET WALKER OBE, Emeritus Professor of Family Policy, Institute of Health and Society, Newcastle University 
ANGELA LAKE-CARROLL, Independent Consultant, Mediator and Trainer

In July 2014, the Coalition Government outlined its commitment to children having a greater voice in family justice proceedings, heralding changes for all family law practitioners. Earlier in 2014, we reviewed child-inclusive practice for the Mediation Task Force, having consulted mediators and members of the Family Justice Young People’s Board. The young people expressed strong views about wanting the opportunity to communicate with those making decisions about their future and, importantly, were unanimous that mediators should talk to children. Innovations in other jurisdictions have shown that child-inclusive practice has positive outcomes for children and their parents and that children can participate safely and constructively. Yet few children here are offered the opportunity to be heard either in dispute resolution processes or the courts.

We discovered a number of confusions that inhibit child-inclusive practice, primarily relating to its purpose, confidentiality and privilege, and its place within the family justice system as a whole, and noted that child-inclusive practice is based on out-of-date guidelines and limited training. If the Government’s policy commitment is to be realised, guidelines and protocols must be updated, training for family law professionals increased and, most importantly, the culture which tends to exclude children and young people from family justice proceedings must be reversed.

The full version of this article appears in the November 2014 issue of Family Law.

For details on how you can subscribe to Family Law or for any offers, please contact a member of our sales team: Tel 0117 918 1555, or email: sales.manager@jordanpublishing.co.uk
DIY Divorce and Separation

DIY Divorce and Separation

The expert guide to representing yourself

If you are looking to represent yourself in court this book will de-mystify the legal process and...

Family Court Practice, The

(Red Book)

The Red Book is the acknowledged authority on practice and procedure

More Info from £498.00
Available in Family Law Online
Subscribe to our newsletters