A representative panel of children and young people has called for family law cases not to “drag on” during 2013.
The Young People’s Family Justice Review Board was established by Cafcass and consists of 32 children and young people who have either been through the family court system or who have an interest in the system or children’s rights in general.
The Board has compiled the top five wishes of its members for the family court system during 2013.
They are that:
1/ Cases don’t drag on and are always focused on our needs.
2/ There is more support when we just need to speak to someone.
3/ We find a way for the court to keep us informed about our cases such as when big decisions are going to be made about our lives.
4/ Help is available when things get tough and everyone’s arguments stress us out.
5/ We have a way to tell the people involved in our case about the good and bad bits and know they’d listen.
Board member Kitty Healy said: “Going through a situation like the family courts is undoubtedly tough for everybody involved, especially young people. However, on our Board we believe that if case times are reduced and young people are given the support they need, we can make it easier for the thousands of children and young people who will go through the family courts in 2013.”
Cafcass Chief Executive Anthony Douglas added:
“I agree with the Board on these big issues and I hope that we are able to address them over the next year. We will continue to work to bring case duration times down. Already these have lowered to a national average of 47 weeks for care cases, down from 56 weeks in 2010/11, but there’s much more to be done.”
Photo by Horia Varlan via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence