Young people’s thoughts should be heard during court decisions

Listening to the wishes of young people involved in court care and contact proceedings must be “integrated and CC Live logo articleintertwined” with safeguarding and welfare issues, delegates heard today at Community Care Live 2006.

Christine Smart, children’s rights director at the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service, said the organisation’s “biggest challenge” was to translate what young people wanted into its service and make it “relevant to them”.

“We don’t want to be tokenistic,” she said. “We want our very limited resources to go into engaging children to get a better understanding of what they want.”

She said this was why Cafcass was refocusing its work to concentrate less on writing reports and more on the wishes and feelings of children.

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