During the third webinar, 78% of FJYPB members felt their views were overlooked by professionals in their proceedings. Shouldn’t such a big decision influencing a child’s life be guided by the child themselves?
We also discussed how the Family Courts tend to be parent-led and can have a ‘pro-contact’ culture, leaving the child feeling ignored. One board member said “they gave him even more control over me.”
To ensure decisions are made in the best interest of the child, I think it is important to:
- Ask ‘what does the child want?’ – let the child express themself through letters, pictures or speaking to them directly without their parents.
- Remember that case files are not the child speaking; get a first-hand account of the child – they were there, the social worker wasn’t.