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Children seeing judges in family cases

The well known DJ (not the musical ‘DJ’ of course, but ‘District Judge'(Magistrates Court)) Nicholas (Nick) Crichton has written an article for The Barrister magazine here. Nick is a District Judge at the Inner London Family Proceedings Court and has many years of experience handling care proceedings. I can’t ever recall appearing in front of him so can’t add anything personal to the publicly available information. Perhaps some of our readers can???

Seems like there is quite a discourse going on around ‘Enhancing the Participation of Children in Family Proceedings’ that allegedly started in earnest from a debate on the issue at Inner Temple on 20 October 2008.  Notables in attendance included Mr Justice (Sir Mark) Hedley, Mr Justice (Sir Andrew) McFarlane, Anthony Douglas (Chief Executive of CAFCASS), Anthony Hayden QC, Alison Paddle (Former Chair of NAGALRO), Lucy Theis QC (Chair of the Family Law Bar Association), Paul Carr (District Judge), Dr Barbara Mitchels (family solicitor,mediator and psychotherapist) and Dr Danya Glaser (consultant child psychiatrist. I notice that no-one from Families need Fathers was listed but perhaps the list was just the panel members, and not the attendees? Podcast here and abridged transcript here. I note the podcast is hosted by AmazonPR who list both Families need Fathers, the Family Justice Council and Ministry of Justice as recent clients .

Addressing the meeting were two people from the CAFCASS Young People’s Board.

As an aside I wonder how many young people on the board have been prevented from seeing their parents or their extended family, or who have been royally let down by CAFCASS?  I will formally ask that question of Kathryn Grant of CAFCASS and will copy the response to the blog if any arrives. Regardless of the response lets make sure that some young people who have not had their voice heard, or had their voice heard but ignored are on the CAFCASS Young People’s Board. Speak to your children and ask them whether they would like to become involved to ensure a broad view of children’s experiences are included. Not advisable when proceedings are still ongoing…

A job description, application form and recruitment poster are all accessible from this page. Date for applications says 25th July, and not surprisingly for overworked CAFCASS there is no year included.! No doubt that will change unannounced after this post! Even if the date was 2009, let’s ensure that applications come in to ensure this board is representative. All it takes is a few extra chairs Anthony and just think of all the PR you can get from being more inclusive !

I will comment in detail on the subject matter of the consultation anon, so subscribe to the RSS feed or keep checking back to the blog for that.

PS If you read this don’t forget to fill in the poll about Who Submitted Wikipedia as Evidence . Can’t say any more on the poll without making it like one of those easy-peasy ‘This Morning’ quiz phone in questions…

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