Hello, and welcome to another Pre-Spring Monday morning, and our question for this week, which focuses on the relatively new concept in family law, of the voice of the child.
The voice of the child in the family justice system typically refers to the process whereby children in family proceedings can voice their opinion on matters impacting them. This is especially important in adoption cases and divorce or separation cases, where children’s lives are often deeply impacted by decisions made on their behalf by the courts.
Simon Hughes, our justice minister, has spoken several times in the last year on amplifying that voice and making it heard, in a system which often fails to listen carefully to what children are saying and which in turn can lead to poor outcomes for children. His recent initiative, in which he hopes to help children express their wishes and feelings, and give them due weight, is long overdue, but….
Do you think this will make a difference or will nothing change on the ground?