Why children’s telephone line will provide vital feedback
A new dedicated telephone line seeking feedback from children and young people involved in family court proceedings is a much needed and welcome development.
The ‘Hear to Listen’ service has been launched by Cafcass, the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service, England’s biggest employer of qualified social workers.
Representing children in family court cases in England, Cafcass independently advises family courts on children’s best interests to ensure their voices are heard in the family justice system.
Children can contact the new facility during or after their proceedings. They can comment and feedback on how Cafcass has listened to them and understood what life is like for them during the proceedings.
Putting children’s best interests first in relationship breakdowns and ensuring they have a voice goes to the heart of Jones Myers’ ethos and our sustained commitment to deliver excellence.
Our acclaimed Children’s Department, acknowledged as “particularly famed for its ability to handle complicated children cases” (Legal 500 guide), has extensive expertise in children law across Private and Public Law.
Our specialisms include residence, contact, relocation, international child abduction, adoption, and child protection – which requires balancing parents’ rights while ensuring children are protected from significant harm.
As well as acting for parents and grandparents, we also represent children, through their court appointed Children’s Guardians allocated by Cafcass. If the child is of a significant age and maturity, then we also represent the child separately.
Jones Myers Partner, Anthony Parrish, said: This telephone line is a major step forward in ensuring that children have felt listened to by the courts and the various professionals involved in court proceedings concerning them.
“It has to be remembered that the main ethos of the Children Act 1989 is the children’s welfare is paramount and this allows children an increased voice in proceedings. It will be invaluable in improving the already excellent service that Cafcass provide children in proceedings.
“It is my experience that in proceedings, children very much value the ability to express their views on what is happening to them either directly to their Children’s Guardian or to their solicitor representing them. This new initiative adds an extra layer to this inclusivity.”
Jacky Tiotto, Chief Executive of Cafcass which supports over 140,000 children a year, says obtaining feedback from children is a priority.
“We are working harder to develop as many opportunities as we can to enable children to explain to us what makes the most positive difference to them through their court proceedings.
“Our responsibilities include, understanding what life is like for them, whether they are safe, and what is in their best future interests. Our analysis of what they and their families say to us informs our recommendations to the family court.
“Children’s feedback about how well we do this and what needs to improve offers us an unmissable chance to develop the best help and support we can offer.”
The ‘Hear to Listen’ call line is contactable on 0330 403 0300. It is open 9am – 5pm Monday to Thursday, and 9am – 4:30pm on Fridays.
For queries on children law or family law, call us on 0113 246 0055 (Leeds), 01423 276104 (Harrogate), or 01904 202550 (York). Visit www.jonesmyers.co.uk, email email@example.com or tweet us @helpwithdivorce Jones Myers blog is ranked 9th in the UK’s Best 25 family law blogs and websites to follow in 2022