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Children deserve better from family justice system

The family justice system needs significant reform to tackle delays and ensure that children and families get the service they deserve, says an independent panel set up to review how the system works.

 

The panel, who have now published their interim report, have recommended a package of proposals aimed at improving children's and families' experience of the system. A public consultation on these proposals is now underway.

 

During a year of speaking to children, parents and the dedicated people who work in family justice, the panel have found the system isn't working to the full benefit of the children it is designed to help. This is because the system is too complicated, with overlapping structures and a lack of shared goals and objectives. The panel found this was causing harmful delays for vulnerable children and adults.

 

The Family Justice Review panel will make its final recommendations to governments in England and Wales this autumn. The interim report makes the following headline recommendations:

 

  • A simpler system to deliver an improved service.
  • Public law (protecting children and taking them into care) that delivers more quickly for children.
  • A simpler service for families which are separating, aimed at helping them to focus on their children and to reach agreement, if possible without going to court.
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