Meta Title :Scottish Parliament introduce Children Bill
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Sep 5, 2019, 15:42 PM
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The new legislation, introduced to the Scottish Parliament on 2 September 2019, aims to ensure that children’s best interests are at the centre of every family law case and that children’s views are heard by the court. The proposals include regulation of child contact centres to ensure they are safe places for children to meet family members.
Child welfare reporters, who may be appointed when the court has been asked to resolve a dispute between parents, will also be regulated. This will ensure reporters are trained to understand and respond to issues such as domestic abuse and coercive control.
Other improvements for domestic abuse victims and their children
include allowing special measures such as screens and a live video links to be
used in Child Welfare Hearings, and prohibiting a party from conducting their
own case if there is a vulnerable witness.
Safety Minister Ash Denham said: ‘We know that family breakdown can be very
upsetting for children. It is our responsibility to ensure the family justice
system is supportive and does not contribute to their distress. That means
putting the best interests of the child first in every case and ensuring their
voice is heard, including younger children. Children’s welfare is paramount and
we have been guided by their views and experiences in developing this bill.
More than half of responses to the consultation came via our child-friendly