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Voice of the Child Conference 2015

Date:21 JUL 2015
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Journals Manager + Online Editor

The Family Justice Young People's Board (FJYPB) are holding their third annual ‘Voice of the Child’ conference, on Thursday, 23 July 2015 in central London. This year’s theme is 'Effective Participation: Make it happen - Make it better'. Attendees will be encouraged to reflect on their working practice to think about what changes can be made to promote better participation and inclusion from the children and young people that they work with.

The conference is a full-day event being organised and run by members of the FJYPB. There will be an audience of about 300 delegates from a range of professions including judges, barristers, solicitors, social workers, mediators, and more. A large part of the audience will also be made up of children and young people. 

The goal of the conference is to bring together the key professionals in the world of family justice to deliver speeches, participate in discussions and lead workshops. A wide range of key topics will be covered, including raising awareness of the National Charter, Child Inclusive Mediation, the role of children’s solicitors and guardians, the emotional impact of family breakdown, and children meeting the judiciary.

Caroline Dinenage MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Ministry of Justice and MInister for Women and Equalities will get proceedings under way with the welcome address. Other highlights include ‘In their shoes’ where FJYPB members will share their personal experiences of the court process; 'Child Inclusive, Judicial Practice - The Australian Model' a presentation by Australian Federal Circuit Judge Cole Adelaide and a Panel Discussion with a range of high profile contributors. The President of the High Court Family Division, Sir James Munby will give the closing address.

Claire Evans, administrator for FJYPB and the Chief Executive of Cafcass, says:

'We’ve been busy pulling together the conference plan and organising workshops and speakers in order to promote all the fantastic work the FJYPB has been doing to strengthen the voice of the child in the family justice system. One of our workshops will explore child inclusive mediation; another will look at a pilot where children meet the judge in their case and how the practice around this can be improved.

We are lucky to have the President of the Family Division of the High Court joining us, as well as Professor Janet Walker and Alison O’Sullivan from the Association of Directors for Children’s Services. We’re all really excited about the day and it will provide a great opportunity for stakeholders and the FJYPB to discuss their work and important issues affecting children going through a family break-up.'
An account of the conference will be published in the September issue of Family Law.

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