Beyond 2017: the FJYPB set their priorities for the year ahead

2017 was another busy year for the Family Justice Young People’s Board (FJYPB). We completed an extraordinary 161 commissions over the course of the year, an average of 13 commissions per month across England and Wales. Wow!! Commissions are varied. They range from undertaking court reviews and office ‘takeovers’ to delivering presentations at training events and conferences. We have also continued to develop resources such as our Top tips aimed at professionals working with children and young people.

We have continued to work closely with Cafcass in a number of different ways from developing these tips to working closely on recruitment panels and with Area Quality Review teams. We are currently working with the Cafcass National Improvement Service to develop a voice of the child eLearning module for practitioners and we expect more opportunities to arise over the next year.

Our recently published annual review sets out our work in 2017 and the impact this has had across the family justice system. Not only did we reflect on achievements, the review provided an opportunity to explore how we can continue developing and increasing awareness of the issues most affecting children and young people in the family courts. Every year we agree our priorities for the year ahead and set about achieving these goals to ensure the voice of the child remains central through continued work with Cafcass and other agencies.

These priorities are young-person led and Emma, FJYPB member, enjoyed having this hands-on role. “It’s really exciting to have a direct say in what the FJYPB will focus on over the next year. It’s a tough task to agree on only five priorities, but I think we have done well to cover a lot of important issues that affect children and young people and I look forward to the year ahead.”

Our priorities for 2018 are:

  1. Work collaboratively with the Department for Education to increase awareness within schools of the issues facing children and young people in family justice and how schools can support them.
  2. Raise awareness of the impact of family breakdown on children and young people’s mental health and how professionals can support children and young people to build their own resilience.
  3. Raise awareness of the impact of domestic abuse on children and young people.
  4. Work with agencies to develop understanding and practice as to how and when a child should be involved in their case.
  5. Explore alternative funding options and ways to make the FJYPB more sustainable.

You can find out more about these priorities and how we aim to achieve them by the annual review 2018, in our 2017 report.

From the FJYPB

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