Family Justice Young People’s Board
The Family Justice Young People’s Board
We are the Family Justice Young People’s Board (FJYPB). We are a group of over 75 children and young people aged between seven and 25 years old who live across England and Wales. All of our members have either had direct experience of the family justice system or have an interest in children’s rights and the family courts.
Our overall aim is to support the work of the Family Justice Board to deliver improvements to the family justice system so that it provides the best experience and outcomes for children who come into contact with it.
We work hard to help ensure that the work of the Family Justice Board is child-centred and child-inclusive. We do this by participating in all its meetings to enable young people to have a direct say in its work. In doing this we work closely with other young people’s groups and stakeholders within family justice.
What is it like to be part of the FJYPB?
“I really enjoy being a member of the FJYPB. It is really fun and amazing. It has so many rewards and we have the privilege of working with some really awesome people. I stand tall and proud as a member of the FJYPB and I feel united with fellow members at getting our voices heard. It’s amazing to see our voices and the voices of other children having an impact on key services for children and young people. We are helping to change our futures and how children are both seen and heard.”
— FJYPB member, aged 15
“Being part of the FJYPB is a brilliant, amazing and awesome opportunity. I take part in lots of interesting projects representing and making sure the child’s voice is heard. It’s a very rewarding role and is a fabulous and fun opportunity.”
— FJYPB member, aged 8
We work to promote the voice of children and young people that experience family breakdown including those children and young people who are involved in family court proceedings. We do this by actively taking part in various meetings, projects and events, and working together with various agencies and organisations. Below are a few examples of what we do.
- Sharing personal experiences of proceedings
Members bravely share their experiences and key messages to professionals to highlight the areas where improvement is needed. Some members experiences also feature in our book - ‘In Our Shoes’
- Professional training
Deliver presentations and targeted and interactive workshops.
The FJYPB regularly participates on interview panels to recruit new members of staff for Cafcass, including Family Court Advisers (FCAs) and senior managers.
- Consultations and research
The FJYPB takes part in funded research projects. Members will share views and opinions for targeted consultations.
- Policy development
The FJYPB is involved with policy development for various organisations and agencies.
Who We Work With
The FJYPB works with a range of family justice organisations and agencies. These include, but are not limited to:
- Cafcass Cymru
- Ministry of Justice
- Family Justice Board
- Department for Education
- Local authorities.
The FJYPB National Charter aims to strengthen professional practice. It sets out the aspirations that children and young people want from family justice services such as the Ministry of Justice, the Department for Education, the judiciary (judges and magistrates) and many more. It is our aim that our charter will help improve children and young people’s experience of the family courts and dispute resolution services.
We have put together a very useful glossary explaining some of the words and phrases which children and young people may hear during a family court case and may have difficulty understanding.
Mind your Language!
We’ve put together a list of words and phrases that we would like to encourage all professionals to stop using when they are speaking to young people and children and when they refer to them in their reports, on file and to other professionals. Mind your language
Each year the FJYPB sets out the priorities for our work. This helps us to focus on what we think is of most importance to children and young people in that year and what we can do to help support professionals to achieve this. Setting these priorities also gives us an opportunity to reflect on the work we have done and the impact that the FJYPB have had across the family justice system.
Our Top Tips for Professionals
We have developed a range of top tips aimed at professionals working with children and young people. Check out our top tips posters and short films by visiting this page.
In addition, we are currently developing more top tips focusing on:
- Best practice for professionals working with migrant and refugee children and young people
- Best practice tips for social workers (in local authorities) working with children and young people
Voice of the Child Conference
The annual FJYPB Voice of the Child conference is completely led, organised, and run by members of the FJYPB, with an audience of about 200 delegates including senior figures and family justice professionals. Find out more about the conferences here.
FJYPB Guide to Cafcass’ Together Practice Framework
Cafcass’ relationship-based practice framework is called Together with children and families (or Together). Together applies to the work of every individual in Cafcass, no matter their role or function. It is especially relevant to anyone working with children and families. You can read more about this here: FJYPB quick guide to Cafcass’ Together Practice Framework.