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Improvements to the family care and justice system proposed

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Friday 19 August 2022

Proposed changes to the family care and justice system have been submitted by the Committee for Health & Social Care, for consideration by the States of Deliberation at its meeting on 28 September, 2022.

The changes proposed by the Committee for Health & Social Care predominantly focus on the public family law aspects of the Children (Guernsey and Alderney) Law, 2008, which involves state intervention in the lives of children and their families. The changes seek to reduce unnecessary delays within the system and make improvements in how the system operates, mostly through suggesting amendments to the Children Law.

The Children Law has been in place for twelve years and has been subject to several reviews. The most recent of which was an extensive, independent review of the whole family care and justice system, known as the Outcomes Report, which is also published today.

Following prioritisation of the work as a top 10 priority for government, as part of the Government Work Plan in 2021, The Children & Young People's Board was established. The Board, a cross-Committee group with representation from several Principal Committees involved in the system, has steered the work and finalised this first suite of changes. The Board engaged extensively with professionals to assess the impacts of the changes put forwards under this phase of the work.

Deputy Tina Bury, Vice-President of the Committee for Health & Social Care, said:

'The changes being proposed to the Children Law and the processes involved should greatly improve the wellbeing and outcomes for children involved in the family care and justice system. We know that children involved in the family care and justice system are amongst the most vulnerable in our society, so it's vital that the Children Law and processes work as smoothly as possible so that children and their families are given the care and support they need at the right time.

On behalf of the Committee for Health & Social Care I would like to thank all those who contributed to these improvements.'

Children & Young People's Board Member, Deputy Sue Aldwell, added:

'It has been a pleasure to be part of the Children & Young People's Board and support the work to make improvements to our family care and justice system and for vulnerable children in particular. In my capacity as representative on the Board for the Committee for Home Affairs, it has been invaluable to work collaboratively across government and agencies on this important aspect of our justice system.'

More information can be found at: www.gov.gg/familycareandjustice

The Policy Letter can be found here: Review of the Children Law and Outcomes.

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