The system of representation where children and young people areprovided with both a social work guardian ad litem and a specialistsolicitor is widely regarded as a model of excellence. However,until now, information about the system and its advantages hastended to neglect the views and experiences of the childrenconcerned. Based on a unique research study, Out of Hearinginvestigates the representation service from the child sperspective. Observations of representatives meetings with theirchild clients and separate interviews with the children and theirrepresentatives paint a disturbing picture of the isolation ofchildren at a time of immense stress and upheaval. Feedback fromchildren about what they considered helpful or unhelpful in theactions of their representatives; their views about reading, or notseeing, court reports about themselves; and their feelings aboutgoing to court, or being excluded from its proceedings, conveypowerful messages to the professionals and practitioners seeking tohelp them. Drawing on these experiences, the authors offerrecommendations for practice and policy to enable children s viewsto be heard more effectively. Providing fresh insight into therepresentation service, Out of Hearing is essential reading forsolicitors, guardians ad litem, social workers, judges,magistrates, policy makers, and academics. It will also be ofinterest to children s rights organisations, young people andcharities.
Whatever one may make of the conclusions of the report, what itundeniably does is paint a very graphic picture indeed of theimpact of the process of care proceedings upon children. For thisreason (if for no other) it should be read by all childcare lawpractitioners. Philip Thomson Head of Legal Services, Essex CountyCouncil The views and aspirations of the children really do shine through;their concerns and their agendas are set out clearly andilluminated vividly. Anna Faulkner Formerly Panel Manager, Innerand North London GALRO Panel
Care Proceedings Listenting to Children - Theoretical Issues Children s Agenda The System s Agenda Becoming a Representative; Representing Children The Children s Agendas Revisited Policy and Practice Issues Appendix I: An Outline of the Research Methods Appendix II: Pen Pictures of the Children in the Study.
Judith Masson is Professor of Law at the University of Warwick, UK. She is an Academic Member of the Judicial Studies Board Family Law Committee and has acted as a specialist advisor on childcare issues for the UK government. She is the author of several books including Out of Hearing, which was published by Wiley in 1999. Maureen Winn Oakley is a member of the faculty of Arts, Society and Professional Studes at Newman University Birmingham. She is a lecturer on working with children, young people and families.