Following the publication of the Family Justice Review in November 2011, a Family Justice Network for Wales was established in May 2012.
The network brings together agencies within the family justice system in Wales to:
- provide a local community of understanding and common purpose to improve services for children and families in Wales;
- complement, support and inform the work of the Family Justice Board for England and Wales;
- unblock barriers and deliver specific actions from the Family Justice Review;
- identify, share and monitor local best practice and intelligence; and
- build relationships and achieve greater coherence across agencies to improve local performance and practice.
The Care Council for Wales’s website (external link) holds a number of key resources to support the training and learning of social workers in family justice.
The first meeting of the Family Justice Network in Wales has taken place.
Sunday 20 May 2012
Following the publication of the UK Government response to the Family Justice Review in England and Wales, a major programme is underway to reform the family justice system which aims to strengthen parenting, tackle delays and simplify the current system.
In Wales, the establishment of a Family Justice Network was announced by the Deputy Minister for Social Services and Children to deliver improvements in the service and outcomes for children and families who come into contact with the system in Wales.
The network brings together key partners in the family justice system in Wales to work together to:
- secure the commitment of key agencies within devolved aspects of the family justice system in Wales to deliver specific actions from the Family Justice Review;
- provide a forum to share best practice, whilst build improved relationships and greater cross-agency coherence, tackle variations in local performance and practice; and
- provide a link between the Family Justice Board at the England and Wales level and local family justice operational boards in Wales, which will oversee the operation of family justice in their local areas.
Membership of the network includes representation from CAFCASS Cymru, the Children’s Commissioner, Local Government, Police, Legal Services Commission, HMCTS and the judiciary as observers.
Deputy Minister Gwenda Thomas said:
“Improving the safeguarding and welfare of children and young people is central to our Programme for Government and my vision for Sustainable Social Services for Wales.
“We are working towards a family justice system which delivers an effective service to children and families in a timely and responsive way.
“I’d like to thank the members for accepting the invitation to join the network and taking the lead in driving the reform of the Wales aspects of our family justice system.”
Monday 06 February 2012
The Deputy Minister for Children and Social Services, Gwenda Thomas, has emphasised that the rights and voices of children must be at the heart of the family justice system in Wales.
In a written statement to the National Assembly on the day that the UK Government’s response to the recommendations of the Family Justice Review was published, the Deputy Minister announced the creation of a new Family Justice Network for Wales and welcomed that the review recognised the benefits of preserving the provision of expert independent social work advice to the courts in Wales by CAFCASS Cymru through Welsh Ministers.
Gwenda Thomas said:
“The review recommendations reflect the very broad field it was asked to consider. The Family Justice system is a highly-complex area crossing both devolved and non-devolved matters, and both public and private law. The Review recognised that it is a system that is not working as well as it should and is under ever greater strain I am pleased that we have been able to positively influence the UK Government’s response to the Review.
“Improving the safeguarding and welfare of children and young people is central to our Programme for Government and my vision for a Sustainable Social Services for Wales. The creation of a Family Justice Board, therefore, will provide greater leadership and co-ordination within the system and we will have key representation from Wales on this Board.
“The Family Justice Network I am announcing today will further support and inform the work of the Family Justice Board and the contribution of the Welsh representatives which sit on it.”
The Family Justice Review was jointly commissioned by Welsh and UK Governments early in 2010. The final report of the Review was published in November 2011. It is this final report that the UK Government has responded to today.
The Deputy Minister added:
“We are working towards a Family Justice system which delivers an effective service to children and families in a timely and responsive way. The rights and voices of children must be at the heart of this.”
“I will be making a further announcement about the actions we intend to take in respect of the reviews findings for Wales in due course.”