The Guide will be formally launched in NSW at the NSW Legal Aid Child Representation Conference in November 2017 and then nationally at the National ICL Conference in 2018.
In 2014 LANSW entered into a collaboration with the Centre for Children and Young People (CCYP) at Southern Cross University led by , Professor Anne Graham, Professor Judy Cashmore of Sydney University, Dr Donnah Anderson of Charles Sturt University and Assoc Professor Felicity Graham of University of Wollongong. The aim was to research and identify practices and approaches to child representation that best facilitate children’s participation in family law matters.
In 2015 a literature review undertaken by Assoc Professor Felicity Bell was published examining existing research about children and young people’s involvement with a child representative during legal processes and identifying elements of good practice. The second part of the project involved consultation with ICLs and the development of an online survey for administration to children in family law proceedings. The survey was rolled out between April and October 2016 and administered to 54 children and young people accessing legal aid services across NSW Legal Aid offices. The insights gained from the literature review and survey results informed the development of the Good Practice Guide.
We hope the guide proves a stimulus for ICLs and others to reflect on the ways they currently engage with children and how this may impact on children’s understanding and experience of family law processes. We hope you find the Guide and aide memoire useful tools in your child representation practice.