Children caught up in the family justice system want their cases dealt with faster and with greater support throughout the process, according to a board made up of 32 young people with direct experience of the system or an interest in children’s rights.

The Family Justice System Young People’s Board, established by the advisory service Cafcass, has published a wish list of how it would like the family justice system to operate in the coming year.

The board’s top five wishes are that:

  • Cases do not drag on and are always focused on our needs;
  • There is more support when we just need to speak to someone;
  • We find a way for the court to keep us informed about cases, such as when big decisions are going to be made about our lives;
  • Help is available when things get tough and everyone’s arguments stress us out;
  • We have a way to tell the people involved in our case about the good and bad bits, and know they would listen.
Cafcass chief executive Anthony Douglas said that he hoped to be able to address these issues over the next year. Average case times have already fallen to 47 weeks for care cases, down from 56 weeks in 2010/11, he said, ‘but there’s much more to be done’.