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ERIC Number: EJ880777
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Apr
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 46
ISSN: ISSN-1357-5279
Reflections of a "Guardian Ad Litem" on the Participation of Looked-After Children in Public Law Proceedings
Donnelly, Cathy
Child Care in Practice, v16 n2 p181-193 Apr 2010
There is much debate about the rights of children relating to the nature and degree of their participation in Public Law Proceedings. Articles 12 (1) and 12 (2) of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989 emphasise that children should be involved in decision-making about their welfare; and children who are capable of expressing their views should be given an opportunity to be heard in legal proceedings. This article is based on the reflective experience of a Guardian Ad Litem regarding the participation of "looked-after children" in Public Law Proceedings. It considers the nature and extent of variation in the elicitation, interpretation and use of a child's views, including the various expectations and misconceptions that may arise due to a lack of understanding and appreciation about the way in which to "weight" and use respectfully a child's wishes and feelings. There appears to be considerable variation in the way in which a child's expression of their "wishes and feelings" is used in the decision-making process. For example, one approach perceives a child as having an unequivocal right to have their views considered as the primary factor in decisions about their welfare while another approach holds that the views of relevant adults relative to children's views should have prominence in the decision-making process. Whilst it is important and beneficial to elicit children's views, due attention and care needs to be given to informing children appropriately about the weight that will be given to the expression of their wishes and feelings in decisions about their welfare, including the possibility that a final decision may not concur with their views.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom; United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child