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Safeguarding: Children and the Courts

Children and the Court System

Children are sometimes required to give evidence in criminal courts, either for crimes committed against them or for any crimes they have witnessed. There are two age appropriate guides to support children 5-11-year olds and 12-17 year olds which explain each step of the process, support and special measures that are available.

Making child arrangements via the family courts following separation can be stressful and entrench conflict in families. This can be stressful for children. The Ministry of Justice has launched an online child arrangements information tool with clear and concise information on the dispute resolution service which may be useful to share with parents and carers.

Children with Family Members in Prison

Approximately 200,000 children in England and Wales have a parent sent to prison each year. These children are at risk of poor outcomes including poverty, stigma, isolation and poor mental health.

The National Information Centre on Children of Offenders, NICCO provides information designed to support professionals working with offenders and their children, to help mitigate negative consequences for those children.