Recording of children and young people's views in contact decision making

Porter, Robert Benjamin (2019) Recording of children and young people's views in contact decision making. British Journal of Social Work. ISSN 0045-3102 (In Press)

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    Abstract

    Children and young people have a right for their views to be heard and considered in decisions affecting their welfare. One way of demonstrating that views have been considered is for these views to be represented in written documents related to the decision. This paper studied the paperwork associated with 2.003 contact recommendations resulting in 1,786 contact decisions made in over 1,200 Children’s Hearings in Scotland. These recommendations and decisions related to 160 children and young people who had a contact decision in 2016/17. Data on contact directions, views, recommendations and decisions were extracted from case files held by the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration’s Case Management System. It is found that children and young people’s views are poorly recorded, and that clear views are recorded in only a minority of decision paperwork. The implications of this are discussed in the context of Article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the value placed on the views of children and young people in decisions affecting their lives, for social workers making recommendations about contact, and for decision makers for decisions relating to contact.