The Children’s Tribunal System - a unique system that has children and community at its heart

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In every society, large or small, there are laws, cultures, and traditions that guide the care and protection of children and young people. Protecting children always start with the family, but the wider community also has a role to play - after all “it takes a village to raise a child”. 

The Bailiwick of Guernsey is home to a progressive approach to responding to concerns about children’s behaviour and welfare; one that has children, young people and the community at its heart and children’s rights at its roots. Established as part of the Children (Guernsey and Alderney) Law 2008, the Children’s Tribunal System, was introduced following many years of research into different legal and child protection systems around the world, and consultation with lots of groups, including families, children and the local community, helping us to build a safe and effective way of protecting children and young people who face tough situations.

As part of our legal system, the Child, Youth & Community Tribunal is empowered to make decisions when children and young people need protection, support, and guidance. The Tribunal brings together trained members of the community who work together to ensure children receive the support and services they need – often when their parents, or those who care for them, also face difficulties and need some assistance.

Navigating legal systems can be confusing, sometimes even frightening when you don’t fully understand the process. We are therefore working hard to demystify how the Children’s Tribunal System works and to make it as clear and accessible as possible.  

Through a series of posts, blogs and webinars, we want to share what the Children’s Tribunal does, how we do it and what matters to us. You may have already seen some posts on our Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn page about what we do, and we hope to inform, inspire and spark conversations about how we can continue to develop our unique system and what we can learn from experience.

We’re excited to share the successes and positive outcomes that we’ve achieved by working closely with our partners and our community. And, if protecting and supporting children is near to your heart – there may even be a role for you as well.

We would love to hear your thoughts and ideas and hope you will join the conversation.