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Hearing the views of young people who have experienced family separation

September 3, 2018

Teenage separation 2

The Commissioner for Children and Young People has invited young people between the ages of 12 and 18 years whose parents have separated to have their say about the support they got, how they were involved in decisions made about them, any services they went to, and their ideas about what could be done better. 

The information received by the Commissioner will be used in preparing a report to the Australian Law Reform Commission and the Family Court of Western Australia to assist them in improving the way children and young people are listened to and how their voices are heard.  

Article 12 of the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child provides that children who are capable of forming their own views have the right to express those views freely in matters affecting them and that those views will be given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child.  

This is reflected in the Family Law Act 1975 and Family Court Act 1997 (WA) as one of the considerations the Court must have regard to when determining what is in the child’s best interests.

 If you or someone you know are aged between 12 and 18 and have experienced family separation, check out the Commissioner for Children and Young People webpage at the above link for more information about making a submission. Your views and ideas, or those of young people in your life, may help shape and improve the manner in which the Family Court considers views of children and young people.


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