This morning I was pleased to open the 2015 Family Pathways Network conference in Perth.
This important conference focused on how the family law system should respond when children refuse contact for reasons such as exposure to trauma and alienation.
The children and young people in the family law system are potentially some of the most vulnerable in our community.
Although engaging children is a challenging area for the legal system, it is vital that they have a strong voice in matters that affect their wellbeing.
That these children have reached the point where they no longer wish contact with their parent, when children and young people have told my office resoundingly that parents are the most important contributor to their wellbeing, speaks volumes for the trauma they are likely to have experienced.
The Family Pathways Network aims to foster strong links with locally-based providers who operate as part of, or alongside, the family law system to enhance collaboration and improve overall assistance to separated and separating families.
Speakers at the conference included David Mandel MA, LPC, Catherine Boland of The RelationSpace and Magistrate David Monaghan from the Family Court of Western Australia.
Acting Commissioner for Children and Young People