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Ask the family: Think Pink

24.24.2018

Their aim is to ensure that young people have a direct say in delivering improvements to the family justice system so that it provides the best possible outcomes for children. It works closely with the Family Justice Board and other young people’s groups as well as other stakeholders within the family justice system.

The FJYPB has collated top tips for separated parents, these tips having been developed to help parents think about matters from their child’s perspective.  You can find them here <hyperlink>

www.cafcass.gov.uk/family-justice-young-peoples-board

These tips are really helpful, because sometimes, in the midst of separation, parents may become lost in their own anger and distress at the breakdown of their relationship, and, without realising it, lose sight of the impact of this anger and distress on their children. Children often blame themselves for the separation of their parents, and convince themselves that they have done something wrong.

An excellent example of this situation is to be found in the lyrics of Pink’s Family Portrait <hyperlink> https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/pink/familyportrait.html  

This emotionally raw song expresses her childhood pain about her parents’ divorce and the family that she was witnessing falling to pieces; it is a searing, unflinching narrative of familial conflict as seen through the eyes of a child – she was only 10 years old at the time.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Pink accepts that she began acting out within a few years thereafter. Her mother said of the first time she heard the song: “Oh my God, I didn’t know she felt this way.”

Pink explained: "For us as a family, we used to sweep things under the rug and act like things were okay, and act like I didn't run away and I wasn't on drugs and it was all a dream.

"We opened up communications as a family and now, when we sit at the dinner table, we really ask each other how we are, and we really answer and it's beautiful."

The primary role of all professionals involved in children matters in the family justice system, and in particular, parents’ solicitors, should always be to focus the parents’ attention on their children’s needs and welfare at such an emotionally difficult time for the family. The FJYPB’s top tips can be extremely helpful in this process.  Do take a look.

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