The Children, Youth and Community Tribunal (CYCT) makes decisions about children in need or in trouble.
The Tribunal allows for cases involving children and families to be heard in a supportive and non-adversarial environment.
The Tribunal is a legal forum and the decisions that it makes are legally binding.
Examples of the cases that the CYCT will hear are:
- children that aren’t attending school
- young people who have committed offences
- family situations where the authorities need to intervene
After comprehensive training, you will sit on a hearing as part of a team of three. You will receive documents and reports to read and analyse before the case is heard. You will prepare questions based on that information.
You will have a pre-hearing meeting with the other Tribunal members. At the hearing you will listen carefully and ask questions to gather all of the relevant information needed to make a decision. Children, parents and professionals (eg social workers, teachers, health visitors) attend the hearing.
You will make your own individual decision about the case. You will be given time to write up your decision which you will then deliver verbally to all present.
Cases are decided by majority. All three Tribunal members may decide in the same way. Or two may decide one way and one the other way, in which case the Tribunal’s final decision is the majority one.
The Chair will then write up the final decision and it will be sent to the parties involved.
From time to time the Tribunal actively recruits for new members and advertises widely. If you are shortlisted, you will then be interviewed by a panel and take part in a group discussion. If successful, you will undergo an Enhanced Police Check.
Following successful completion of a comprehensive training programme, your appointment to the CYCT will be considered by the Royal Court.
Your appointment is initially for three years and can be renewed. You must be at least 21 and under 70.
CYCT members do not need formal qualifications but you will need to be a team player with a genuine interest in improving the lives of children and young people.
You will have excellent life skills and the willingness to listen and learn. You must be open-minded and non-judgemental – if you are looking to “fix” young people and their families, this role is not for you.
The paperwork for each hearing is prepared by the Convenor’s team. The President of the Tribunal is responsible for the rota of hearings and is also available to support Tribunal Members.
CYCT trainees currently undergo around 55 hours of pre-service training spread over three months. Pre-service training mainly takes place over weekends and evenings and includes taking part in a simulated hearing session involving three case studies.
You will not sit on cases until your training is complete and your appointment has been confirmed by the Royal Court.
Currently all of the in-service training sessions are mandatory and are delivered by a combination of short presentations followed by relevant practical workshops and small discussion groups. There is an evening information session generally once a month. These are optional.
This training programme is currently under review with a view to making it more flexible.
The CYCT has a regular schedule of hearings. A hearing may take up a morning or an afternoon.
Reading the paperwork in preparation for a hearing takes an hour, on average. If there are particular days/evenings when you are not available, you can specify those when you apply and they will be taken into account in forming the rota.
Three members of the panel are required for each hearing. At the end of 2020 there were 38 members of the panel in total.
The workload depends on your availability. At a minimum, a tribunal member takes part in one morning or one afternoon hearing a month. If you have more time, you can volunteer to do more. Some Tribunal Members sit on three or four hearings a month.
Tribunal members are paid a small allowance for each hearing session that they sit on.
You will be part of a dedicated team, making decisions in the best interests of Guernsey’s most vulnerable young people and their families.
You will be keeping children and families out of the Court system and in a supportive environment.
You will learn new skills that may be valuable in other areas of your life.
You will have a detailed insight into a side of Guernsey life that not many people are familiar with. Some of the information will be difficult to hear.
You will be making tough decisions that will have a profound impact on the lives of the children and families concerned.
For detailed information about being a tribunal member, including an application form, go to the joint website of the Convenor and the Child, Youth and Community Tribunal at cyct.org.gg.
The Convenor and President’s Annual Reports in the ‘Resources’ section are particularly informative.
You can contact the President of the Tribunal, Ashley Rawles, on 01481 213290 or email email@example.com.
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