I like the sound of my own keyboard, but recently I invited you all to share your perspective on things, to tell a story other than mine (original post here). And quite a few of you replied saying you'd like to take part. So here is how I'd like to do this. I've drawn up a list of questions - not to constrain but to guide. I'm hoping they will form a loose sort of structure and that participants will answer those where they think they can say something interesting, ignoring those that don't grab them or which aren't relevant to them. You don't need to take them in order.
- Tell us where you fit in (solicitor, barrister, social worker, guardian, judge, researcher, court staff, something else)
- Tell us about your typical week
- Tell us about where you're at this week (bad week, good week, rewarding week, soul destroying *headdesk* kind of week?)
- Tell us about the highs and lows and the reasons you do the job
- Tell us about what works well in the system and tell us about what does not work at all
- Tell us about how you see the family justice system and how you think others see you and the system you work in
- Tell us about an important influence on your work
- Tell us about how you combine your family with your work and how your experiences impact on your relationships and your parenting
- Tell us - would you choose this job in your next life? and will you be doing it in ten years time?
- And tell us your bright ideas for change and for dialogue
- Anonymous is ok.
- Don't give details of the contents of documents or of what has been said in court in individual cases, don't breach client confidentiality (remembering that you can be in breach if your client can identify their anonymous self).
- Don't be abusive or defamatory.
- Expect others to disagree with your views - check back for comments and engage with them.
This is a project which is intended to inform and to provoke constructive and respectful if robust debate. I am not inviting parents to contribute for reasons which I've already set out in the original post, but which are probably worth repeating here. In a nutshell two main reasons: 1 Publication of information about individual cases is prohibited. 2 There is already a wealth of information concerning parental experiences of the justice system out there, I'm trying to address the imbalance in the publicly available information about the family justice system so that voices from a range of different perspectives can make themselves heard.
Submissions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. I will publish them under a #narratives tag.