The Association of Lawyers for Children (ALC) aims to promote justice for children and young people, primarily in the family justice system and to improve the knowledge and professional practice standards of those who are charged with applying the law so as to ensure that children receive comprehensive and effective legal protection and redress within the justice system. Within that framework, our aim is to promote the development and improvement in the practice of lawyers and other practitioners in meeting the needs of children who become involved in legal processes by promoting standards of best practice and of inter-disciplinary training.
The ALC is committed to being an anti-racist organisation. We denounce racism in all its forms for its negative psychological, social, educational, and economic effects on child development.
We are committed to taking positive steps to improve racial diversity within our organisation, to support initiatives that foster diversity, and to encourage inclusion. Diversity of membership brings diversity of thought and experience which benefits the legal and related family justice communities.
We recognise the role that organisations can play in challenging racism and promoting anti-racist practice. The struggle against racism requires continuing active resistance against it at all levels in order to promote social justice.
We aim to undertake steps to reduce the negative impact of racism and discriminatory behaviour in the family justice system. We also seek to raise awareness to the systems/structures, policies, cultures, practices, and attitudes that inhibit racial equality. We seek to facilitate and maintain an inclusive environment where equality is promoted, diversity is valued, and discriminatory behaviour is not tolerated.
The ALC is committed to promoting anti-racist practices in the family justice system – specifically we note families from black and minoritised communities will have lived experience of racism, which may impact on how they present.
The ALC encourages members to speak up when professionals interact or behave in a way that is disrespectful or unacceptable, whether of the families we work with or of colleagues.
Human Rights (as set out in the European Convention of Human Rights) are essential to the work of the Family Court. Article 14 of the Convention requires that all the rights and freedoms that it provides (this includes rights to liberty, a fair trial and to a family and private life – as well) must be protected and applied without discrimination.
The ALC welcomes opportunities to engage in collective, meaningful dialogue around racial justice and equality issues within the legal and related family justice communities. We are dedicated to achieving sustainable change. We shall continue to develop our anti-racist practice by renewing and reflecting on its progress on an on-going basis at regular intervals.