Children and young people

The guidance on this page is for parents and guardians of persons under the age of 18 who are involved in a case as a victim or witness.

Child witnesses

All victims and witnesses aged younger than 18 are child witnesses and are entitled to use special measures when giving evidence.

Child witnesses are automatically entitled to give evidence with the assistance of a screen, and/or a support person and/or a live television link. Other special measures are available but in most cases these can only be used if the Judge decides that it is appropriate that they be used.

Most child witnesses in High Court cases are automatically entitled to have their evidence recorded before the trial so that they do not have to come to the trial to give evidence.

We will decide what is the most appropriate special measure to apply to the court for the child witness. We will ask the child witness about special measures and take these views into account. We will also take into account the views of their parent / guardian and what is in the best interests of the child.

Find out more about special measures available to your child.

Case information for victims and witnesses

The child witness may want to know more about their case or attending court. Parents and guardians may also want to know more about court cases that involve their children.

A citation document and letter will be sent to the address of the child witness if we need to interview them before they give evidence.

We also send a citation if we need the child witness to give evidence. We will also send a booklet called Going to Court which explains more. The citation sets out which court the trial will take place, along with when and where to go, and how to get there.

Have your citation to hand if you or your child wish to talk about the case with us. Call us on 0300 020 3000 or follow the link below to contact our Victim Information and Advice (VIA) service.