CHILD INCLUSIVE MEDIATION.

What is Child Inclusive Mediation?

Child Inclusive Mediation, also known as Child Inclusive Practice, is a process that enables a child to have their voice heard in the family mediation process. It is an opportunity for parents to understand the child’s experience of the separation and what they could do to make the post-separation family work well for the child.

In Child-Inclusive Mediation, an agreed child consultant will spend individual time with the child/ren to help them to talk about their thoughts and feelings. This is then taken into account to help inform parenting decisions. The Mediator does not meet with the child/ren and the child/ren does not attend the Mediation. However, with the child’s consent, the child consultant will spend time providing oral feedback to the parents and the mediator about the child’s thoughts and feelings.

Not all matters are appropriate for Child Inclusive Mediations and generally, it would only be used in those cases where the children are aged 5 and up. Both parents must consent to their child’s participation in Child Inclusive Practice.

How does Child Inclusive Mediation work?

We work with a number of highly skilled child consultants who we can recommend to parties. They are all specialists with additional training to practice their role. Parties can contact the consultants directly to decide if they would be suitable for the family and to ascertain their costs.

If the Mediator and child consultant assesses that Child Inclusive Mediation will be a helpful and appropriate process, the child consultant will organise a time to see the child/ren. The child/ren is given a neutral and safe space to share their feelings about the separation and the family situation.

A feedback session will then take place. Depending on the issues and the child consultant’s recommendations, this may be separately with each parent, with both parents at the same time or during the mediation itself.

What is a Child Consultant?

The child consultant is an experienced professional who specialises in working with children and young people. They are often psychologists, social workers, Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners or Family Therapists. A child consultant will meet with the child/ren in a safe and child friendly environment to discuss and understand their experience of the parental separation including any concerns or challenges they are having. The child consultant is a neutral person in the process.

Chile Inclusive Mediaiton

How is Child Inclusive Practice different to an expert report or family report process?

Child Inclusive Practice is not a forensic process or a therapeutic one. Written reports are not provided and the feedback session is inadmissible in any court proceedings. Generally, documents are not read by the child consultant and the meetings with the children are not intended to be investigative or an opportunity to put allegations to them. The child consultant has a duty of confidentiality to the child and will only provide feedback to parents with the child’s consent. The child consultant is impartial, non-judgmental and does not make formal recommendations.

The benefits of Child Inclusive Practice.

  • Assists parents to understand their child’s perspective of the separation.

  • Allows children to feel heard and considered. They can express their feelings, hopes and fears in a safe and supportive environment.

  • Minimises the harmful impacts of family law disputes on children.

  • Keeps the child’s needs at the forefront of discussions around future parenting arrangements.
  • Prioritises children’s mental health and emotional well-being.

  • Assists with building a positive and productive co-parenting relationship for the future.

The Child Inclusive Mediation Process.

Why choose us?

Our Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners have each worked in Family Law for over 20 years and along with being Accredited Specialists in Family Law, they have training, accreditation and experience in FDR and Mediation.

At Separation Solutions, dispute resolution work is all we do and we pride ourselves on having Practitioners that have the special skillset required for this work. This includes Mediators that spent many years working at the Family Law Courts along with lawyers and Mediators recognised by the Doyle’s Guide as leaders in their field.

Pricing.

The total cost of the Child Inclusive Mediation process will depend on each individual case and the child consultant retained. The child consultant’s fees are charged separately to us.

Each of our Mediators are experienced in Child Inclusive Mediation and have different hourly rates ranging from $650-$850 per hour incl GST. The initial intake sessions are charged in accordance with this hourly rate however, if a Mediation does proceed, these fees are deducted from the daily Mediation fee. Any additional work, for example, meetings or phone discussions with the child consultant, are charged in accordance with the relevant Mediator’s hourly rate. Please refer to our Mediation page here for the applicable fees including our Mediation rates.