Giving children a voice
Our research shows us that Children want to be heard. Children who have been involved in the arrangements even in a small way feel better than those who are left out of the process; children want someone to listen to how they feel and to say what they would like to happen – even if you can’t meet all their wishes Direct Child Consultation allows them to have a voice.
The Family Mediation Council’s Code of Practice requires that all children and young people aged 10 and above should be offered the opportunity to have their voices heard directly during the Mediation, if they wish. Your mediator will explain exactly how this might work and whether it is appropriate when you meet.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are just a few of the most frequently asked questions. If you do not find your answer below, please feel free to get in touch.
Children often worry about what will happen and want to know how the new arrangements will work; they worry more when they feel they have no say or control over their lives. Meeting with the Mediator allows them to have a voice.
Children worry about:
Will they still see their Mum and Dad – Where they will live – will they have to move – what about their friends – can they stay at the same school – Will they still see their extended family – was it their fault this happened.
All these questions and more need to be answered for the children’s wellbeing.
In this process children express their views and wishes and all those children who have taken part in the process feel less anxious about their situation after being heard.
Although it’s important to hear what the children would like to happen – any decisions will be made by the parents.
Throughout the process parental authority is respected and children will only be invited into the process we both parents agreement.
We have clear ground rules that support the children and ensure both parents fully understand and will respect the boundaries before we consider inviting the children to meet with us.
There is no charge for the child but each parent will pay their agreed mediation rate as they would for a mediation session.
If you are eligible – then the Legal Aid Agency will cover the cost for the meeting.
Both the children and the parents understand this meeting is for the children to speak privately with the Mediator.
Parents are asked to bring the children to the office – and are expected to collect the children at the end of the meeting to receive any feedback the children wish to give. Any feedback is given verbally – we do not write reports or give parent written feedback.
The children will decide what is fed back to the parents and how this is done.
The children can feedback themselves or with the help of the mediator.
Parent have to understand that sometimes no feedback will be given – if that is what the children want and that sometimes what is feedback can be difficult to hear.
But this does give the parents the opportunity of putting into place arrangements that their child understands is comfortable with and most importantly stops the child being anxious and afraid of what’s happening.
That’s fine – children can say no to being involved and no pressure should be placed on them to do so.
All our Mediators are specially trained to work with children but as an additional advantage the majority of our mediators are qualified Child Counsellors – so are highly qualified and able to support and acknowledge the need of the children.
Yes – you can – but the Mediator will speak with both parent about when is the right time to involve the children and how this will be done. Often parents are at different stages and if there is conflict it might not be the appropriate time to invite the children into the process.
Every case is individual and the Mediator will work with the parents on making such a decision.