Child Inclusive Mediation
Children are encouraged to be part of the discussions that relate to them when their parents separate or their family changes. It is about understanding how the arrangements might make them feel and how parents can structure a routine that works for the whole family.
Sometimes the arrangements don’t work perfectly first time, and by listening to the children, participants can focus on their needs, wishes, hopes and aspirations in order to make their plans work better.
Children and young people aged 10 and above may be offered the opportunity to have a conversation with a professionally qualified child inclusive mediator. Children are invited to give their perspectives in order that parents may take account of those perspectives in any decisions and arrangements that are being made for them.
What does a child inclusive mediation involve?
- Meetings with parents to understand the background, and what they would like to achieve.
- Finding out about the family as a whole.
- Spending time in a meeting with children; usually all the children of the family will be invited. We will see them together and on their own.
- Ascertaining what it feels like to be that child, and what they might like to be different, now that their family is undergoing change.
- Feeding back to parents, helping them to understand how conflict might be affecting their children.
- Asking them to reflect upon what they heard.
- In further sessions, assisting parents to make better and more positive arrangements for the children.
- Assisting parents with the exchange of information about the children.
- Any other conflicts that may arise between parents.
What does it NOT cover?
- Asking a child to make a decision or choice about their own arrangements.
- Reporting to the court.
- Meetings where children and parents are together, and which can be too difficult and two high-pressured for a child.
- Cases that might have safeguarding elements that require extra investigation by other professionals or authorities.
- Cases where a parent has indicated or intimated that they might not be prepared to listen to their child, nor take their hopes and expectations into account.