Simon Hughes, the Justice Minister is promoting that children’s voices should be heard more often in family proceedings which concern them. There is a lot of debate as to what age children should be spoken to and in what forum.
In family mediation specially accredited mediators can speak to children through the process of Direct Child Consultation. One of the benefits of speaking to children and giving them a voice within the mediation process is to help children feel involved and have a voice without having to become in any way involved within the Court process.
One of the major differences with Direct Child Consultation and having a child’s wishes and feelings expressed within the Court setting is that within the family mediation setting absent any concerns as to the safety of the child then their confidence is assured so as to make it feel like a safe space for them to say about they feel about their parents separation, any worries they have and what mum and dad can do to help make things feel better for them.
Family mediators who are authorised to speak to children have undertaken specialist skills training and are accredited by their authorised body.
It is not a process to be undertaken lightly but can have huge benefits to the family as a whole, from a child’s perspective feeling part of the process and from the parents’ perspective hearing the child’s voice, without having to engage in lengthy and costly Court proceedings can unlock the issues and help the family as a whole communicate better and move forward into the future.
For more information about child consultation and family mediation please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0113 357 1315.