Child Inclusive Mediation
What is child inclusive mediation?
My role as a family mediator sometimes involves speaking to children as part of the mediation process (child inclusive mediation). Child inclusive mediation only happens when both parents believe that their child would benefit from having their voice heard through the mediator, and we agree that it is appropriate.
Child Inclusive Mediation provides your child with a voice post parental separation in a non-adversarial way. It includes working with your whole family to develop the best parenting plan for your circumstances.
The process for child inclusive mediation
Child Inclusive Mediation involves a session for you, your ex-partner and your children. Your mediator at Adelaide Family Mediation will meet with you and your ex-partner in individual one-on-one meetings. You will have the opportunity to talk about the separation, your children, your concerns, and, importantly, what you believe are the best interests of your children. Your mediator will keep the sessions focused on the children while still gathering essential background information.
Once the meeting with the parents has concluded, we will invite your children to meet with us. This session doesn’t require your children to pick a parent or talk negatively about a parent. It is an opportunity for your mediator to spend time with your children to understand the situation better and help the parents with additional information to create the best plan possible.
At Adelaide Family Mediation, children need to be at least eleven years old, not exposed to domestic violence, and willing to be part of mediation. The primary reason for this is while our mediators have qualifications in child inclusive mediation and counselling, family mediation, and community services we don’t work primarily with children. Despite this we will ensure they feel empowered with the opportunity to talk about their feelings and what they would like the future to look like.
We recognise that you are the parents, and at times what a child thinks they want might not be an appropriate or a reasonable solution, and we will discuss this with you.
Once the meeting has concluded, Adelaide Family Mediation will conduct a joint mediation with the parents only in attendance. If more appropriate, we talk to you together or separately and take you through your child’s voice from a positive and educational perspective. You will hear what your children want and our opinion on how this could work for your family.