What is Child Inclusive Practice?
An opportunity for the child/ren's voice to be heard in the mediation process
Sometimes, especially where conflict is entrenched and ongoing, it is helpful for the child/ren to play a part in the mediation process.
Hearing the child express how they are experiencing arrangements, including the impact of parental conflict, has assist parties to shift in their thinking and become more child-focused in their negotiations with the other parent.
Child Inclusive Practice (CIP) involves an especially trained Child Consultant speaking with the child/ren and asking them to explain and describe how it feels to be them in the current circumstances.
CIP is not about asking the child to choose which parent they want to live with, or who is their favourite. The Child Consultant approaches the process of speaking with your child/ren with sensitivity and always in a way that is appropriate for their age and developmental needs.
CIP is focused on the child's emotional wellbeing and their practical and emotional experience of the current circumstances and parenting arrangements. This information can be extremely valuable for parents in a mediation setting and can act as a guide in considering proposals and options that are going to best meet the child/ren's needs.
Parent feedback has been very positive regarding involvement of their children in this way. Clients report back that they found their child/ren's feedback extremely helpful in determining their co-parenting agreements.
Where CIP is included in your mediation session the Child Consultant will join the zoom call and the session with commence with your child's feedback. Once completed the mediation will commence.
Of course, speaking to your child/ren is not always appropriate. If it is deemed that CIP may be too much for the child to handle, too hard for the parent/s to receive the child's feedback or where the mediator, the Child Consultant and/or the parents do not agree that the inclusion of CIP would be appropriate then it will not go ahead.
Jen can refer to Child Consultants all over Australia. Their fees will vary and clients will need to organise to pay the Child Consultant directly.