At SFMS we take the children’s needs just as seriously as we take the parents. We offer the opportunity for children to have a voice in their parents’ divorce or separation; but what does this mean? We have put together a list of questions that we often get asked by children. This we hope will give you a clearer understanding what Child Consultation is.
Q. Do my parents sit in on the meeting?
A. No, the meeting is private, between you and your parent’s mediator
Q. I feel no one is listening to me, how do I know you will do to?
A. The mediator is there just to listen to you and help you decide what you would like her to tell you parents
Q. Can I attend my meeting with my sister/brother?
A. You can come and see the mediator together, alone or have a bit of both, it’s your session and we want you to feel comfortable.
Q. Can we discuss problems I am having and you will not repeat them to my parents?
A. The mediator will only tell your parents the things you want her to in her feedback session with your parents. The only reason that the mediator would break this rule is when you tell her something that that is happening that is harmful to you or your siblings, then she would have to talk to other people to decide what is best to do. This is called safeguarding and the mediator would always tell you that she has to take the problem outside the meeting to support you.
Q. What happens in a meeting?
A. The mediator talks to you about confidentiality, explaining that what you tell her is private unless you want her to tell your parents. The only reason that this privacy would be broken is if you tell her about something that is harmful to you or another family member and then the safeguarding process would be followed. You can talk to the mediator about anything you want. It is your time. You might discuss the arrangements your parents have made for keeping you in touch with both of them, or where and with whom you will be living, about seeing friends when staying with the parent you don’t live with, about keeping in touch with all your grandparents. At the end of the meeting only those things you want your parents to hear will be taken into the feedback meeting.
Q. How long is a meeting?
A. About an hour
If you have any more questions, please email Kay Day, her email address is email@example.com
Family disputes that are resolved through mediation are cheaper, quicker and according to academic research, less acrimonious than those that are settled through the courts."
National Audit Office 2/3/07