We offer two different ways to give children an opportunity to be heard in your separation process.
1. Child Inclusive Mediation
Mediators are required to help parents understand the needs of their children. We can help by providing information and resources and we also offer a child inclusive mediation process. If this process would be helpful to your decision making process, your mediator will appoint a co-mediator who is trained to interview children. The co-mediator will meet with the children twice, with each of you bringing them in for an appointment or having them present in your home if on zoom. The co-mediator will then bring that feedback back to your mediation session. As mediation is confidential and private, this information will be for your assistance only. The mediator is trained to not put your children in the middle. Children are free to decline participation, share information if they wish, and even speak with the mediator and decide which information they do not wish shared. This important process allows children to feel heard in the decisions that will greatly affect them. The fee for this service is in addition to your fee for mediation and is an additional $500 plus HST. The fee for interviewing each additional child is $150 plus HST.
Our voice of child practitioners are Krista Konrad, MSW, RSW, AccFM and Laura Kapetanov, MSW, RSW, AccFM and both are very experienced working with children.
Download our BFC Information Sheet on Child Inclusive Mediation
2. Voice of Child Reports
We also help families by providing a more formal written report that can be used in mediation or just for court or even just for your personal understanding. Some families are already in the court process and they are not sure if mediation will be successful. They may want the Voice of Child input to be in writing and be capable of being used in the court system if mediation is unsuccessful, or they may choose not to do mediation but want a Voice of Child Report for litigation. Our practitioner who completes these reports is Laura Kapetanov, an MSW who spent many years working with children and is trained to conduct these interviews.
There are 3 options for service which set out a fee generally shared by parents.
- If you or your counsel just want the children interviewed (often the case for more urgent or emergency issues), a Voice of Child Report can be completed in most cases within fourteen (14) days. The practitioner will meet with each child twice (each party bringing them once), review any necessary background or court materials provided and complete the written report. The fee for this service is a total $800 plus HST and each additional child is an additional $300 plus HST.
- The second option includes Option 1 described above and adds a meeting with each of the parents prior to meeting with the children. This process is generally completed within thirty (30) days. The fee for this service is $1,000 plus HST and each additional child is an additional $300 plus HST.
- The third option includes Options 1 and 2 as well as contact with third parties (police, school, CAS) and possibly other family members as identified and agreed upon by counsel and the parents. In this model there will be an opportunity for verbal feedback prior to the completion of the written Report, either at a scheduled mediation session or a disclosure meeting. The written report will follow this meeting, as needed. Please contact us to discuss the estimated fee for this level of service, which is more substantive in nature
BFC Voice of the Child Report Information Sheet