Child Inclusive mediation, also known as child informed mediation, helps parents understand what it’s like to be this child now, in the context of their parent’s separation. Children feel supported and understood without pressure to make decisions, but rather share feelings.
An evidence-based practice pioneered in Australia over several years by Professor Jennifer McIntosh, child inclusive mediation (sometimes referred to as child informed mediation), enables separated parents to hear and consider their child’s experiences and needs within the mediation process. The aim of child inclusive mediation is to help separated parents reach higher levels of engagement with the needs of their children and expand their capacity to think and plan more cooperatively about their children. It can be an effective part of the mediation process for separated families involved in high levels of conflict.
In child inclusive mediation, a child consultant sees the child in a separate session. The consultant then joins the parents and mediator in a joint session to discuss each child’s experience and needs in a way that meets the parents’ capacity to comprehend and act on.
The role of the child consultant is to provide supportive and judgement-free feedback to help parents reflect on the needs of their children. This encourages recovery from conflict, relationship repair (with the children and co-parent) and helps each party better adjust to the family separation and to sensitively respond to the needs and experiences of their children.
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Fresh Start Mediation operates Australia wide, offering face to face and online mediation options.