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Child Inclusive Mediation

Hugging Child

Children and young people appreciate being informed and having their views and opinions heard. This is especially the case when their family is breaking apart and there is nothing they can do to stop it.

At the same time, children and young people should not to be responsible for the overall decisions such as who they live with, or who they see on Christmas Day.

When parents are trying to make agreements through mediation, it can also be very positive for their children to see their parents' Mediator.

At OFM, our Mediators are specially trained and accredited to carry out Child Inclusive Mediation.

Child inclusive practice gives children and young people the opportunity to have a conversation (verbal, written, through play or storytelling) with our professional Mediators, who are assisting their parents to make arrangements for their children’s future. It enables consenting children and young people to share their experiences of parental/family separation and express their concerns and views. Many children have practical suggestions to make.

Children who have had an opportunity to express their views and wishes about the issues affecting them post-separation describe feeling relieved and much less anxious. In addition, a ‘listening meeting’ can help them to:

  • Make sense of the changes in their lives
  • Understand that they are going through a process that many people share
  • Express the feelings that are common at this time
  • Develop a way of coping if they are caught in the middle of their parents conflict
  • Find ways of talking to their parents

A child’s meeting with the Mediator is confidential (unless safeguarding issues arise), and allows them a space to express their views without worrying about upsetting their parents or hurting anyone's feelings. Children can also decide what information they want their parents to receive, as part of a ‘feedback’ meeting.

For many parents, there are no great surprises and they are reassured that they are on the right track in helping their children. Sometimes, an important piece of information comes to light that might have been missed if the child or young person had not had the chance to speak to someone outside the family. Interestingly, the most common piece of feedback is a request for mum and dad to stop arguing and get on better.

There are some situations where Child Inclusive Mediation is not appropriate and a Mediator would talk this through with the parents and provide information about other options for establishing the children’s feelings and wishes. This may include a referral to our Children's Voice service.

To find out more, or and to book a mediation session, please call 08448476658 or send us an email.

1st Stop Family Mediation