What is a child consultation?
We recognise that parental separation can bring uncertainty and confusion for children. It can be helpful for parents to have their child’s voice heard in a mediation process.
A child consultation involves a trained specialist meeting with your child or children to understand what life is like for them at that point in time.
The Child Consultant aims to explore the child’s experiences, worries, hopes, needs and concerns in a safe and confidential environment. ISS Australia Child Consultants are able to meet with children five years old and above. We can meet virtually across Australia and we also offer a face-to-face service if preferred in Sydney and Melbourne.
What is the Child Inclusive Practice program?
The Child Inclusive Practice Program (CIP) involves a child consultation, followed by a meeting between the Child Consultant, mediators and parents. ISS offers CIP in situations where it has been deemed suitable in the context of Family Dispute Resolution (FDR).
Why do we offer child consultations?
- The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CROC) states in all actions concerning children, the best interests of the child should be a primary consideration (Article 3).
- The CROC outlines that in situations where a child is capable of forming their own views, the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting them is to be given due weight in accordance with their age and maturity.
- The CROC states that a child should be provided with the opportunity to be heard in any proceeding affecting them (Article 12).
- In accordance with international human rights law, ISS believes that a child has a right to voice their opinions in any forum or decision-making process that may impact their lives and wellbeing.
- Children are often keen to meet with a professional to have their experiences and views taken into consideration.
How does the process work?
- A trained Child Consultant meets with your child/children in a private session for 1-1.5 hours, either face-to-face or via video conference.
- Following a child consultation session, the Child Consultant meets with both parents and their FDRPs to discuss the child’s experiences and needs at that point in time.
It is important to remember that although therapeutic, consultations are not counselling sessions. The CIP process is an opportunity for children to engage in interactive and developmentally targeted activities that support them to share their experiences, feelings and views regarding their parents’ separation.
The Child Consultation Service does not receive government funding and charge fees on a pay as you go basis. The fees include all work undertaken outside of the Child Consultation sessions, including correspondence, telephone calls, preparation for sessions, meeting with the child/ren, sharing of information, and interpreting services.
The fees associated with our Child Consultation Service are in AUD as per the below table per person: