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Child Inclusive Mediation

April 22 @ 9:00 am - April 26 @ 5:00 am EDT

Develop the specialized knowledge and practical skills necessary to elevate the authentic Voice of the Child in Mediation.

Child Inclusive Mediation Training

In this advanced course for family mediators, develop the specialized knowledge and practical skills necessary to elevate the authentic Voice of the Child in mediation. Children have the right to be heard when important decisions are being made about them. Yet, involving children in family decision-making can be complex and must be done with great sensitivity and care. Learn how to interview children and provide non-evaluative feedback to parents for the purposes of mediation. The training will take place on April 22, April 24, and April 26 between 9am-5pm.


Trainers: Dr. Dan Ashbourne and Dr. Kim Harris


Learning Objectives:

· What does it mean to include the child’s voice in mediation

· Explore different models for gathering the child’s voice

· Evaluate parent readiness and provide feedback to parents

· Learn relevant practice guidelines, legislation, and steps to complete the process

· Understand ethical considerations and risk mitigation


Course Content:

· Familiarization with the OAFM Standards of Practice related to the Voice of the Child.

· Awareness of the different approaches available for bringing the child’s voice into mediation (including advantages and disadvantages) and a recognition that not all children will want the opportunity to participate in their parents’ decision-making.

· Sharing of best practices, tools and techniques for Mediators to meet children directly.

· Understanding of the ages and stages of child development and the implications of neurodevelopmental disabilities and mental health for interviewing children.

· Discussions of equity, diversity, and inclusion to ensure the full participation of children and their families in Child Inclusive Mediation.

· Exposure and practice with advanced/challenging scenarios with children and with parent feedback.


A brief list of topics covered over the three days is as follows:

Day 1: Models and approaches for bringing the child’s voice into mediation; relevant legislation; risks and benefits of implementing the child’s participation rights; relevant Best Practices, Standards and Guidelines (with special attention to OAFM Standards); outcome research; parent factors to consider; parent readiness and consent.


Day 2: Ages and stages of child development; children’s needs through separation/divorce; child interviewing within the legal context; confidentiality and consent; identifying the least intrusive approach; process for interviewing the children directly; tools and tips for interviewing; cultural and diversity considerations.


Day 3: Implementing participation rights for neurodiverse children; managing sibling groups; mandatory reporting; ethical decision-making and dilemmas; roles and boundaries; managing difficult family dynamics; providing feedback to parents; file management.


For registration:



April 22 @ 9:00 am EDT
April 26 @ 5:00 am EDT