Voice of the Child Reports
A Child’s Voice Matters: Learn how to conduct effective Voice of the Child Reports
Did you know that a child has a right to have their voice heard when important decisions are being made about them? This right is supported by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Divorce Act in Canada, and in Ontario, the Children’s Law Reform Act and the Child Youth and Family Services Act.
When parents separate, involving children in family decision-making can be a complex exercise and must be approached with great sensitivity and care. A Voice of the Child Report is often helpful in obtaining the children’s views and preferences. Research has shown that Voice of the Child Reports help parents resolve their disputes and make child-centered decisions.
Voice of the Child Reports training will provide the tools and practical skills that lawyers and mental health professionals need to conduct Voice of the Child Reports and elevate the child’s voice for parents and other decision-makers in Court or in Alternative/Family Dispute Resolution. Our 3-day (21 hour) online comprehensive foundational training was co-developed with Debra Rodrigues, former Director of PCCS Mediators and Counsellors, and Dr. Dan Ashbourne, former Executive Director of the London Family Court Clinic, both now semi-retired (but still training).
Participants will have the opportunity to learn and apply concepts and skills through lectures, case studies, role plays, small and large group discussions, technology innovations, and problem-based learning. 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 Court and mediation; relevant legislation; risks and benefits of implementing the child’s participation rights; relevant Best Practices, Standards and Guidelines; 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 including domestic violence or parent-child contact problems; providing feedback to parents; file management.
- Discover the 12-step process for Voice of the Child Reports.
- Learn critical and pertinent concepts in child development, children’s communication, and children’s special needs.
- Develop and practice skills for interviewing children in the legal context.
- Understand parent readiness and learn to provide parent feedback.
- Develop strategies for risk mitigation and managing the process.
- Hear about the legislation, guidelines, and research that support the work.
What else do you get with our training:
- Registration for the training is limited in order for us to meet the needs of each trainee in a small class setting.
- Access to trainers for future consultation as you begin to undertake the work.
- A certificate of completion.
- Training updates and continuing education.
- An opportunity to join the roster of professionals who are trained VoC practitioners. You can connect and refer to each other. Also, the public and other professionals can find you.
Professionals across Canada and internationally have completed our training in Voice of the Child Reports. This is what they had to say:
“The trainers were amazing. So much knowledge imparted, and they made it easy to learn while helping us keep in mind our boundaries in this role.”
“So much is included in the training. I especially appreciate the tools developed for every step.”
“Fantastic. I learned so much and feel confident to do this work.”
“By the end of the training and given my professional background, I felt confident enough to add VCRs to my own repertoire of services.”
“Overall, the 12-Step VCR training was very comprehensive. I think it includes all the steps and considerations a practitioner needs to follow. It was also helpful that the trainers provided all the forms needed for completion of the process. The guest speakers, the practitioners, researchers, and judges were very helpful, too. The training covers the entire process of the VCR and the interviewing skills and techniques. All the trainers provided useful examples, tips and guidelines, including videos of how it should be done.”
“I think a VCR can provide professionals and parents with a glimpse into the life of the children as the children see it and experience it. That can be extremely valuable to both the parents and, when litigation is involved, the courts.”
“As I went through the training, I was reminded of the impact of separation and divorce on children. I believe that the VCR process provides parents with a useful non-biased option to better understand their children when parents need to make decisions in the children’s best interest.”
“The trainers really want to help you and offer supervision.”
Roster of Voice of the Child Professionals
It is important for the public and referring professionals to be able to find trained practitioners to obtain the Voice of the Child. The professionals listed on our roster have taken our foundational training.
This roster can also be used by Voice of the Child practitioners to learn about others in their area providing the service, to cross-refer, and for consultation.
This roster does not vet, qualify, or regulate the professionals listed. NavOn is not responsible for the quality of anyone’s work or complaints made against anyone on the roster. Any complaints should be directed to that professional’s licensing body or professional association.
Trainers / Supervisors / Practitioners
Family mediator specializing in parenting plans, social worker, reconciliation therapy, ability to work effectively with counsel in context of mediation/court/collaborative law
KawarthaHaliburton, Durham and surrounding areas, Cobourg and surrounding areas
Parenting and Education Planning, New Ways for Life and New Ways for Families
CD, MMus, BEd, AccFM, CPMed, FGC, Openness Adoption Specialist, QMed
Kawarthas, Hastings County, Northumberland, Peterborough, Durham and online
Join the Voice of the Child Practitioners Roster
Listing your name on the roster is a great opportunity to let the public and your colleagues know that you are trained to provide Voice of the Child Reports. We are constantly referring clients, lawyers, and mental health professionals to the roster so that they can connect with a trained Voice of the Child practitioner in their community.