Kirk Barney November 29, 2022

Although the idea of kid inclusive mediation, often referred to as direct child consultation, is not new to the area of family mediation, it has gained a lot of momentum over the past few years.

Lawyers, the Family Division, and other parties involved in the mediation process are increasingly contacting UK Family Mediation Slough with questions about children inclusive mediation (commonly known as CIM). Before we begin the process, we want to dispel some frequent misconceptions about CIM and address some frequently asked questions we receive about it.

In order to help those who are contemplating CIM decide whether or not it is the right procedure for their goals, this blog aims to provide clarification on what CIM is and is not, as well as to address some often asked questions, bust some myths, and clear up some common misconceptions about it.

All parties may choose not to participate in CIM.

One of the most important concepts of the CIM, if not the most important principle, is that everyone engaging in the CIM process is doing so voluntarily. This suggests that in order for this to occur, the following parties must be amenable to the idea of a child being seen by a skilled CIM mediator: The adults participating in the mediation process (typically the parents); The child or children who are the centre of attention; The function of the mediator.

Only if all of the aforementioned parties agree to give their consent for the mediator to see the child will CIM proceed.

Orders regarding CIM cannot be issued by the Court.

Because CIM is a voluntary process, it’s crucial to keep in mind that the law could actually require it to happen. The court can, though, advise parties interested in Kids Act Deliberations to consider if CIM is a suitable procedure for their case. Although the court can advise parties to think about whether CIM is a necessary analysis for their case, it cannot mandate that CIM be conducted. Participation in CIM is fully optional for all parties involved, even if the matter is already under proceedings.

There isn’t a written report available.

One of the most frequent misconceptions regarding CIM is that the mediator will write a report of their interactions with the child following their meeting, and that report will be made available to the parents, attorneys, and/or the Court. This error is frequently made.

I just do not have enough room to say how strongly this is not the case here. The discussions that took place between the child and the mediator are not documented in writing.

Throughout the mediation process, any conversations that the child wants the mediator to share with the parents are kept a secret, and the parents are only given verbal updates about what was discussed.

One cannot be forced to create a written report from the mediator, and any mediator who did so would be in flagrant violation of the Family Mediation Council’s Professional Standards and Self-Regulatory Framework.

The Mediator makes no recommendations in his or her official position.

The Child Intervention Method (CIM), which gives children a voice in the mediation process, will allow a child the ability to express how they feel about their personal situations as well as any suggestions they may want to share with their parents. If this information is communicated to the parents with the child’s consent, it’s likely that the parents will gain insight into the child’s viewpoints. The parents will then be able to assess how these influence their choices, regardless of whether mediation is involved or not.

The mediator is not expected to provide the parents advice on how to handle the information they have learned from the child. The mediator will assist the parties in reaching an agreement and, after hearing from the child’s point of view, will support negotiations with the parents. The mediator will support the parties in finding a solution and may look into any pertinent signposting services, but no official recommendations will be made.

The focus of CIM is the child.

It is crucial for parents who take their kids to CIM to understand that the procedure’s main goal is to give the child a voice. It is hoped that the child will benefit from the mediator-child communication process in a variety of ways, some of which include the following possibilities:

  • the availability of a conversation partner other than one’s parents; • feeling relieved after having their emotions acknowledged and validated; • knowing that their parents would be informed of their perspectives by a third party; • having the experience of being heard; • not feeling as though their opinions are being disregarded or unimportant; • having a more upbeat outlook on their current circumstances and/or the future;

Although it’s conceivable that one of the side effects of CIM will be for parents to gain understanding of their children’s perspectives and use this in their decision-making, this is not the major goal of CIM. The main goal, as was just mentioned, is to make sure the child feels as though the treatment was advantageous to them rather than the parents.

CIM should not be pursued in any way that would serve the parent’s own interests, including as evidence to back up the parent’s claims in contested proceedings.

If you have any inquiries concerning the CIM process or if you would want to refer a case, kindly contact our mediation team.

How can we mediate with respect toward children? , Do I have the right to choose mediation? , advantages of mediation Online Mediation: The Steps of the Mediation Procedure Examples of programmes offered under the Mediation Voucher Scheme include the Mediator Coupon Programme Extension, Zoom Mediation, Digital Family Mediation, and Mediation with Children.