Involving children in mediation – hearing the voice of the child

June 17, 2024

Promoting Child Inclusive Mediation: A Partnership Between BBL and the Family Mediation Trust

BBL and The Family Mediation Trust (FMT) are excited to announce a groundbreaking partnership to support the delivery of Child Inclusive Mediation (CIM). This collaboration aims to ensure children’s voices are heard during family mediation processes, promoting healthier family dynamics.

For BBL law clients, this partnership will enable their children’s voices to be central in decision-making. In suitable cases, BBL mediators will support clients into the CIM process. The Family Mediation Trust, with accredited and CIM-trained mediators, will then meet with the child alone and help them explore the issues and topics important to them. Following the child’s private session, any information the child would like fed back to their parents will be communicated, and mediation will continue. This approach enables the parents to focus on their children’s needs.

Research Findings on the Effectiveness of CIM

Research has shown that Child Inclusive Mediation significantly improves outcomes by ensuring that children’s views are directly considered in mediation. This approach helps in reducing parental conflict and enhancing the co-parenting relationship post-separation. Studies indicate that involving children in mediation processes leads to better long-term adjustment and well-being for children (McIntosh, J. E., & Long, C. M. (2005). The Child Responsive Model of Practice: Key Messages for Family Law Professionals).

Innovative Partnership

This innovative partnership between The Family Mediation Trust and BBL enables the dedicated skills of accredited, trained CIM mediators of the trust to have a far greater impact in a mutually beneficial way. By combining The Family Mediation Trust’s specialized mediation skills with BBL’s legal expertise, we are creating a powerful alliance that places the best interests of children at the forefront of family mediation.

Quotes from Leaders

Peter Baughan, a Partner at BBL, stated, “We are thrilled to collaborate with The Family Mediation Trust. This partnership reflects our commitment to placing children’s well-being at the centre of family mediation, ensuring their voices are heard and respected.”

Michael Mack, CEO of The Family Mediation Trust, added, “Our partnership with BBL represents a significant step forward in child-inclusive practices. By integrating our expertise, we can provide comprehensive support to families, helping them navigate the challenges of separation with the best interests of their children in mind.”