For parents who are considering asking a CIM qualified mediator to speak to their child before making decisions about the arrangements that they will put in place for the child here are some important things to bear in mind:
- You will discuss with the mediator whether your particular circumstances are suitable for CIM (it is unlikely to be suitable if other professionals are working with your child or where there are child protection issues)
- The mediator will not see your child unless you have both given consent for this to happen and your child has agreed to be spoken to by the mediator
- Your child will not be expected to choose or to make adult decisions
- Your child determines what, if any, feedback is given to you as parents. Some children do not want any of their comments to be passed back. In those circumstances there can still be a considerable benefit to them in having the opportunity to discuss any concerns they have about the separation and their current circumstances
- You will be expected to agree not to “grill” your child either before or after their conversation with the mediator
- The mediator who sees your child may be the mediator that you are working with or may be a mediator brought into the process solely for this purpose. If your child is going to be seen by a different mediator then you can request a chance to meet with that mediator beforehand.
Once your situation has been assessed as being suitable for “CIM” and if you have both agreed that you would like your child to be offered the opportunity to speak with a mediator then the mediator will write to your child seeking their consent to such a meeting. Provided that consent is forthcoming then the mediator will meet with your child. Any feedback that the child is happy to be given to you can be passed back during a “feedback session” that will be set up for this purpose. You will then be able to continue with your discussions about the arrangements bearing in mind any feedback that has been given.
Our family mediator Louisa Adamson is now qualified to undertake Child Inclusive Mediation.