What is a Voice of the Child Report
The Voice of Child is a report surrounding the views and preferences of a child. Children have ideas and thoughts about separation and divorce and what they would like to see happen. This doesn't mean the child gets to choose their arrangements, The Voice of the Child helps parents make an informed decision around the parenting plan. There are no recommendations given, simply what the child says and consents to is released to the parents.
There are many benefits to a Voice of the Child Report. The biggest benefit is that children want to be heard and have their opinion taken into consideration. It gives them a sense of security knowing that their thoughts matter. Interviews can be held at anytime. A family may choose to get a Voice of the Child Report prior to physically separating to help come up with a parenting plan before transitioning between two homes. If the interviews are after the physical separation, the report can help lead a child-focused discussion on how the current arrangements are working. If the family is going through mediation, the report can help the mediator facilitate a conversation with parents around the child's views and preferences.
There are four steps in completing the Voice of the Child Report.
- Parent Interviews: each parent is interviewed separately, to gather historical information, assess level of conflict and understand their concerns
- Child Interviews: the child is interviewed twice. Each parent will bring the child to a session. At the end of each session, the clinician will review with the child what they want included in the feedback to parents.
- Parent session: parent's attend a feedback session to hear the views and preferences of the child
- Final report: a final report is written and given to parents
If you have any questions or want to start the process of having a Voice of the Child Report completed, contact Erica here.