Inventory of Government-Based Family Justice Services

Children In Mediation Service

Province/Territory
British Columbia

Type of service
Mediation

Services offered
The Children in Mediation Service provides children with an opportunity to voice their needs and interests, and to be heard in the dispute resolution process. The service is available to families with one or more children who are at least eight years old, where the parents are engaged or intend to engage in dispute resolution services (i.e. mediation).

In-person interviews with children are scheduled after the family justice counsellor completes at least one mediation session with the parents. The role of family justice counsellors is to authentically convey the voice and words of the children back to the parents.

Upon request, children who are at least 12 years old may attend their parent’s mediation session to provide information only.

After reaching an agreement, parents may request that their children attend a session to explain the terms of the agreement. The children are present to receive information, ask questions, and allow parents to respond to their feedback about the agreement. The role of the family justice counsellor in this session is to support the parents while they explain the agreement to their children.
Upon conclusion of the dispute resolution process, family justice counsellors may agree to a follow-up session with the children, at the request of the parents. A post-mediation follow-up session may help the children to speak about their situation while providing them with a sense of closure.

Pilot or ongoing service
Ongoing service.

Department responsible
Family Justice Services Division, Ministry of Attorney General

How to access this service
Parents engaged in dispute resolution with a family justice counsellor may request this service.

Location(s)
Offered at Family Justice Centres and Justice Access Centres in British Columbia. Please refer to the following Web site for links to an up-to-date list of locations and telephone numbers:


http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/life-events/divorce/family-justice

[ Service(s) offered ]

Language(s)
English; others with the use of interpreter.

Publications/information
Not applicable

Costs
There is no charge but priority is given to low income families.

Governing legislation/legislative authority
BC Family Law Act

Contact person(s)
http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/life-events/divorce/family-justice

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