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Mediation Is Not Only for Adults!

Child Inclusive Mediation gives you, as a child or young person, the opportunity to meet and talk with a trained mediator who is helping your parents to sort things out for your family because of a separation or divorce. This can help you too, whether your parents are getting on okay or arguing about what should happen.

You might think that you’ve nothing much to say or that it’s not important or won’t make any difference anyway, or feel under pressure to say what they think one or other of their parents want them to say. Whatever your thoughts about the situation and any changes which might affect you, the mediator will be interested in these. Whether or not you have strong views on what you want to happen or any ideas on how to improve things, the mediator will listen to what you have to say because it’s important.

You can decide if you want the mediator to pass your thoughts on to your parents or not. The mediator will check this out with you carefully and agree with you exactly what is to be kept confidential and what you would like the mediator to feed back to your parents. (The only exception to this confidentiality between you and the mediator would be if any concerns about safety arose).

Whilst your parents will still make the decisions, the fact you’ve met with the mediator can often help them improve things and make better decisions all round about the things which really affect you now and in the future.

The Facts

  • If you’re 10 or over you have a right to have your views heard in matters which affect you and your future. You will be asked if you’d like to see a mediator. Both of your parents have to agree to this too.
  • FMC Registered Mediators who see children are used to talking with young people whose families are going through separation and often stressful changes.
  • Lots of children and young people have found it really helpful to talk things over with a family mediator…it also helps their parents listen to what’s important for their children when hearing it from an independent mediator.
  • The meeting will be friendly and informal.
  • The meetings usually take place by video online or in the mediator‘s office.
  • Your parents won’t be at the meeting (though they might bring you to meet the mediator at the mediator’s office if meeting in person).
  • If you have brothers or sisters, they might attend too, though the mediator will usually see each of you and your brothers or sisters on your own for a while.
  • The meeting can last up to an hour but this is flexible and can be shorter as you like. Sometimes there’s a follow up meeting to see how things are working out.
  • The mediator may have some ideas which will support you through the changes too.

Watch Tom’s Story 

Tom’s Story was produced by the University of Exeter’s The Rights Idea? project, an innovative collaboration led by Professor Anne Barlow (with Dr Jan Ewing) (Law School) in partnership with the National Youth Advocacy Service (NYAS) and the National Association of Child Contact Centres (NACCC).