I think it is important in certain circumstances to give children a voice in the process of divorce.
I have worked with parents and their children, both teenagers and younger, since 1980 and am comfortable conversing about family life and family dynamics.
- What is the Purpose of a Views of the Child Report?
The purpose of a non-evaluative child interview (the “Interview”) is to listen to the child so that the child can express his or her views in relation to family breakdown or transition, and have them considered in decisions made about their best interests. The Interviewer does not assess the child, his or her best interests, or the parents.
- Who does the Interview and Report?
A private Interview is done by a qualified neutral professional who meets the criteria of the BC Hear the Child Society for its Child Interviewer Roster (the “Interviewer”). The Interviewer meets with the child twice, typically for no more than one hour per session. The child is asked about such things as school, activities, relationships, living arrangements and specific matters requested by the court, counsel or parties. The child provides input but does not make the decision and this is discussed with the child. With the child’s consent, the Interviewer listens to and then prepares a Views of the Child Report and shares it with those involved in making decisions about the child’s best interests such as parents, a judge, or other family professional. This entire process can be completed in a matter of days, depending on what is arranged with the qualified child interviewer. (Note: A provincial Family Justice Counsellor may also be available to do a similar interview and report if families are eligible and choose to receive this service.)
- What about the child being interviewed?
Interviews are generally most effective when done with children from 8 years of age and older. Where there is more than one child, each child is interviewed separately.
- How much does it cost, and how long will it take?
My fees for the Interview are determined in discussion with the parties taking into account the turnaround time of the report following the Interview. Depending on my schedule and the complexity of the information I may be able to complete the process in a matter of days.
NON-EVALUATIVE "VIEWS OF THE CHILD" REPORTS