Voice of the Child Reports Training

Child-Inclusive Mediation Training

What Others Say About Our Training?

For Professionals

Voice of the Child Reports and Child-Inclusive Mediation Training

Obtain comprehensive training with a practice component to learn Voice of the Child Reports and/or Child-Inclusive Mediation. To date, professionals across Canada and beyond have completed our courses in order to obtain the knowledge and skill they need to be able to offer the service of obtaining the child’s voice in separation and divorce matters and/or child-protection matters.

  • We offer 3-day online comprehensive foundation training by experienced trainers.
  • We offer training updates for continuing education opportunities.
  • We offer you the opportunity to be listed on our trained professional rosters where the public and other professionals can find you.
  • The rosters allow you to be part of our professional community of trained professionals where you can connect and refer to each other.
  • Trainees from anywhere in world may participate in the trainings or rosters.
  • All training is delivered online and in English.
  • Registration for each of the foundation courses is limited in order for us to pay attention to each trainee via small class sizes.
  • All training is delivered virtually/online.
  • Training dates are listed below and updated from time to time.

Voice of the Child Report Training

LEARN HOW TO “MEET” AND INTERVIEW CHILDREN: VOICE OF THE CHILD REPORTS

Add these special skills to your practice!

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 12:

  • Parties shall assure to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child, the views of the child being given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child.
  • For this purpose, the child shall in particular be provided the opportunity to be heard in any judicial and administrative proceedings affecting the child, either directly, or through a representative or an appropriate body, in a manner consistent with the procedural rules of national law.

As family professionals, we have a duty to ensure that parents are aware of their child’s right to be heard when important decisions are made about their lives. Yet, interviewing children can be a complex exercise and must be approached with great sensitivity and care. This training will provide you with the knowledge, tools and practical skills you need to take on this role.

This course offers advanced skill building for those who wish to provide Voice of the Child Reports and have a clinical background working with families, including but not limited to family mediators, child protection mediators, parenting coordinators, lawyers, Office of the Children’s Lawyer clinical agents and lawyers, social workers, psychologists, child protection workers, collaborative law child and family consultants, and clinical assessors.

This is a non-evaluative process that is about sharing the child’s voice with the parents. Learn how to interview children for the purpose of obtaining children’s views and preferences to be able to offer this unique service in family law cases, family dispute resolution, and child protection cases.

Learn About:

  • 12 Step Voice of the Child Reports
  • Practice Standards and Guidelines
  • Overview of child development, children’s communication and children’s special needs as they relate to interviewing
  • Research on the child’s voice in separation and divorce
  • Introduction to the Models: “Meet” and Interview
  • Benefits; Risks; Mitigation
  • Roles, Purpose and Parameters
  • Setting up the Context and Consents
  • Preparing the Parents
  • Managing the Process
  • Gathering Baseline Information
  • Engaging Children and Parents
  • Meeting with Children
  • Interviewing Children
  • Practice Skills
  • Closure
  • Follow up with parents and child
  • Child’s Voice in Parenting Plans

Who Should Attend?
This is an advanced course for Family Law Professionals and Family And Child Clinicians

Learning Approach
This course is taught online in English via lecture, role plays, video, small group work. Handouts, materials and forms for process are included.

Online Learning Duration: 3-day (21-hour) course. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (EST) each day.

Please see Continued Education Section below for Training Dates

To secure your registration: Complete the Training Registration Form below and make the total payment of $1695.00 CAD ( This includes HST).
Refunds or Cancellations:
Full refund until 14 days in advance of the start date. Following this date, refund minus $300.00 administration fee.
Receipts and Certification of Attendance:
A receipt and certification of attendance shall be sent to you by email after the training event.
Limited Registration Available!

TRAINING REGISTRATION FORM
VOICE OF THE CHILD REPORT FOUNDATION TRAINING

Fill out my online form.

Child-Inclusive Family Mediation

Currently delivered via OAFM

In this 3-day 21-hour online class, we explore the knowledge and skills necessary to obtain the authentic voice of the child to bring the child’s voice to the decision makers in mediation.

Children have the right to have the opportunity to be heard. As mediators we must provide families with information about the voice of the child inclusion in mediation, how this opportunity can be achieved, and how it can inform the parents when considering the child’s voice for the drafting of parenting plans and settlement.

Yet, involving children can be a complex exercise and must be approached with great sensitivity and care. This training will provide you with the tools and practical skills you need to take on the role of providing Child-Inclusive Mediation and addresses the challenges for practitioners who wish to offer this service. Learn how to interview children and provide non-evaluative feedback to the parents for the purpose of mediation.

To this end, the learning objectives are:

  • Learn what the voice of the child inclusion is and is not, and what it entails.
  • Learn about two different models (“meet” and “interview”) with a focus on child interviews.
  • Learn a structured approach to obtaining the authentic voice of the child.
  • Learn interviewing skills.
  • Review Practice Guidelines and steps to complete the process.
  • Learn to assess parents’ readiness and to provide feedback to parents.
  • Learn ethical and process issues, and special considerations.
  • And more

Who Should Attend?
This is an advanced course for Family Mediators; Child Protection Mediators; Court-Based Family Mediators.

Learning Approach
This course is taught online in English via lecture, role plays, video, small group work. Handouts, materials and forms for process are included.

Please see Continued Education Section below for Training Dates

To secure your registration: Complete the Training Registration Form below and make the total payment of $1695.00 CAD (this includes HST).
Refunds or Cancellations:
Full refund until 14 days in advance of the start date. Following this date, refund minus $300.00 administration fee.
Receipts and Certification of Attendance:
A receipt and certification of attendance shall be sent to you by email after the training event.
Limited Registration Available!

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Online Learning Duration: 3-day (21-hour) course. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (EST) each day.
Registration for this course can be found at OAFM https://www.oafm.on.ca/pages/events/

Course Fee Includes:
Tuition
Tools and Resources
Certificate of Completion provided by OAFM

What Everyone Needs to Know about Child-Inclusive Mediation

Continuing Education And Events

NEXT EVENTS:

Voice Of The Child Reports Foundation Training (21 Hours)

November 8, 10, 12 2021 CLOSED

May 2, 4, 6 2022 OPEN

To register: Click Here

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Child-Inclusive Mediation Foundation Training (21 Hours)

November 22 – 24, 2021 CLOSED

May 11 – 13, 2022 OPEN

To register: https://www.oafm.on.ca/pages/events

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TRAINED CHILD-INCLUSIVE MEDIATOR CHECK IN

NOVEMBER 30TH 12:30 P.M. TO 2 P.M.

REGISTRATION: https://www.oafm.on.ca/pages/events/

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CHILD-INCLUSIVE MEDIATION CONFERENCE

FRIDAY MAY 25TH 9 – 12 NOON 

REGISTRATION:  https://www.oafm.on.ca/pages/events/

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Introduction to Child-Inclusive Mediation

TDB

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Introduction to The Voice Of The Child

2 Hours Online January 12th, 2022. 12 – 2pm OPEN 

Cost $45.20 (this includes HST)

To Register: Click Here

As family professionals, it is vital to be able to explain the Voice
of the Child to parents. This online webinar is an Introduction to the Voice of
the Child, how to present it to parents, and how parents may obtain this to
assist them with settlement. Brief exploration of the service variations for the
Voice of the Child including Voice of the Child Reports, Child-Inclusive
Mediation, Child-Protection Mediation, Parenting Coordination, Therapy,
and the Children’s Lawyer. Learn how to make the distinction and how to
assist families in deciding how to proceed.

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Condensed Child-Inclusive Mediation Training for those who completed the Voice of the Child Reports Training

TBD

To register: Click Here To Complete Form And Provide Payment.

Day 1 (9 – 5 p.m.); Day 2 (9 – 12 p.m.)

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Condensed Voice of the Child Reports Training for those who completed the Child-Inclusive Mediation Training

TBD

Day 1 (9 – 5 p.m.); Day 2 (9 – 12 p.m.)

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PAYMENT MUST BE RECEIVED TO SECURE YOUR REGISTRATION
LIMITED REGISTRATION!

Join the Voice of the Child Practitioners Rosters

It only makes sense that the public, lawyers, and others can find trained Voice of the Child Report practitioners and Child-Inclusive Mediators. The professionals listed have taken our foundation training for the roster they wish to be listed on.
  • When you join one or both rosters you elect to provide information to the public to view your specialty, geographical area and contact information.
  • You can also use this site to learn of other professionals who provide this service, connect with them professionally, cross refer to each other, consult, and build your practice.
  • We do not vet, qualify or regulate the professionals listed. We are not responsible for the quality of anyone’s work or complaints made against anyone on the roster.
  • Any complaints should be addressed to that professional’s licensing body and professional association, not to us.
  • Those with a criminal charge or conviction(s) related to a child(ren) or with regard to a client(s) are not permitted to join the rosters and are responsible for declaring this up front.
  • This is strictly an information site and we have complete discretion over it at all times.
  • All professionals providing these unique services should have adequate professional liability insurance and a vulnerable sector police clearance given that you are working with children in family law matters. It is your responsibility to obtain these before you do this work.
  • The fee for your listing on one roster is $75.00 CAD per year. For both rosters it is $113.00 CAD per year.
 

ROSTER CANCELLATION REQUEST 

We would like you to remain on our roster(s) but if you wish to cancel your annual listing, please send us an email at: info@pccs.ca

Please state your name as it appears on the roster(s) and the roster(s) to be delisted from.  As well, we would really appreciate the reason for delisting.

PLEASE NOTE:

Cancellations are considered a termination of your listing and we will remove your information from our roster(s).

REFUND

Please note, roster listing is a yearly subscription therefore no refund will be provided for any remaining months/days.

If you used PayPal to pay for your listing, log into your PayPal account and cancel your subscription to the roster(s).


To be listed, complete the form and submit with payment.

For Parents/Lawyers

Overview of the Voice of the Child in Separation and Divorce

Children have the right to be heard when parents make decisions about co-parenting plans after separation. The right to be heard can be found in United Nations Convention for the Rights of the Child ratified by Canada (Article 12). In Ontario, Canada, obtaining the voice of the child is also supported in the Divorce Act, the Child and Youth Family Services Act and the Children’s Law Reform Act.

Parents can provide consent for their children to have voice through a number of services: Child-Inclusive Mediation, Parenting Coordination, or, a Voice of the Child Report, in Collaborative Family Law cases, Arbitration or as a result of a Court order on consent.

Hearing your children’s views, preferences, concerns and wishes can help you focus on your children’s needs and wellbeing, and help you settle parenting plan issues. Hearing the voice of your children can offset one parent’s claims against the other, assist in cases of mobility (a move), as well as assist in resolving disagreements about decision making, time sharing, and other parenting issues. 

You may just want to better understand your children’s wishes and preferences, concerns and needs.   Children often have a difficult time sharing their thoughts and concerns about these sensitive issues directly with their parents, particularly if they are aware of any conflict. Speaking to a neutral professional voice of the child practitioner is often much easier and more comfortable. Having an opportunity to share their thoughts is usually much appreciated and helpful.

Children have a voice but not a choice: parents make the final decisions about their parenting plan. In mediation the parents make the final decisions. In arbitration the Arbitrator would make the final decision, or if in court, the Judge would make the final decision. Hearing the voice of the children may be the only step you need, instead of a lengthy parenting plan assessment (Section 30 assessment or OCL Section 112), or a court battle.

Once consent is obtained from the parents, the practitioner will meet with each parent to obtain some background information about the children (if not already known). The practitioner then seeks to obtain consent from the children to speak individually on two separate occasions. Siblings are seen separately. The practitioner will then provide the information the children are willing to share back to the parents.

The most important advice we can share is to only use practitioners who have gone through our three-day training program to ensure they undertaken training to learn how to do this work. We do not guarantee the work of individual professionals and are not in any manner responsible for the work of those listed on the rosters. However, these professionals chose to be on the rosters because they have undertaken the most comprehensive training available (at least in Ontario) and wish to be listed.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take?
Voice of the Child Report is a short-term service comprising of an intake session with each parent and two interviews with each child. Typically, the service is completed in three weeks.

What if the child does not want to speak?
The practitioner informs the child of the purpose of the meetings, who the information will be shared with and how. The practitioner seeks consent from each child. A child can refuse and the refusal to share information must be respected. If the child consents to the meetings, the child determines what information from the meetings is shared with the parents. Most children appreciate having an opportunity to be heard and it is in their best interests to be heard. The children are made aware that the parents make the final decisions, not the children.

Can the Report be used in Court?
Yes, as long as everyone consented to this up front that it may be entered into Court. That includes the children. You should seek legal advice about the use of these reports in Court.

Are recommendations made by the Voice of the Child Report practitioner?
No. These reports are non-evaluative and do not include recommendations or information from collateral resources. If you need recommendations for parenting outcomes, you may need to seek a Parenting Plan Assessment.

Cost?
The cost includes an intake session with each parent, and two meetings with each child and the report.  Some practitioners want a retainer to provide the service and others will have you pay upon each session.

Can the children’s information be used in Court?
In closed mediation the children’s information is confidential within the confidential closed mediation process. The children’s information cannot be used for Court purposes but can be very helpful to parents completing a parenting plan in mediation. If you want the children’s information for the purpose of court, you should request a Voice of the Child Report by a separate Voice of the Child Report trained practitioner.

When can I ask the child-inclusive mediator to meet the children?
Anytime during your mediation with both parents’ written consent. If your mediator is not trained as a child-inclusive mediator or decides it is not appropriate to complete the voice of the child while also acting as your mediator, you could have a Voice of the Child Report practitioner complete the service and prepare the report for both parents and the mediator. That way you have the information to assist you in mediation.

What if the other parent refuses to sign the consent?
Then the mediator cannot move forward with the service of meeting the children, although you can continue with the mediation. You could ask the Court to make an order for a Voice of the Child Report but seek legal advice about this.

Would this delay the mediation?
Typically, the process takes three weeks or less but, in the meantime, there may be other issues to resolve in mediation, for example, financial issues. Once completed, the children’s information may help you settle matters.

Cost?
The cost depends on the Child-Inclusive Mediator’s fees for this service. Another way of looking at cost is that having the voice of the child can assist in settlement and therefore, reduce costs. The cost is much less than a parenting plan assessment although they are also two different services.

FAQS – Voice of the Child Reports

Voice of the Child Report is a short-term service comprising of an intake session with each parent and two interviews with each child. Typically, the service is completed in three weeks.

The practitioner informs the child of the purpose of the meetings, who the information will be shared with and how. The practitioner seeks consent from each child. A child can refuse and the refusal to share information must be respected. If the child consents to the meetings, the child determines what information from the meetings is shared with the parents. Most children appreciate having an opportunity to be heard and it is in their best interests to be heard. The children are made aware that the parents make the final decisions, not the children.

Yes, as long as everyone consented to this up front that it may be entered into Court. That includes the children. You should seek legal advice about the use of these reports in Court.

No. These reports are non-evaluative and do not include recommendations or information from collateral resources. If you need recommendations for parenting outcomes, you may need to seek a Parenting Plan Assessment.

The cost includes an intake session with each parent, and two meetings with each child and the report.  Some practitioners want a retainer to provide the service and others will have you pay upon each session.

FAQS Child-Inclusive Mediation

In closed mediation the children’s information is confidential within the confidential closed mediation process. The children’s information cannot be used for Court purposes but can be very helpful to parents completing a parenting plan in mediation. If you want the children’s information for the purpose of court, you should request a Voice of the Child Report by a separate Voice of the Child Report trained practitioner.

Anytime during your mediation with both parents’ written consent. If your mediator is not trained as a child-inclusive mediator or decides it is not appropriate to complete the voice of the child while also acting as your mediator, you could have a Voice of the Child Report practitioner complete the service and prepare the report for both parents and the mediator. That way you have the information to assist you in mediation.

Then the mediator cannot move forward with the service of meeting the children, although you can continue with the mediation. You could ask the Court to make an order for a Voice of the Child Report but seek legal advice about this.

Typically, the process takes three weeks or less but, in the meantime, there may be other issues to resolve in mediation, for example, financial issues. Once completed, the children’s information may help you settle matters.

The cost depends on the Child-Inclusive Mediator’s fees for this service. Another way of looking at cost is that having the voice of the child can assist in settlement and therefore, reduce costs. The cost is much less than a parenting plan assessment although they are also two different services.

Find VOC Professionals Here

The two rosters below include professionals who have undergone our foundational training in Voice of the Child Reports and/or Child-Inclusive Mediation and registered to be listed.
We do not vet, qualify or regulate anyone on either list any further than whether they completed the foundation training for the roster they wish to be listed on.
The training itself does not qualify anyone or certify anyone to provide these services.
It is important that anyone seeking a Voice of the Child Report or a Child-Inclusive Mediation do their own due diligence when selecting a professional.
We are not responsible for the quality of anyone’s work or complaints with regard to anyone on either roster. Any complaints should be addressed to that professional’s licensing body and professional association, not to us.

This is strictly an information site for your convenience.

About Us Trainers

Debra Rodrigues
Ms. Rodrigues is a registered Social Worker and Director of PCCS Mediators & Counsellors. Based upon her expertise in working with children and families for well over 30 years, she developed and teaches both Child-Inclusive Mediation and Voice of the Child Reports. She has been at the forefront of the movement towards obtaining the Voice of the Child in Family Dispute Resolution services in Ontario, Canada.

Ms. Rodrigues has been instrumental in the development of professional standards for Child-Inclusive Mediators and is an active member of the Voice of the Child Committee for OAFM. She has contributed articles on the subject, podcasts, webinars, and has presented at numerous conferences. She taught Family Mediation at York University, Child-Protection Mediation, as well as Child Abuse, Neglect, Safety and Risk Assessment, and, interviewing and investigation skills to professionals across the Province of Ontario. Ms. Rodrigues has been declared an expert on Separation and Divorce and Parenting Plan Assessments.

Currently she provides Child-Inclusive Family Mediation, Court-Connected Family Mediation, Elder Mediation, Child Protection Mediation, and Voice of the Child Reports and training. She has supervised new mediators for 20 years and provides administration for mediators and therapists within her practice. In the past, Ms. Rodrigues worked for the Office of the Children’s Lawyer, provided Parenting Plan assessments, Parenting Coordination, Family Group Conferences, and was a clinical auditor of child protection agencies in the Province of Ontario. For more information: www.pccs.ca

Dr. Dan Ashbourne
Dr. Ashbourne is a Registered Clinical Psychologist in the province of Ontario, and currently Executive Director at The London Family Court Clinic (L.F.C.C.), in London, Ontario. L.F.C.C. is specifically designed to work with children and their families involved with legal/clinical systems including obtaining the Voice of the Child. He has contributed to the curriculum of the Voice of the Child courses and has presented on the subject. Dr. Ashbourne provides assessments, consultations and training on family and criminal matters. He is a consultant to the ADR-LINK referral service, is assisting in the development of a Child and Youth Advocacy (CYAC) initiative for London-Middlesex and is part of the FASD Community of Practice/Research network in London.

Dr. Kim Harris
Dr. Kimberly Harris is a registered clinical and forensic psychologist in the province of Ontario and is the Assistant Executive Director at the London Family Court Clinic. Dr. Harris has a diverse workload that includes assessment and consultation for youth and their families involved in the justice system addressing issues such as mental health, trauma, violence risk, parenting capacity, custody and access, and capacity to testify. Dr. Harris provides Voice of the Child Reports, contributed to the curriculum of the Voice of the Child courses, and has presented on the subject. Dr. Harris has been declared an expert witness in the areas of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), mental health, psychological assessment, child development, forensic interviews of children, and parenting capacity. Dr. Harris also provides intervention to children and youth who are in conflict with the law and families involved in custody disputes and is the director of a multi-year project to support children and families with FASD, funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation. Dr. Harris provides leadership for a number of community collaborations related to high conflict custody disputes and FASD. She engages in teaching, training, and program development in family assessments, FASD, domestic violence, cognitive behavior therapy, Voice of the Child and forensic issues. Dr. Harris supervises graduate students in these areas and has co-authored papers in several scholarly journals, a chapter in the book entitled Juvenile Justice: Advancing Research, Policy, and Practice, as well as a variety of publications for clinical practice and training.

Joanna Seidel
Joanna Seidel is an experienced Child and Family Therapist in Private Practice in Toronto for more than 15 years. She specializes in working with separated, divorced, and high conflict families. She provides specialized services for families impacted by separation and divorce including; Custody and Access (Parenting) Assessments, Family Mediation, Parenting Plan Consultations, Voice of the Child Reports, Reintegration Therapy, Collaborative Family Professional Services, Parenting and Co-parenting Coaching, and therapeutic counselling for children and families facing challenges related to separation and divorce. She is Clinical Investigator, for the Office of the Children’s Lawyer, since 2011. Joanna Seidel is also a speaker and has presented on various topics relating to child development, separation and divorce, self-care, domestic violence, voice of the child, family conflict and parent child contact problems. Joanna is committed to her work and helping individuals work through their challenges and create new possibilities. Joanna is a Social Worker registered with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers in the Greater Toronto Area.

Contact Us

Please contact us for consultation 905 567-8858 / 1 866 506-PCCS, or email info@pccs.ca or you can also reach us by completing form on the right.

333 Mountainview Road South
P.O. Box 30003
Georgetown, ON
L7G 6J8

info@pccs.ca

905 567-8858

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