Family Dispute Resolution (“FDR”) is a type of mediation for helping separating families to come to their own agreements. During FDR, families, with the help of a neutral and accredited FDR practitioner, will discuss the issues in dispute and consider different options, while being encouraged to focus on the needs of their children.
The main objective of FDR is to assist participants to make a parenting plan setting out the agreed future parenting arrangements.
Child-focused FDR seeks to encourage the parties to look beyond their disputes and consider how the agreements benefit the children. Often the FDR practitioner will educate the parents to better understand how the dispute and separation negatively impacts their children, both in the long and short term. Child focused as a process was described as having the FDR practitioner be “non-neutral with respect to advocating for the interests of the children”. Child-focused FDR could be described as “finding the child’s voice” during parental negotiations in the absence of the child, and is carried out by enlisting the cooperation of the parents and carers in an effort to re-establish and maintain a secure emotional base for the child. Child focused mediation includes the following goals:
Child-inclusive FDR is “finding the child’s voice in the presence of the child”, through a process of developmental consultation and therapeutic conversation. The primary goal is to re-establish and maintain a secure emotional base for the child after family separation, exactly like Child-focused FDR.
Child-inclusive FDR shares the same intent and approach as the Child-focused FDR; however, it additionally involves a direct assessment of children’s experiences of the separation and their relationship with each parent. It requires the involvement of two highly skilled professionals: the FDR practitioner, who works with the parents in the resolution of the dispute; and, a specially trained child consultant, who meets with and assesses the child and provides the FDR practitioner and parents with feedback.
Child-inclusive FDR also includes:
For more information about Child Inclusive Mediation or a Child Focused Mediation contact Watts McCray on (02) 9635 4266.
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