Who is Listening to Children and Young People (LCYP) for?
Children and young people aged 7 and upwards whose parents are separating, separated or divorced. (younger siblings will be included)
Why listen to children and young people?
When children and young people have information and the opportunity to express their point of view, they are better able to deal with the effects of their parent’s divorce or separation. It can be helpful if this discussion takes place with someone outside of the family, with a neutral 3rd party who can listen objectively to what is being said and agree with the children what should be fed back to their parents and provide the feedback. The feedback can help with the plans their parents are making for the future.
What is the process?
It is important that parents understand the purpose of the meeting for their children and that both agree to them being invited to a meeting. To establish this parents are normally seen together for an Information and Preparation Meeting (parents can attend separately if required).
The children are then invited to their meeting with the mediator, usually outside of school hours.
The mediators who meet with children have been specifically trained and are experienced at talking with children and young people.
As soon as possible after the children’s meeting the parents attend for a feedback meeting together.(although may be in separate rooms at the mediators discretion).
Mediation may or may not follow.
Meetings are confidential unless there is concern about the risk of harm to anyone especially children.
What happens in the LCYP meeting?
Siblings are usually seen together, however they will also be able to speak with the mediator on their own if they wish.
The confidentiality aspects and purpose of the meeting will be explained before the children are invited to talk.
Advice or counselling will not be offered.
The mediator will listen to the children and help them to express their views about what is happening for them and any ideas they might have for future plans.
At the end of the meeting the mediator will clarify and confirm with the children what the feedback (if any) to their parents should be .
The feedback meeting should take place as soon after this meeting as possible—ideally the following day.