Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Children benefit from Family Court counselling

Media release
18 December 2006

Children benefit from Family Court counselling

A new study, funded by the Families Commission, shows clear benefits to including children in the counselling provided to parents who are separating and going through a Family Court mediation process.

At present, only parents are offered counselling and it is assumed children will benefit indirectly from this. For the purposes of this study 26 children of 17 couples were included in some of the counselling sessions with their parents, as part of the mediation process. The results showed it reduced parental conflict, improved the possibility of satisfactory agreements, and that being involved in the process helped children to adapt with less distress to the new situation.

The study Hello, I’m a Voice, Let Me Talk: - Child inclusive mediation in family separation was carried out by researcher Jill Goldson of the Centre of Child and Family Policy Research at Auckland University. The study was funded and published by the Families Commission’s Innovative Practice Fund.

“Most Family Court cases involving relationship and childcare issues are resolved during mediation and do not proceed to court. However, we know that a great many situations remain emotionally unresolved. This is particularly hard for children who need to relate to both parents but who are not given an opportunity to be part of the discussions about the new arrangements”, says Ms Goldson who has been a Family Court counsellor for over 20 years.

“Including children in the decisions that affect them is already enshrined in the Children, Young Person’s and their Families Act. This study demonstrates the importance of extending the child-inclusive approach into parental separation processes well before conflict becomes entrenched.” she said.

Comments from children involved in the study showed they found the counselling relieved their anxieties, helped them take part in the restructuring of relationships and improved communication within the family.

One seven-year-old boy said “I feel more comfortable inside and I feel more happy inside”. One 11-year-old girl said, “It’s made everything easier, mum and dad don’t fight so much. Now I can say what I want to say without being told I am wrong.”

The Chief Commissioner of the Families Commission, Rajen Prasad said “Innovative ideas among people working with families are sometimes not translated into practice and into policy. Our new Innovative Practice Fund has been set up to encourage practitioners to complete and publish work that will be useful to others.

“This study, the first to be supported by this new fund, shows the value of including children in the mediation counselling process when their parents separate. The findings have both practice and policy implications and the Commission will be referring the report to the Family Court and the Ministry of Justice,” he said.


See... Hello, I’m a Voice, Let Me Talk: Child-Inclusive Mediation in Family Separation (PDF)

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced


Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election