Meeting with Children: A Child-Centred Approach

A new approach to authentically engaging with children and youth

Child consultation skills for family law practitioners, family mediators and other practitioners working with children.

  • Non-evaluative
  • Meetings rather than interviews
  • Two activity-based meetings with children
  • Child meeting skills including six developmentally appropriate activities
  • A structured approach to ordering the messages from children

Meeting with Children: A Child-Centred Approach
Skills for Family Law Professionals

In this four day program Lorri Yasenik PhD and Jon Graham explore the skills necessary to authentically meet with post-separation children and youth and bring the voice of children to parents.

Starting from a position that all children over 5 years should be given the opportunity to participate in ADR processes that affect them, Lorri and Jon consider the question of how to authentically engage with children and youth, creating space for he messages from children can be brought back to parents in a way that is not only safe, but is also is authentic to the child.

For practitioners: the approach is highly structured and non evaluative
For children/youth: the approach is unstructured, and non-directive, practice based, experiential, expressive and play based.

The question is not WHETHER children should be heard, but rather HOW TO ensure children’s voices are safely and effectively heard as part of an ADR process. A child-centred approach views the child as central to the family system, and provides strategies for working with parents to include the child’s concerns. The challenge that practitioners face is how and when to include children AND how to increase the readiness of the parents to hear their children’s concerns.


PDF Read about Child Consultant/Child Inclusive Specializations

Course Objectives

At the conclusion of this course participants will be able to:

  1. Identify what it means to be child-centred when working with children and
    youth in separated families and in child protection environments
  2. Engage in directive and non-directive ways of meeting with children and
    understand metaphor and projection as ways children tell about their lived
    worlds
  3. Identify the four levels of child involvement and the cases in which each level is
    most appropriate
  4. Make use of the Child Readiness Scale, the Child and Youth Concerns Scale and
    the Parent Readiness Scale with practical application
  5. Effectively provide feedback to parents and other third parties
  6. Understand the ethical implications of child-centred practice, the challenges of
    employing a child- centred strategy, and the cost of employing traditional non
    child-centred strategies in family mediation.

Who Should Attend?

Program Details

Duration:FOUR DAY COURSE (28 hours face-to-face, 10 to 14 hours non-face-to-face, 42 hours total)

Course location: 

  • ICCFL Sydney, Australia
  • ICCFL Calgary, Canada
  • The course can be delivered elsewhere by invitation

Course Fee:  EARLY BIRD RATE $1,400.00 (CAD/AUD plus GST) if paid in full four weeks prior to the course start date
FULL FEE: $1,650.00 (CAD/AUD plus GST)

Course Fee Includes:

  • All tuition
  • Meeting with Children Book and Manual
  • Online Tools and Resources
  • Wheel of Child Development access
  • Daily breakfast, morning and afternoon refreshment breaks
  • Review of assessment tasks
  • Issue of Certificates
meeting with chidren

Learning Approach

Everyone who attends the program will receive a Certificate of Attendance stating hours attended and topics covered.

Assessments Tasks

This course is designed to meet the Alberta Family Mediation Society Child Consultant/Child Inclusive Mediator Specialization.  In order to meet this requirement, participants must:

  • Complete all pre-reading and any pre-course assessments
  • Attend the 28 hour face-to-face training
  • Successfully complete post-course assessment tasks, including submission of a video assessment

Upon satisfactory completion of the course (including out of class assessments) participants will receive a Certificate of Competence.