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Child Advocay Hub

In Australia, recognising the child's voice in Child-Inclusive Mediations and Family Assessments is fundamental to ensuring that the outcomes genuinely reflect their best interests. This practice not only respects the child as an individual with their own rights and perspectives but also contributes to more informed and sustainable decisions regarding the child's best interests. The Child Advocacy Hub plays a pivotal role in this regard, offering services that meticulously consider the child's voice and welfare. By prioritising the child's needs and views, we ensure that our services are aligned with the best interests of the child, thereby upholding children's dignity and rights within the family and wider community.


  • Child Consultant Services (Child Participation) in Child-Inclusive Mediations.

  • Family Assessments.

  • Child Trauma Impact Report.

  • Registered Family Dispute Resolutions Practitioner.

Child Consultant Services (Child-participation) in Child-Inclusive Mediation

A Child Consultant is defined as a child-centred, family-focused intervention role that is particularly important to families who are attempting to make decisions that include children post-separation and divorce. The Child Consultant provides a safe and developmentally appropriate way to include children's input so parents and other third-party decision-makers can consider children as part of the process vs. objects of discussion. The Child Consultant is trained in specialised approaches to working with children and views children as part of a broader family system.

Goals of Meeting with Children

  • Identify children's developmental needs.

  • Understand children's view of their family and relationships with influential people.

  • Provide children with basic information about separation and divorce and various professional roles.

  • Explore children's perspectives and experiences.

  • Identify what is going well for children and what is not.

  • Identify any specific needs as represented by the children.

  • Provide children with a safe space to express thoughts/feelings they may otherwise be unable to express to a parent in case of hurting a parent's feelings.

  • Identify coping skills utilised by children.


Most parents are unaware that children have a legal right to be asked about their thoughts and feelings about legal matters affecting their lives. Therefore, parents are adhering to providing their children the right to a voice by using this service. Children have unique perspectives and are an intricate part of the fabric of their families. Gaining children's input is essential in decision-making as children provide a greater context to the issues.


Although parents often think they know what their children value and think about, talking to someone outside the family often sheds light on a critical issue for a particular child. It provides the voice of the child. Each child is different, and parents may be able to make minor adjustments/decisions that make a difference to one or more of their children if they hear from their children through a Child Interview Specialist.

Private Family Report

A family assessment is a professional forensic assessment undertaken to assist a court and the parties in deciding on parenting arrangements for children of separated parents or caregivers. It is an independent, professional forensic family appraisal from a social science and non-partisan perspective. A family assessment provides a comprehensive and impartial social science perspective and has the functional value of contributing to informed and child-centred decisions. The assessment includes information about the views and needs of children, their relationships with their parents and other significant adults, and the attitudes and parental capacities of the adults regarding the children's needs. Family assessments should include an assessment of any risk factors identified in a matter.


Private Child Impact Report

The purpose of a Child Impact Report is to provide information about the experiences and needs of children in the context of the dispute before the Court. In preparing the report, the Child Expert will consider a range of issues such as the children's development, children's relationships, and the presence of risk factors (such as family violence). Child Impact Reports focus on the impact of these types of issues on children and parenting. Information about their children's experiences can help parents understand how separation and other family changes affect their children. Parents are helped to understand their children's experiences and needs by involving them early in the court process and considering what future arrangements would best meet them. A Child Impact Report also helps the registrar or judge understand what is happening for children and assists them in making decisions with case management.


Family Mediation and Dispute Resolution

The Court expects that people involved in family law disputes will only make an application to the Court when there is no other readily available means of resolving their dispute. There is an expectation that people in dispute will attempt to resolve conflicts by compromise, discussion, and dispute resolution if it is safe. Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) is mandatory in parenting matters, with limited exceptions, before any application can be filed. Dispute resolution is a broad term that includes negotiation through lawyers, collaborative practice, conciliation, mediation or FDR and arbitration. The expectation to continue seeking opportunities to resolve disputes applies before and during proceedings. Mediation is a way of resolving disputes between people in conflict, usually facilitated by a neutral person. Separated families are encouraged to use family mediation to help resolve their disputes about children instead of using the family law courts. When a family disagrees about arrangements for children after separation, an FDR practitioner provides facilitative family mediation. An FDR practitioner is an independent person trained in mediation and negotiation and specialising in family disputes. They are neutral and do not take sides with any people involved in the mediation. They will facilitate the process by encouraging people to discuss issues in dispute. They are trained in working in a family law environment and in responding to domestic and family violence. They are also trained in creating a supportive environment, particularly for the safety of vulnerable people. They should provide a safe environment for people to discuss and clarify issues and feel safe to disagree openly. An FDR practitioner is accredited under the standards set out in the Family Law (Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners) Regulations 2008. FDR is a form of mediation facilitated by an independent and registered Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner (FDRP). FDR is a practical way for separating families to resolve disagreements and make arrangements for the future without going to Court. If you reach an agreement with the assistance of an FDRP, you can enter into a parenting plan or file an Application for Consent Orders so that the agreement is made into binding court orders. If you cannot agree, you can request that the FDRP issue a certificate.


60I Certificate Service

In Australia, it is broadly accepted that parents should try to resolve their dispute using an accredited family mediation service before starting an application with the Family Court. Accredited family mediators (or Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) practitioners) can issue Section 60I certificates to parents in a specific set of circumstances outlined below. Once a parent has a Section 60I certificate, they can initiate Family Court proceedings or use a family lawyer. Except in limited circumstances, the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) (the Act) requires you to obtain a certificate from a registered FDRP before you file an application for an order concerning a child under Part VII of the Act. Part VII of the Act covers applications for several different types of orders relating to children. The most common are applications for parenting orders, which ask a court to make orders about which parent a child lives with, spends time with, or communicates with.

The certificates, known as section 60I certificates, can be issued only on the basis that:

  1. one party refused to attend the FDR;

  2. the FDRP was of the view the matter was not appropriate to conduct FDR;

  3. both parties attended and made a genuine effort to resolve the dispute;

  4. both parties attended, but one did not make a genuine effort or;

  5. FDR began, but the FDRP determined it was not appropriate to continue.

New Ways Counselling, Coaching, And Mediation ("New Ways")

People with high conflict personalities exhibit blaming, all-or-nothing thinking, high levels of emotion and extreme behaviour that make it hard to help them with ordinary conflict resolution techniques. They get stuck in the systems and processes and need something new. New Ways methods are advanced training designed for professionals with their stakeholders– clients, employees, coaches, or young people. New Ways focuses on teaching or using four simple skills that help people learn to manage their emotions, use flexible thinking, take responsibility for their actions, and have moderate behaviours so they can move forward. You can't undo a high-conflict personality. However, many can learn the necessary skills to use at work, at home, in life, in school, and meditation.

New Ways for Families® Counselling: A structured method for family law counsellors to help divorcing or separating parents learn the 4 Big Skills to turn down the conflict flame and improve co-parenting skills.


New Ways for Mediation℠

A structured method specifically for high-conflict cases, focusing on teaching clients four simple skills to use within a simple structure, keeping the focus on problem-solving and away from venting about the past and making rigid, extreme demands.


New Ways for Life™

A unique method for counsellors, youth leaders, parents, or others to teach the 4 Big Skills to young people between 12 and 17.


New Ways for Families® Coaching

A structured method for family law coaches to help divorcing or separating parents learn the 4 Big Skills through the online class to turn down the conflict flame and improve co-parenting skills.

New Ways for Work®

A structured coaching method for HR and EAP professionals, coaches, and others to teach the 4 Big Skills to employees or anyone in the workplace to resolve conflicts before they lead to grievances and lawsuits.

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