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consulting children

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Young people often find it hard to communicate with their parents after separation. Afraid of split loyalties and causing further conflict, they learn to tell parents what parents want to hear.  Consulting Children gives them an independent voice.

We help them to …

  • open up and share their views
  • talk about the changes in their family
  • express concerns about their family’s future
  • give feedback to their parents or the court

If you are a parent, we ask you to be prepared to hear what your children tell us.

"we don’t want to be stuck in the middle"

If you’re a young person, you might feel nervous talking about your family to someone you don’t know.  This is perfectly normal but our Family Mediators are specially trained to focus on your views.  You will…

  • be given time to consider what you want to say
  • not be quizzed or asked inappropriate questions
  • choose whether you wish to share your views

Young people attend a minimum of two sessions and, with the mediator, are supported to feedback their thoughts and feelings to their parents.

Form F9 and Court Reports

The Children (Scotland) Act 1995 gives children the right to have their views considered in decisions about their families and outlines their right to be consulted about their wishes.

The Form F9 can be used at any time during family law proceedings to give children the opportunity to express their views to the Sheriff. It is designed to be completed by the child with an appropriate adult to assist them. AVENUE provides an F9 service to help children consider their views about their family arrangements and complete the form to communicate with the court. 

 

Sheriffs may find it helpful for children and young people’s views to be reported independently and options for the court to consider. 

 

To find out more about Consulting Children

email or call Aberdeen Peterhead Elgin

Megan's Story

Hi, I'm Megan and I want to tell you what happened when my parents divorced.  I'm 12 now and they separated when I was 10.  It was a big shock when they told me about splitting up and I was really upset.  They said they were sad too, they would still love me and I would take turns to live with each of them and it would be okay. 

It was okay for a while, but they started arguing about money and buying new flats.  I didn't know what to do so I just pretended I was fine, but I worried all the time that we were going to be poor and homeless. 

They were saying bad things about each other.  It made me feel sad and scared and I started getting stomach aches.  It got worse when Dad started to go out with Jenny and Mum found out and got very angry.  They stopped speaking about anything and made me pass notes to each other.   

It got so hard that I worried all the time and couldn’t sleep.  One day at school I fell asleep in class, and when the teacher asked me what was wrong, I burst into tears.  The Head Teacher called my Mum and talked to her about parents splitting up and how hard it is for kids.  She sent my Mum and Dad a letter telling them to go to something called mediation. 

They came home from their meeting and told me I could go there too.  I could talk to someone who would help me tell Mum and Dad how I was really feeling and what they could do to make it easier for me.  The lady I talked to was really nice and knew a lot about kids and their families.  She really listened to what I was saying, and when I was ready, helped me write what I wanted my parents to know. 

They all had a meeting and talked about how they could change some things.  Mum cried when she got home and told me how well I’d done at being so honest.  My parents talk to each other more now, I don't have to carry messages and they both try not to say bad things about each other.  Mum still doesn't really like Jenny, but she doesn't mind if I do.