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Views of the Child

 

What is a Hear the Child Report?bchtcs colour print logo

A Hear the Child Report is a non-evaluative report which expresses children's views in separation and divorce cases. It is used to determine a child's best interests by considering the child's views.

What is the purpose?

The purpose of a non-evaluative child interview is to listen to the child so they can express their views in relation to family breakdown or transition, and have them considered in decisions made about their best interests. A Child Interviewer interviews the child and records their responses. The Interviewer does not assess the child, his or her best interests, or the parents. The interviewer's job is to relay the child's views to adult decision-makers.

What is the difference between a Hear the Child Report and a Views of the Child Report?

The terms are sometimes used interchangeably; however, a Hear the Child Report is a direct record of the child's stated desire. It is non-evaluative. It is not an expert report and is not an expert opinion. The child's responses may be used as evidence to help decision makers determine what is best for the child. Legislation such as the British Columbia Family Law Act (ss. 37(2)(b), 202, 211(1)(b)) support hearing the views of children in family justice processes where a child's best interests are being determined.

A Views of the Child Report [see s. 211(1)(b) of the Family Law Act] includes not only the child's views but an assessment made by the writer on whether the child is mature enough to have the opinion and whether there is evidence of influence or pressure on the child from a parent. This is an assessment, sometimes referred to as an expert opinion.

For more information about Family Law refer to the Family Law Act at: http://www.leg.bc.ca/39th4th/3rd_read/gov16-3.htm

Who does the interview and report?

A private Interview should be done by a qualified neutral professional who meets criteria to complete a Hear the Child Report. Andrea Yeo of Starfish Counselling Services meets this criteria and is a qualified neutral child interviewer. http://hearthechild.ca/andrea-yeo

The Interviewer meets with the child, typically for no more than one hour per session. The child is asked about such things as school, activities, relationships, living arrangements and specific matters requested by the court, counsel or parties. The child provides input but does not make the decision and this is discussed with the child. With the child's consent, the Interviewer listens to and then prepares a Hear the Child Report and shares it with those involved in making decisions about the child's best interests such as parents, a judge, or other family professional. This entire process can be completed in a matter of days, depending on what is arranged with the qualified child interviewer.

For more information about Hear the Child Reports refer to BC Hear the Child Society at: http://hearthechild.ca/roster/faq

To request a quote or find out about the process to obtain a Hear the Child Report, email Andrea Yeo at here

 

 

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