Child Inclusive Guidelines

The Child Consultant/Child Inclusive Specializations reflect a commitment to include children’s voices in the Mediation or Parent Coordination/Arbitration process to which they are subject.

The following guidelines are being upheld as necessary requirements to qualify for the following designations or specializations:

  1. Child Consultant;
  2. Child Inclusive Mediator (RFM-CI); or,
  3. Child Inclusive Parenting Coordinator and Arbitrator (RPCA-CI).

NB: Applicants for the Child Consultant designation may concurrently apply for Child Inclusive Registered Family Mediator (RFM-CI) or Child Inclusive Registered Parenting Coordinator and Arbitrator (RPCA-CI)  (For details, please see the requirement for RFM and RPCA).

Child Consultant Designation Requirements

A. Education and Experience

All Child Consultants must meet the following education and experience criteria:

  1. Degree in Law, Social Work or Psychology or other mental health discipline;
  2. Significant experience (5 years plus) working in the family law sector in a role with direct interaction with children and parents; and
  3. Must submit a resume/curriculum vitae that demonstrates an existing capacity to work within the child’s space.

B. Basic Mediation Training

In addition to the above educational qualifications, all Child Consultants must complete generic conflict resolutions courses, totalling a minimum of 40 hours, which have covered all of the following areas:

  • Conflict Resolution
  • Negotiation
  • Communication
  • Interest-based Mediation
  • Mediation Skills

(Please note that AFMS puts on a 40 hour Basic Mediation course but courses from many other institutions are suitable.  The Legal Education Society of Alberta (LESA) course "Mediation of Family & Divorce Conflicts" is NOT a Basic Mediation course but is instead considered "Specialized Training" often used for the Registered Family Mediator (RFM) membership qualifications.  All levels of mediator membership (above General Member) with AFMS require a 40 hour Basic Mediation course.)

C. Specialized Child Consultant Training with Assessment

All Child Consultants must complete a minimum of 30 hour training that includes practice and knowledge assessments.

Child Consultant training must include the following components:

  1. Course duration minimum 30 hours, which can include online and face-to-face components. A minimum of 21 hours must be completed in face-to-face environment with at least 10 hours in role play/experiential processes.
  2. Course content includes feedback and assessment against:
    1. Skills bases:
      1. Engage with parents and gather developmental and family history
      2. Engage with children and young people in processes that create a safe space
      3. Provide opportunity for the child or young person to describe their post separation life experience using non-directive approaches
      4. Undertake an inquiry with a child or young person using dialogue based and projective based approaches
      5. Collate the child feedback using the child or young person’s language
      6. Undertake a feedback session with parents that elevates the child or young person’s voice and appropriately maintains the child or young person’s privacy
      7. Maintain ethical standards of the child consultant
    2. Knowledge bases:
      1. Ethical practice in meeting with children and young people
      2. Child Development and attachment
      3. Child and adult psychological defences
      4. Family law principles and children’s best interests issues
      5. Indicators of family safety, and other family complexities (i.e., alienating factors, parent and child readiness factors)

D. Assessment Requirement

All Child Consultants must provide documentation that they have successfully completed training that meets the above requirements.

Assessment tasks can include in class assessment, and must include out of class assignments. Assessment tasks may include:

  1. Pre-course quizzes and online learning assessment tasks
    1. Child Centred Continuum Model pre-reading and assessment quiz
    2. Child development pre-reading and assessment quiz
  2. In-class peer feedback on skills demonstrated in role play and exercises
  3. Post course assessment tasks
    1. Assessment of a video sample of a meeting with a child not currently involved in the family law system (required)
    2. Assessment of a video presentation of a child feedback to parents (Can also be achieved through submission of a narrative of what would be said in a parent feedback session)
    3. Written paper 2000 words in total comparing the child development of a 7-year-old to an 11-year-old
    4. Reflective journal from the training program

E. Malpractice/Liability Insurance

All Child Consultants much submit evidence of applicable malpractice insurance coverage for Alberta.

F. On-Going Training and Development

All Child Consultants must participate in a minimum of 30 hours per year meeting with children and providing feedback to parents/third parties.

In addition, Child Consultants must complete a minimum of 20 hours of continuing education in related topic areas (e.g. mediation, child development, domestic violence, family law issues related to parenting) every two years.

For Child Inclusive specializations, these hours can be incorporated into their principal designation training.

G. Specializations

Successful candidates for the Child Consultation who have previously met the qualification for either the Registered Family Mediator designation or the Registered Parenting Coordinator and Arbitrator designation and are in good standing with AFMS are entitled to use the “Child Inclusive” (-CI) specialization denotation with a successful application for Child Consultant.

Applicants for the Child Consultant designation may concurrently apply for Child Inclusive Registered Family Mediator (RFM-CI) or Child Inclusive Registered Parenting Coordinator/Arbitrator (RPCA-CI).


Application Form for Child Consultant Status

Letter of Reference Form
If you're submitting reference letters in support of your application for a designation, please use this: AFMS letter of reference