Learning & events

PDG event | The voice of children in family law: The child centred continuum approach

with Jon Graham

Wednesday 31 July 2019 | Sydney

Across the world Family Law jurisdictions are struggling with the same issue. If the International convention on the Rights of the Child acknowledges a child’s right to participate in decisions that affect them (Article 12), how can a family law dispute resolution system (FDR/Mediation) provide an opportunity for that to occur, not just in the nice cases, but in all cases suitable for Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)? In 2015 Jon Graham (Sydney, Australia) began an international collaboration with Lorri Yasenik PhD (Calgary, Canada). The goal was to design a model of practice that treated a family law parenting dispute from a systemic viewpoint and as such treat the mediation as a multi-party process. It is not that children are in the room all the time, but it is possible that children are given meaningful involvement. It is not true that children are given the status of decision makers for their parents, but rather provide information about the needs and concerns that they have as a result of the family separation.

In this presentation Jon will present the child centred continuum model, which has become a focus of child informed discussion in Australia, North America, the UK and Asia.

About the presenter

Jon Graham Jon is a nationally accredited mediator, a registered Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner (FDR) and is a clinical supervisor of family mediation practice. His practice focuses on the fields of family law mediation, and particularly the areas of high conflict, family violence, and other complexities. Jon is a highly respected lecturer in mediation practice, both in Australia and internationally. Since 2016 Jon has formed a collaborative partnership with Dr Lorri Yasenik in Calgary Alberta. The partnership has focused on how children’s voices are heard particularly in extreme conflict separations.

In 2015 Jon was the recipient of a Churchill Fellowship to study internationally the use of mediation when the family system is affected by violence, abuse, mental health or drug and alcohol issues. Jon lives and practices in the inner west of Sydney.