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Voice of the Child Reports

Understanding the Voice of the Child Report (VCR)

The VCR or voice of the child report can be a helpful tool for parents and judges when making parenting arrangements. It is a non-evaluative report in contrast to a custody or a decision making report. It is a written report prepared by a trained professional who interviews the children over the course of several days. The first step before a VOC can take place requires the parents and the children to give their consent. It is a voluntary process. The professional through the course of interviewing the children learns about their individual concerns, wishes, and desires for their lives moving forward. After the completion of the interviews, the children have complete control over what information is delivered back to the parents, lawyers, mediators and/or courts. This means that no matter how much information was relayed by the children, the only information that may be taken back is what they have permitted to be shared.

Voice of the child Reports Ontario

Voice of the Child Report (VCR) Benefits

The Importance of Prioritizing a Child's Perspective in Legal Decisions

In many legal scenarios, especially those involving family dynamics and disputes, it’s paramount to ensure that the perspectives of children involved are not just heard but prioritized. A ‘Voice of the Child’ report provides a structured and unbiased avenue for this, ensuring that children have a platform to share their feelings, thoughts, and desires without fear of repercussion or misunderstanding.

Children are often the most affected by the outcomes of these legal decisions, be it custody arrangements, visitation rights, or other familial concerns. Their day-to-day lives, emotional wellbeing, and developmental progress can be significantly impacted. By prioritizing their perspectives, legal systems can make more informed, compassionate, and fair decisions that truly consider the best interests of the child.

However, it’s not just about the outcome; the process matters as well. When children feel they are genuinely being listened to and their views are taken seriously, it can provide a sense of empowerment and validation. The ‘Voice of the Child’ report isn’t merely a tool for legal clarity; it’s an instrument of emotional support, ensuring that during tough times, children feel valued and understood.

The Importance of Prioritizing a Child's Perspective in Legal Decisions

The origin  of the Voice of the Child  and report process begins with an initial interview, a crucial step where rapport and trust are established with the child. This interview is conducted in a safe and comfortable environment, allowing the child to express themselves freely. Experienced professionals, trained in child psychology and communication, ensure that the child’s words and feelings are captured without leading or influencing their responses. This initial phase is vital for understanding the child’s perspective, concerns, and desires.

Following the interview, the information gathered is analyzed in depth. This phase involves cross-referencing the child’s account with any other pertinent details or observations made during the interaction. The objective is to provide a clear, unbiased representation of the child’s views, ensuring that their genuine sentiments and feelings are accurately captured. At this stage, care is taken to discern between the child’s actual perspectives and any potential external influences.

The final step is the detailed reporting. This comprehensive document lays out the findings from the interview and the analysis. It serves as a tool for decision-makers in legal settings, presenting the child’s voice in a structured, clear, and unbiased manner. By the end of the process, the ‘Voice of the Child’ report ensures that the child’s perspective is not only heard but is given the weight and consideration it deserves in shaping outcomes.

Who should you hire?

It is essential to insure that if you choose to get a Voice of The Child Report done in order to assist with your Parenting Plan or your court matter, that the person that you hire has both the proper credentials and training. People conducting VCR’s should ideally have a mental health background (Psychologists and Social Workers), have had experience working with and interviewing children, and should have participated in the specific VCR training course which is typically a three day or a 21 hour program.

It is important to know that the length of a VCR report can vary greatly. The reason for this is that in a VCR, only the information that the child permits to be told will be brought back to the parents. In all cases, the professional must respect and adhere to the children’s rights to confidentiality.