WHY IS THE "VOICE OF THE CHILD" IMPORTANT?
In terms of the Children's Act 38 of 2015, the "Best Interest of the Child" should always be considered when parents are determining any arrangements that would affect their children.
Sections 6(2)(a), 7(1)(a) – (n), 10 and 31(1)(a) of the Children’s Act addresses the best interest of the child standard and the right of the child to participate and express their views in all matters that affect them, as well as their right to be heard in official proceedings in motion.
Section 10 of the Children’s Act reads:
‘Every child that is of such an age, maturity and stage of development as to be able to participate in any matter concerning that child has the right to participate in an appropriate way and views expressed by the child must be given due consideration.’
Section 31(1)(a) of the Children’s Act reads:
‘Before a person holding parental responsibilities and rights in respect of a child takes any decision contemplated in paragraph (b) involving the child, that person must give due consideration to any views and wishes expressed by the child, bearing in mind the child’s age, maturity and stage of development.’
Mediation Network is a CHILD FOCUSSED practice and as such incorporate a Voice of the Child Interview done by a professional practitioner as a crucial part