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This chapter focuses on the interviews with relationship professionals working with or for separated parents and their children outside of the mediation context, outlining whether, in principle, they believed that young people ought to be given a voice in the decision-making when parents separate and the psychological, wellbeing and agency benefits (and risks) of doing so. It also explores their views on child-inclusive mediation’s role in giving young people a voice. Its analysis compares these views with those of young people in focus groups on these questions.

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The Right to Be Heard
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ePDF and ePUB available Open Access under CC-BY-NC-ND licence.

Recent legislative changes in England and Wales have eroded children’s ability to exercise their article 12 UNCRC rights to information, consultation and representation when parents separate. However, children’s voices may be heard through child-inclusive mediation (CIM).

Considered from a children’s rights perspective, this book provides a critical socio-legal account of CIM practice. It draws on in-depth interviews with relationship professionals, mediators, parents and children, to consider the experiences, risks and benefits of CIM. It investigates obstacles to greater uptake of CIM and its role in improving children’s wellbeing and agency.

Exploring the culture and practice changes necessary for a more routine application of CIM, the book demonstrates how reconceptualising CIM through a children’s rights framework could help to address barriers and improve outcomes for children.

Open access
Authors: and

This chapter draws together the themes and arguments made in the preceding chapters to consider the conceptual, legal and practical changes needed to build a family justice system that has mediation at its centre but which is fully compliant with article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). Its primary conclusion based on the Healthy Relationship Transitions study is that there are compelling arguments for moving towards a family justice system that fully respects children’s voices when parents separate in line with their article 12 rights, if only to improve their wellbeing and mental health. Whislt incorporation of the UNCRC into domestic law must be the long term goal, it considers how child-inclusive mediation can be used to change the culture to accept children’s rights and test how a system can in practice take children’s information, consultation and participation rights seriously, ensuring young people exercise appropriate agency. Alongside statutory and practice reforms, it concludes such a move towards a relational family approach can, in the short to medium term, achieve a rights balance between children and parents, not present within the prevailing parental autonomy discourse.

Open access
Authors: and

This chapter explores how, despite the UK’s international obligations to afford young people mechanisms through which to express their views when parents separate, the lack of automatic rights for young people to be heard in mediation curtails their ability to exercise their article 12 rights and agency, creating an effective barrier to greater child-inclusive mediation (CIM) uptake. It explains how there is general unawareness that children have such rights and there are four further critical impediments to greater uptake: a lack of consensus on the purpose(s) of CIM; systemic barriers such as costs and lack of awareness of accessible information about the CIM process for parents and/or children; lack of practitioner confidence, in both the process and ability to deliver CIM well; and the gatekeeping roles of both mediators and then the parents, considering these impediments in turn.

Open access
Authors: and

This chapter sets out our analysis and findings from the authors’ Healthy Relationship Transitions study concerning differences between mediators in how the CIM is conducted. It goes on to outline the views of the young people in the focus groups and interviews in the study on age restrictions on CIM. It then explores how satisfied young people (and parents) were with the process of CIM.

Open access
Authors: and

This chapter sets out the aims for the book as a whole and its structure. It explains it will explore the law, theory and practice of family dispute resolution from a children’s rights perspective, with a particular focus on the value of child-inclusive mediation (CIM). It sets out how it draws on new empirical research where, for the first time, children who had experienced CIM were interviewed alongside their parents, mediators, other relationship professionals and wider groups of young people. It indicates that the book will examine this process through the lens of the requirements of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and suggests that a shift away from parental autonomy-driven mediation to a process underpinned by a relational family mediation approach, which includes children’s views directly, might begin to fulfil children’s international law rights, as examined in the subsequent chapters.

Open access
Authors: and

This chapter sets out our findings regarding which families were able to resolve matters in child-inclusive mediation. It reflects on the extent to which the child’s views had been acted upon and informed agreements reached about child arrangements to consider whether Lundy’s fourth requirement of an article 12 compliant service for children whose parents separate, ‘influence’ (Lundy, 2007: 937), was met. It further discusses, then compares, young people and parents’ satisfaction with outcomes and the longer-term impact on the family and family relationships. For the minority dissatisfied with the outcome, it concludes by reflecting on what seemed to be driving their disappointment.

Open access

Drawing on prisoners’ accounts, this article explores how mitigation strategies adopted to contain the spread of the virus in prison shaped their everyday prison life. The article, using Stauffer’s concept of ethical loneliness, sheds light on the different ways in which a sense of abandonment was experienced by 26 detained individuals interviewed in a prison in Northern Italy, with a focus on the role of the State regarding the measures implemented (and not implemented) and, on an everyday basis, those of the prison staff. Participants’ narratives tell us how, even during the dramatic emergency of the pandemic, prisoners were conceived as stigmatised and otherised individuals where the issue of security, far from being understood in terms of health protection, continued to take on repressive connotations.

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Over recent years, the number of refugee families with children fleeing to Europe has increased. Although reception centres in Europe are not equipped to host families with children, families nevertheless remain for extensive periods in these collective centres, where they lack autonomy, privacy, certainty and often even a sense of security. Drawing on 123 interviews with parents (58), children (38) and social workers (38) in nine collective reception centres in Belgium, we analyse how the Belgian asylum regime impacts refugee parents’ capacity to fulfil parental roles and responsibilities and social workers’ relationships with refugee parents. Our analysis points to a complex combination of declining parental agency yet increasing responsibility on behalf of refugee parents across different parental roles and responsibilities. This in turn leads children to take on what are typically considered ‘adult roles’, raising concerns about parentification among social workers. By introducing the term ‘institutionalized forms of parentification’, we call for a re-politicization of social work with refugee families. Moving away from common approaches to family relationships that focus primarily on the individual or the family system, our findings draw attention to the impact of social spaces, policies and cultural value systems.

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Introduction:

Sexual activity in later life is increasingly being researched, but there is a gap in knowledge about the Global South, mainly Latin America.

Objective:

The objective of this article is to evaluate how biological, psychological and social factors influence active sex life in older Chilean people, using a gender-stratified analysis.

Methodology:

The study is based on secondary data analysis of the fifth National Survey of Quality of Life in Old Age, carried out in Chile in 2019 with a sample of 2,132 people aged 60 and over. Bivariate analysis was conducted to test the influence of biological, psychological and social variables on having an active sex life. Additionally, multiple hierarchal logistic regressions were carried out using a gender-stratified analysis to explore whether the independent variables predict active sex life.

Results:

Self-perceived health and chronic illness did not have predictive value regarding active sex life in older Chilean adults. However, partner health was a significant factor in predicting active sex life, particularly for women. People who reported being dissatisfied with life had 55 percent lower chance of having an active sex life than those who reported being very satisfied with life. Attitude towards sexuality, relationship status and education level were other variables that predicted an active sex life for older adults in Chile. Still, there were significant gender differences in the results.

Conclusion:

Interpersonal, psychological and social factors are more relevant than biological factors (except for age) when predicting sexual activity for older Chileans, and gender differences are central when analysing sexual activity.

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