4/1001 Nepean Highway
Moorabbin, VIC 3189
Separation and divorce are usually painful for all members of a family – especially children. During this time of greater emotional need, children may be losing contact with a parent, be involved in conflict or feel like they are invisible.
FMC’s Supporting Children after Separation Program helps children through their parents’ separation or divorce. We recognise children as individuals with their own emotional needs during a time of profound change.
There has been considerable research around the effects of separation on children – they often adjust but it’s easier if both parents communicate, resolve conflict and work together as parents despite any personal differences.
Who is the supporting children program for?
For children and young people going through their parents’ separation or divorce.
What can I expect from the program?
You can expect your children to be listened to by experienced and professional practitioners. Using a range of proven techniques and skills, the practitioners help children:
- deal with the issues and feelings arising from the breakdown in the relationship such as grief and loss
- participate in decisions that affect them
- reduce self-blame and guilt for not stopping the conflict between their parents
- learn and practice communication skills and problem solving strategies.
What does the program involve?
Supporting Children after Separation is a multifaceted and integrative program that is tailored for each child.
The program includes:
- Counselling – individual counselling is provided for children to express their thoughts and feelings about their parent’s separation through a range of avenues such as play therapy, story telling, art and drama.
- Group work for primary and secondary aged children – groups help children to understand they are not alone and develop peer support. They get a chance to talk about issues such as coping with parental conflict and moving between homes.
- School based skills education programs – these help children build and maintain healthy relationships, develop communication and conflict resolution skills, deal with grief and loss, and care for themselves in the midst of parental conflict.
- Child Informed Mediation – children whose parents are going through Family Dispute Resolution have the opportunity to discuss with a child counsellor how their parent’s separation is affecting them. This gives parents a better understanding of what their children’s priorities and needs as opposed to their own.
- Integration programs – to provide comprehensive support, we can link this program with other FMC Mediation and Counselling Victoria services such as family dispute resolution, post separation parenting, parent and adolescent mediation and financial counselling.
What can I do to help my children adjust to the separation?
Children cope best when:
- conflicts are resolved
- they can maintain their relationships with both parents, siblings and extended families (as long as they are not exposed to harm)
- they clearly understand the new rules of their life
- their parents are still in control and making decisions together for their future.
Things you can do to help include:
- be on time when collecting or dropping children off
- stay out of conflict with the other parent
- avoid saying negative things about the other parent when the children are present
- act responsibly and rationally so that children are secure in knowing that a responsible adult is taking care of them
- do not ask a child to relay a message to the other parent
- do not depend on the child for emotional support
- do not ask the child to keep a secret from the other parent
- think of the other parent as an asset for your child and yourself.
What does it cost?
As a not for profit organisation, FMC Mediation and Counselling Victoria ensures that it represents good value to its clients.
The cost of some services is partially funded by the Federal Government. The balance is covered by minimal fees which are based on a sliding scale according to income. We discuss this with you personally but we do not refuse our services to those who can demonstrate a genuine inability to pay.
How do I find out more information?
Call us on 1800 639 523 for a confidential discussion, or email us and we will contact you.