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The Gibraltar Citizens Advice Bureau organised Child Inclusive Mediation training which took place on Wednesday 22nd and Thursday 23rd September 2021. This training was funded by the Ministry for Justice.

The training was delivered by Dr Lesley Allport, Mediation Practitioner and Trainer at Lesley Allport Dispute Resolution (LADR) and was aimed at professionals whose roles involve working in situations where decisions made about children and young people have a significant impact on their lives. Parental conflict before, during and after a divorce can have harmful effects on children.

The training focused on the importance of children having a voice in these difficult proceedings by listening to their views, their anxieties, worries and concerns and to then be able to bring these observations to parents/guardians for their understanding and consideration during any decision making.

This course was attended by representatives from the Citizens Advice Bureau, the Care Agency, the Department of Education and local charities who also deal with family matters.

Pili Rodriguez, Manager at the Gibraltar Citizen Advice Bureau, said: “It is clear that a child’s best interest is served by maintaining a good relationship with both parents. When parents split up many children can mistakenly believe they are responsible for the break up. There will of course be new challenges and demands to face but both parents and children working as a unified team will make the situation more acceptable. I wanted to thank Minister Sacramento for her continuous support and in facilitating and promoting this very significant training”.

The Minister for Justice, Equality, Health and Care, the Hon Samantha Sacramento MP, said: “Given my responsibilities both as Minister for Justice and Minister with responsibility for Social Services, I am aware that this important training that cuts across public sectors professionals and other’s involved in supporting children is a much needed step forward in the right direction. It is often very difficult for separating parents whose aim is to deal with issues such as child arrangements and their finances in an agreeable manner. It is so important that though those undertaking this mediation, children should have a voice about the upcoming changes in their life and this training will help build the skills and tools needed for those key professionals working in this field to support these families. I am grateful to the Citizens’ Advice Bureau for organising this training”.

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