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Government puts out tender for family mediation services

Invitation to tender for family mediation services (Image supplied)

Family mediators were asked to bid for Government work to help resolve disputes over parental access to children.

An invitation to tender was published to cover the “legally mandated function”.

A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Social Development and Seniors said the Children Act 1998 provided that “where the court is satisfied that a parent has failed to comply with an order granting access to the other parent, the court may … require the parents to submit to mediation of the matters in dispute by a children’s officer or other persons appointed by the court”.

She added last week: “The Department of Child and Family Services has had a social worker/children’s officer with specialised training in family mediation available to provide such services when ordered by the court.

“The qualified person who has been providing this service for several years is no longer employed with the department.

“As this is a legally mandated function, the department is seeking service providers to immediately fill this void in order for the courts to have options for an appointment when necessary.”

The spokeswoman pointed out that the work was “not a full-time position within the public service”.

She added: “They are seeking service providers, there is not a specific number as it is not a full-time position.”

The deadline for submissions was last Friday.

Candidates were expected to be certified in family mediation with a specific focus on child custody and access arrangements.

The advert also listed “professional qualifications in social work, psychology, therapy or counselling”.

Additional qualities were training in crisis intervention as well as negotiation theory and practice.

Candidates were expected to have “good interpersonal skills to effectively liaise with internal and external stakeholders”.

The ministry spokeswoman explained that the need for mediation services was “entirely separate” from the Children’s Commission – which will replace the Child Care Placement Board – and the litigation guardians panel, to represent children in court.

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Published October 05, 2021 at 7:51 am (Updated October 05, 2021 at 7:23 am)

Government puts out tender for family mediation services

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