The Society

The BC Hear the Child Society is a non-profit society formed in late 2009 to support opportunities for children to share their views and be heard when their best interests are being determined in family justice decision-making.

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Our Values

We believe in:

 

Our Vision

Leaders in hearing and integrating the voice of children into decisions affecting their lives.
 

Our Mission

The BC Hear the Child Society:

 

Our Mandate

Our mandate flows from the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Family Law Act, SBC, 2011 c.25.
 

Article 12 of the Convention requires that State Parties (including Canada) must “assure to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child.” This is a right, not a requirement.
 
The Family Law Act requires that in making any decision affecting a child, the only consideration must be the best interests of that child (s37(1)). In considering those interests, the parties and the court must consider “the child’s views, unless it would be inappropriate to consider them.” (s37(2)(b)).

 
The Society builds on past work in the Province including that of the International Institute for Child Rights and Development (IICRD) on Meaningful Child Participation in Family Justice Processes, funded early on by The Law Foundation of British Columbia. This work highlighted gaps in hearing children in British Columbia, and piloted a non-therapeutic interview practice in Kelowna in 2005-2006 with involvement from the bar, bench and families with children eight years of age and older whose best interests were being determined in separation and divorce proceedings. The “Hear the Child” non-evaluative child interview practice was continued by several people involved in the pilot, and has been used and adapted by additional interviewers in Kelowna and elsewhere in British Columbia.
 

Board of Directors

Arlene H. Henry, QC, Chair
Lawyer & Mediator
Arlene H. Henry Law Corporation, Vancouver
 
Mary E. Mouat, QC, Treasurer
Lawyer & Mediator
Quadra Legal Centre, Victoria
 
 
Bev Churchill
Lawyer & Mediator
Kelowna
 
David Dundee
Lawyer
Paul & Company, Kamloops
 
Zahra Jenab
Lawyer
Jenab & Company, Law Corporation, North Vancouver
 
Carla Lewis
Lawyer
Carla R. Lewis Law Corporation, Vancouver
Fiona McQueen, Vice-Chair
Lawyer
Turnham Woodland, Victoria
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dr. Laura Mills
Registered Psychologist
Richmond
 
Bobbi Poushinsky
Mediator
Bobbi Poushinsky Mediation Services, Victoria
 
Andrea Yeo
Clinical Counsellor
Starfish Counselling Services, North Vancouver