Voice of the Child Reports

Voice of the Child Report (VCR)                                                                                                                                   

The VCR can be a helpful tool for parents and judges when making parenting arrangements. It is a non-evaluative report in contrast to a custody or a decision making report. It is a written report prepared by a trained professional who interviews the children over the course of several days. The first step before a VOC  can take place requires the parents and the children to give their consent. It is a voluntary process.  The professional through the course of interviewing the children learns about their individual concerns, wishes, and desires for their lives moving forward. After the completion of the interviews, the children have complete control over what information is delivered back to the parents, lawyers, mediators and/or courts. This means that no matter how much information was relayed by the children, the only information that may be taken back is what they have permitted to be shared.


  • This report can help parties to understand the child’s perspective and it can assist parents in creating their parenting plan. It can be beneficial because children often have better parental relationships when they feel that their opinions count, and that their voices are being heard.
  • It can lesson parental conflict. In many cases, parents can take the information in the report in order to see the situation (s) from their children’s eyes. This can help open their minds to the children’s wishes and then work towards child-focused solutions.
  • It can assist judges in making parenting time arrangements as it can provide them with information that best serves the needs and wants of the children.
  • VCR’s are quicker and much less expensive than Section 30 Custody and Access assessments.
  • They shield children from conflict. The children are not dragged into conflict by the parents as it is the professional who asks the children the questions pertaining to their concerns, wants, and desires.
  • VOC’s are only conducted when a child has the capacity to understand what is being asked of him or her. This means that they must have developmentally appropriate cognitive skills to partake in the process. Hence, the professional looks to the children’s abilities on a case per case basis rather than on a chronological basis in order to best determine if a VCR is appropriate.

Who should you hire?

It is essential to insure that if you choose to get a Voice of The Child Report done in order to assist with your Parenting Plan or your court matter, that the person that you hire has both the proper credentials and training. People conducting VCR’s should ideally have a mental health background  (Psychologists and Social Workers), have had experience working with and interviewing children, and should have participated in the specific VCR training course which is typically a three day or a 21 hour program.

It is important to know that the length of a VCR report can vary greatly. The reason for this is that in a VCR, only the information that the child permits to be told will be brought back to the parents. In all cases, the professional must respect and adhere to the children’s rights to confidentiality.