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Voice of the Child Referral Information Form

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why I use a Sliding Fee Scale

Voice of the Child

Sometimes it is helpful for separated parents to hear from their children about their views. However, if you want to really uncover your child’s views and feelings, this is best done with the help of a neutral third party – a person who has experience and expertise chatting with children of separated parents. We speak of this as hearing the voice of the child and doing so requires a balanced process with the involvement of both parents.

Once the voice of the child has been heard, then the neutral helper who facilitated the child’s voice can bring the child’s feelings, views and experience of their life and the parental separation to the parents’ attention for the parents to be informed. On the basis of information provided, then the parents may be in a better place to meet their child’s needs. If indeed there were untoward issues, it may be instructive for a parent to be advised of those issues from the perspective of the child. It may be helpful to have a better appreciation of your child’s experience and needs when considering a parenting plan.

This is a closed service meaning information gathered and discussed cannot be used in a court or arbitration process. There will only be a verbal disclosure. No report will be issued and there is no access to the notes or file. The goal is to facilitate settlement.

 

Referral and service process:

  1. A lawyer should initiate the referral to mitigate concern of bias if a parent phones directly;

  2. Parents will be interviewed prior to any meetings with children. Meetings with parents may be joint or individual. This will be determined through a telephone screening interview.

  3. Children will be interviewed on at least 2 occasions - once brought by one parent and once brought by the other parent. Other meetings with children may be required beyond these two meetings.

  4. After meetings with children are concluded, a disclosure meeting will be held with both parents and their lawyers together so everyone hears the same information at the same time.

At the discretion of the parents and their lawyers, they may engage in settlement discussions at this meeting.

There is no recoding or posting of content or comments in any form or media by clients or their proxy although Gary Direnfeld may record any/all conversations at his discretion solely for accountability purposes in the event an issue with service arises. The service record is the property of Gary Direnfeld. 

Service is closed and neither Gary Direnfeld, his notes or reports can be used for court or arbitration purposes with regard to the parenting disputes.

This service typically requires between 7 and 10 hours. A retainer for 10 hours of service must be received prior to commencing service. 

Gary Direnfeld shall be entitled to retain independent legal counsel and to be compensated for the cost thereof on a substantial indemnity basis in circumstances where in his sole and arbitrary determination, his integrity, independence, and quality of service are called into question or in any circumstance where he is required to attend and answer questions in accordance with any subpoena, Order or any other request, whether requiring attendance in person or by any other means such as correspondence, fax, email or telephone.  

Lawyers and parties also agree not bring any actions for damages or any other claims of any kind or character against Gary Direnfeld for any acts or omissions in the course of carrying out his duties. Lawyers and parties agree to waive any and all rights to address any issue against Gary Direnfeld through any Court or any other process not here specifically contemplated in this or any other jurisdiction.

Fees:

As a social worker, I am respectful of people's different income levels. As such, the fee is set on a fee-for-service basis using a sliding scale that ranges from $150 - $400 per hour. The actual fee then is determined by your joint income, or may be determined by your assets or a fee may be set at the discretion of the service provider if income is in dispute. You will be charged from the beginning of the scheduled appointment time, even if you are late.  Appointments cancelled with less than 48 hours (two business days) will be billed for one hour. Further, time will be taken at the beginning of the first meeting for me to present my qualifications, experience and approach to service so that service is provided on an informed basis. This is deemed part of the time provided and billed for.

A retainer based on 10 hours of service at the respective rate, as per the fee schedule below, is required prior to commencing. Billing will be on basis of actual time spent on any activity related to the assessment critique service, charged at the rate as per the fee schedule below, plus HST. You will be billed for any activity directed to your case. If less time is taken than covered by the retainer, a refund will be issued. If more time is required than covered by the retainer, the mediator may ask for additional funds to be provided before continuing the mediation.

Fee Schedule (based on joint income):

 Income

 Fee/hour

0   -    $75,000

 $150.00

 $75,000 - $100,000

 $175.00

 $100,000 - $125,000

 $200.00

 $125,000 - $150,000

 $225.00

 $150,000 - $175,000

 $250.00

 $175,000 - $200,000 

 $275.00

 $200,000 - $250,000

 $300.00

 $250,000 - $350,000

 $350.00

 $350,000 +

 $400.00

 

Third Party Payments (EAP and other Benefit Providers):

Pleased be advised that I do not accept payment by third party payers (benefit or EAP providers) whatsoever. People are directly responsible for payment of services as per the information above at the time of service. A receipt will be provided with which persons can seek reimbursement from their EAP or benefit provider. I take no responsibility for your reimbursement. Reimbursement remains a matter between you and your benefit or EAP provider. 

If you do seek reimbursement through your benefit or EAP provider and I am called to verify the charge, I will do so with your implied consent. My disclosure will be limited to advising of my credentials as well as verifying the billing information, service provided and persons served. Please note, parenting coordination is a clinical-legal service and may not be covered.  No information regarding the nature or content of information discussed will be provided without signed consent, for which you will be charged as per the time required.  

Other:

  1. Counselling is provided on a private and discreet basis. Information will be shared only upon written consent except where there is risk of harm to self or another person, or as required by law as it pertains to child protection matters. There is no recoding or posting of content or comments in any form or media by clients or their proxy although Gary Direnfeld may record any/all conversations at his discretion solely for accountability purposes in the event an issue with service arises. The service record is the property of Gary Direnfeld. Information obtained about persons served shall be used for service purposes, payment collection and/or, satisfaction surveys. Non-identifying information may be used for statistical, research or teaching purposes.
  2. This service is “closed” meaning matters discussed cannot be used in a court process. Gary Direnfeld or his notes cannot be called upon with or without subpoena for court or arbitration purposes. Nor can Gary Direnfeld be required to produce a report for court or arbitration purposes.
  3. Service is provided in the comfort of my home-office.
  4. Daytime appointments are available Monday through Friday (except Friday afternoon). Evening appointments are available Monday through Thursday. I typically set my appointment times for 9:30 am, 1:30 pm and 7:00 pm. The appointment times can be somewhat negotiable. I do not offer weekend appointments.
  5. Persons are expected to attend sober for appointments.
  6. Violence of any fashion will not be condoned.

To initiate a referral for service, the Referral Information Form must be completed.

Please note, people regularly come great distances to see me. If you are considering driving more than two or three hours, please let me know so I can set an appointment to accommodate your drive.

 

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Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW

www.yoursocialworker.com 

gary@yoursocialworker.com

(905) 628-4847

 

Gary Direnfeld is a child-behaviour expert, a social worker, and the author of Raising Kids Without Raising Cane. Gary not only helps people get along or feel better about themselves, but also enjoys an extensive career in public speaking. He provides insight on issues ranging from child behaviour management and development; to family life; to socially responsible business development. Courts in Ontario, Canada consider Gary an expert on matters pertaining to child development, custody and access, family/marital therapy and social work.

 

Buy the book:

For information on Direnfeld's book, Raising Kids Without Raising Cane, click here.

 

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20 Suter Crescent, Dundas, ON, Canada L9H 6R5  Tel: (905) 628-4847  Email: gary@yoursocialworker.com

Counselling and assessment services serving Hamilton, Dundas, Ancaster, Stoney Creek, Burlington, Brantford,

Oakville, Grimsby, Waterdown and other local areas.

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