17 November 2014

Important Study on Views of the Child Reports: Call for Participants

Rachel Birnbaum, a professor of social work at the University of Western Ontario, is leading a project examining the experiences of lawyers and mental health professionals who prepare views of the child reports, together with Nick Bala, a professor of law at Queen's University, and the Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family.

We are looking for the input of Canadian family law lawyers and mental health professionals who prepare views of the child reports by completing a relatively short online survey

The results of this research may be used in research publications and presentations by Dr. Birnbaum, Professor Bala and the Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family about children's participation in family justice processes. No identifying information will be collected from respondents and participation is of course entirely voluntary.


If you are a family law lawyer or mental health professional practicing in Canada who prepares views of the child reports, please log on to the survey at:

Participant Information

Principal investigator
Rachel Birnbaum, Ph.D, RSW, LL.M.
Associate Professor,
University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario
800-265-4406, x 4431
Nicholas Bala, J.D. LL.M.
Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario
613-533-6000, x 74275
John-Paul Boyd, M.A. LL.B.
Executive Director,
Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family, Calgary, Alberta


This is your invitation to participate in a study that involves research to explore the benefits and challenges of children’s participation in parenting or custody disputes by Views of the Child reports, also known as Voices of the Child reports and/or Hear the Child reports. The extent to which Views of the Child reports effectively facilitate children’s participation in parenting or custody disputes and how such reports are carried out varies across Canada.

We would like to learn more about your views and experiences with these reports and ask that you complete an online survey, which should take no more than 30 minutes to complete and can be done at your convenience.

Ethical considerations about completing this survey

The benefits to you for participating in this study will be that you will contribute to the small, but growing body of research knowledge regarding these types of reports and their impact on children’s participation in family dispute resolution. We do not foresee any particular risk or harm to you as the surveys will be kept confidential and no data will be recorded that could link you to any information obtained. You can as well choose to answer all, some or none of the questions as you like.


We will not ask you for any information that could be used to identify you; however we will ask questions about your gender, province of practice and professional background for demographic purposes. All of the information collected will be used for educational and research purposes only, and will be kept confidential to the extent provided by laws of Canada. If any reports or publications are produced using the results of this survey, the information collected will be reported in aggregate form only without any identifying information.

Fluid Survey is a Canada-based online survey system that allows individuals to complete questions confidentially and stores its data in servers located in Canada. The information you provide will be entered into a separate statistical database that collects aggregate data only, without any identifying information about you. All information and data will be held securely by Dr. Birnbaum.

Participation is voluntary

Your participation in this research project is completely voluntary. We know of no negative consequences for choosing to participate in the survey or withdrawing from the study at any point. You can answer all of the questions, some or none.

Publication of results

The results of this study may be published in professional or academic journals or presented at conferences. A summary of the findings of this study, when completed, will be available from Dr. Birnbaum upon request.

Whether or not you have completed the survey, if you would like to receive a copy of a summary of the findings for the study, please contact Dr. Birnbaum at 800-265-4406, x 4431 or by email at rbirnbau@uwo.ca.

Contact information and ethics clearance

If you have any questions about this study or require further information, please contact Dr. Birnbaum, using the contact information provided above. This study has been reviewed and received ethics clearance through the Research Ethics Board at King’s University College, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario.

If you have any questions or concerns related to this research, please contact the Associate Academic Dean of King’s University College: 
Dr. Renée Soulodre-La France
Associate Academic Dean.
King’s University College, Western University, London, Ontario
800-265-4406, x 4424
Thank you for your consideration. Please keep a copy of this information for your records if you decide to participate.