The Views of the Child Society
The Views of the Child Society, affectionately known as `VOCS`, was created in January 2012, following the Royal Assent given to Bill 16 – The Family Law Act of British Columbia. The founders of VOCS recognized the need for an organization devoted to educating children and teens about their legal rights in Family Law and how to have their views considered in all family law proceedings. Furthermore, VOCS appreciates that children and youth are our most valuable treasures on earth and is therefore dedicated to instructing children and teens in the practical application of self-defense and the defense of others, as per Bill 10 – Safe Streets and Communities Act. In order to promote confident and independent young people, VOCS teaches an entrepeneurial program which shows children and teens how to recognize their natural talents, develop them and profit from the sale of their products or services.
The trend in Family Law Courts since family law litigation began its adversarial journey ages ago, has been not to consider the views of the child, a viva voce, or in written form, but rather, to rely on the opinion of strangers to the family, who in fact don’t have true insight as to the actual dynamics in any given family environment. In so doing, in my respectful opinion, the court has abdicated its role as parens patrie and allowed “expert witnesses” to present so-called “expert opinions” onto the record. In turn, these court expert witnesses often negate the results of psychometric testing and offer their individual opinions in lieu of evidence when deciding whether a father or mother should have legal custody of their child. Opinions, as we know, are a dime a dozen, and in this case, expert opinions are as diverse as the names of the experts. The result has been an incredible fiscal burden on the economy in Canada, the US and most first world countries, the impoverishment of thousands if not millions of families and increased vitriol between the parties and most unfortunately, severely traumatized children and teens.
The Views of the Child Society is a champion of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms with specific attention to the legal rights of children and youth in family law and custody decisions. Along with an esteemed Board of Directors, Lee Strong created the Views of the Child Society as a non-profit entity devoted to the implementation of Family Law reform in Canada, with expansion planned into the United States and South Africa in 2012.
What We Provide
1. Legal Education Programs for Children and Youth providing instruction, information and certification regarding their legal rights according to Domestic Family Law in Canada, Domestic Family Law in the U.S., Domestic Family Law in South Africa, and according to the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, as ratified to by Canada, the U.S. and South Africa.
2. Collaborative Divorce Education Programs for Parents, providing information and benefits associated with collaborative parenting and divorce.
3. Bridge-building Justice Programs for Aboriginal Youth, providing opportunities for improved relations between Aboriginal Justice and the Canadian Justice system.
4. Legal Education Programs for Immigrants to Canada and the United States.
5. Self-Defence Programs for Children and Youth providing instruction and certification for the appropriate use of force when necessary and evasion techniques to avoid bullying and physical abuse by predators, according to the Safe Streets and Community Act (Bill c-10) in Canada, and the applicable laws in the U.S. and South Africa.
6. Entrepreneurial Programs for Children and Youth providing instruction and certification in the recognition, development, marketing and sales of natural talents.
7. Aboriginal Entrepreneurial and Self-Defence Programs for Children and Youth of the Lil’wat Nation in Mt. Currie, British Columbia.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
President & CEO: Lee Strong (Vancouver, Canada)
Vice President & COO: M. Roberts (United States)
Director & CFO: E.I. Sonderup (South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa)
Director: T. McArdle (United States)