Dr. Deborah Gilman


​​​​​Services for Children of Separation & Divorce​

Referrals & Assessment

Child Specialists may be requested by parents,family lawyers, or family mediators.

To make a referral each parent or attorneys representing parents may contact my office at 412-996-8855 and provide some basic demographic information prior to meetings being scheduled.  

The Child Specialist will meet several times with the family members.

 Initially, meetings with the parents will be scheduled to learn about the child from the perspective of the parents.

Each parent will then be requested to bring the child separately to a session. Each child's session is 50 minutes, and the Child Specialist will take 10 minutes to record information from the meeting. The Child Specialist may need to see the child more than 2 times depending on the situation and the child's needs.  

After meeting with the children, the Child Specialist will provide verbal feedback to the parents during a mediation session or collaborative divorce team meeting to develop a thorough parenting plan.

What is a Child Specialist?

A Child specialist is a child centered, family focused intervention role that is particularly helpful to families who are attempting to make decisions that include children post separation and divorce. The Child Specialist provides a safe and developmentally appropriate way to include children's input so that parents (and other decision makers) can consider children as part of the process rather than objects to be discussed distributed. The Child Specialist is trained in specialized assessment approaches to working with children and views children as part of a broader family system. 

The Importance of the Child's Voice

Most parents are not aware of the unique perspective their children have about the family divorce, as intricate parts of the fabric of the family the child can provide greater context to the issues at hand. Although many parents think they know what their children value and think about, it is often through the process of talking to someone outside of the family that they feel able to express their feelings, from which small changes can occur to make a very big difference.  The child specialist WILL NOT put children in the middle of the parents nor place the child in the position of being a decision maker.