Karen Clarkin

FDR Mediation | Preparation for Mediation | Voice of the Child

For more than 15 years Karen has been a passionate advocate and social worker for children, individuals and families. She does everything she can to ensure her clients have a voice and are empowered to participate in outcomes that affect their own lives. She does this by listening to understand, speaking to clarify, researching to inform, and encouraging to guide.

Karen is skilled in group processes and has facilitated many programmes, including the Parenting Through Separation programme every month for 2 years. She is a Strengthening Families facilitator, for which she has always done her own intake: meeting with the family, explaining the process, and understanding their concerns.

Karen has run individual programmes for children from the ages of 5 through to teens, learning from them what their worries and fears are, helping them find healthy ways to express themselves and advocating for them to the adults in their lives.

Karen believes that children, like adults, need to feel at ease and to trust if they are going to share their personal thoughts. She has a non-threatening manner and tone that enables her to relate easily with her clients, plus some “goodies” to help distract children when needed.

During her career, Karen has worked in the child protection, community social work, and child disability sectors. She has supported countless families and consulted with and on behalf of those families with innumerable professionals in the Justice, Social, Education and Health arenas. She does not assume nor judge and believes she is respectful of everyone she works with, whatever their age, gender or culture. Karen holds Cert 3 in Tikanga.

Karen’s favourite quote is “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”. She considers this a great metaphor for mediation, for understanding the other’s perspective.

Karen lives on a lifestyle block between Napier and Hastings. She enjoys cycling the many paths and trails in the area. She is a partner, mother and grandmother. Karen and her partner enjoy exploring New Zealand and in the future, they are looking forward to getting away more often in their caravan


DipSW, Accredited mediator, Clinical supervisor
Languages: English
Areas of Expertise:
  • Adolescent/Teenage Issues
  • Anxiety
  • Domestic Violence
  • Extended Family Issues
  • Grief
  • Illness and Disabilities
  • Loss and Anger
  • Parenting/Care and Contact Issues
  • Separation
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