The Mediation Centre can help families develop comprehensive plans for their children according to their best interests. The child protection mediator assists the participants in reaching an agreement on the issues in dispute, in generating options for resolving their disagreements and in developing a mutually acceptable plan that addresses the protection concerns identified.
How does Child Protection Mediation Work?
Child protection mediation in a situation where there is a child protection concern requires that all the parties consent to participate in the child protection mediation process. The child protection mediator then meets each of the parties individually to gain a clear understanding of the issues from each of their perspectives. Joint child protection mediation appointments are held to allow the participants and the social worker to address the issues raised, in an open, safe and conducive for dialogue environment and to develop a plan for the children that is satisfactory to all the parties.
What are the Advantages of Child Protection Mediation?
The child protection mediation process is confidential and nothing said or produced in child protection mediation can be used in court with the exception of the child protection mediator’s summary of any agreement reached. The role of the child protection mediator is neutral and independent, taking into account both parents’ needs and the child’s with the aim to achieve a positive relationship of the child with the family environment. The child protection mediation can address a broad range of child protection concerns from custody and access arrangements between parents or other family members, terms of a supervision order, long term planning for children in care, in kinship arrangements or in proposed adoption families. The child protection mediation process can also be available to families throughout court proceedings or as a follow up to plans made.