Mediation in Juvenile Dependency Cases
Mediation is a process through which a neutral facilitates settlement discussions between parties. The neutral has no authority to make a decision or “make” the parties settle. Mediation is used to divert cases from the court that are more appropriately resolved by collaborating with the parties involved. Mediation fosters an environment where parents have a voice and responsibility for identifying any services needed, and models conflict resolution techniques for children and their families. Mediation allows the parties to meet in a private setting where a neutral person, the mediator, helps them to work out a solution to their problems. The neutral attempts to focus the attention of the parties on their needs, interests and mutual goals rather than on their positions. If an agreement is reached between the parties, the agreement is signed by a Juvenile Court Judge and becomes an order of the Court. Join to learn the ins and outs of this useful tool in dependency cases.