Facilitative Alternative Dispute Resolution services available to the courts and the Office of Probation Administration to advance permanency for a child, engage the child's family and others in decision-making, improve court timeliness, and strengthen the family system.
Family Group Conference:
This research-based child and family-centered approach may be used at any stage of the child welfare process. Trained mediators are proficient in working with complex family dynamics in children and youth matters individually meet with, prepare, and engage family, extended family, and a network of others to create a meaningful and accountable child and family plan to address the critical issues confronting the safety, welfare, and well-being of the children. Private family time is an essential component of the decision-making process.
Pre-hearing Conference ─ Initial Removal:
Scheduled by the juvenile court immediately preceding the initial protective custody hearing, knowledgeable child welfare facilitators assist in facilitating a brief (45-60 minute) conference to address key preliminary safety and permanency issues with parents, child welfare workers, attorneys, and guardian ad litem.
Pre-hearing Conference ─ 12 Month Permanency Review:
Optimally scheduled 60 days prior to the 12-month permanency review court hearing, this court-ordered facilitated pre-hearing conference requires the parents, child welfare workers, attorneys, and GALs to discuss critical progress for either reunification or other permanency decisions and create action steps for the future of the child.
Pre-hearing Conference for Termination of Parental Rights:
Experienced, proficient facilitators in the maters of TPR, conflict dynamics, and future welfare of the child, prepares and facilitates a conference of parents, county attorney, parents' attorneys, GALs, and other professionals to confront the critical child permanency issues and determine next steps, including a consideration of relinquishment as well as contested trial, in a termination of parental rights matter.
Child Welfare Mediation:
A small, one-to-one private mediation session(s) between family members and providers, parent and foster parent, or family members themselves to work on solving problems that are a barrier to the child's and family's progress in the case.
Child Welfare Facilitation:
A flexible multi-party facilitation convening parents and key stakeholders to unravel conflicts and set a better course direction for the child, parents, and care givers. The CWF may be strategically appropriate at different times throughout the child welfare court case outside of scheduled court hearings. The CWF may be used when the issues don't rise to the level of need of a family group conference.
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