Child Protection Mediation is a growing area of ADR with a track record of positive effects for families brought into the child welfare system. Now, new comprehensive guidelines have been created to help programs ensure that they abide by best practices. The draft Guidelines for Child Protection Mediation were developed by the Child Welfare Collaborative Decision Making Network (CWCDMN), which is a combined effort of the Association for Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC), the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ), the Werner Institute for Negotiation and Dispute Resolution at Creighton University School of Law, and the National Center for State Courts (NCSC).
For my part, I’m pleased to see monitoring and evaluation included in the guidelines, as well as very specific guidance on mediator training. The guidelines are open for comment until January 24, 2012. If you work in the child welfare system, I encourage you to take a look and send in your comments.