A few years back, the government recognized that when parents get involved with child protection agencies, it can lead to conflict between the parents and the agency as to how best to meet the needs of their children.
To resolve those conflicts, many families found themselves involved with the family court system. The family court system can be overwhelming, has many rules, and leaves a third-party decision maker, the judge, in charge of the outcome.
To provide a faster and easier way to resolve differences between child protection agencies and parents in a manner that leaves the outcome to be resolved directly between the parents and agency, the government instituted mediation as an alternative to court.
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In mediation, both sides meet with a neutral person whose role is to facilitate negotiation. This person has no say in the outcome, but enables discussions so that people may come to a voluntary agreement. The agreement may state what may be at issue and how to best resolve those issues so that the kids’ needs are reasonably met.
These services are free. Mediators, the people who deliver these services are professionally trained.
If you find yourself in conflict with a child protection agency, ask your worker about Children’s Aid Mediation. Your worker will provide you with the necessary information, and can help begin the process. There is nothing to lose.
You don’t have to agree to anything you don’t want to – this is voluntary. However, assuming you reach an agreement, then you are spared the court process, and you get on with your life sooner.
If this is not successful for you, court remains available.