Mediation is a process for working out disagreements with the help of a trained, neutral person (a mediator). It is a process that helps people to focus on the best interests of the child, and work towards a solution that is acceptable to the people involved. Child welfare workers work closely with families and communities to protect children from abuse, neglect and harm. At all times, their number one concern is to ensure the child’s safety and well-being. Once that’s done – whether the child remains at home, lives with a relative or a caregiver with significant ties to the child, or comes into care - the family, extended family, community, child welfare worker, caregiver, and others work together to plan for the child’s future. Mediation is one option available to help families through this planning process. Mediation services are available to all families who are working with child welfare agencies. Mediation can help people to agree on what’s best for children, without having to go to court.
The Ontario Association for Family Mediation is responsible for the expertise and development of best practices, training, professional development and consultation to service providers and organizations across Ontario wishing to develop and/or enhance their capacity to deliver effective Child Protection Mediation (Mediation), and to maintain a roster of Child Protection Mediators and Instructors. It is also responsible for building awareness of Mediation as a method of ADR under the Child Welfare Transformation agenda to work in collaboration with partners across the ADR service delivery spectrum to promote relationship-building and networking at a provincial level, build a community of practice and raise awareness/understanding of ADR.