Using Mediation in Child Welfare Cases

Using Mediation in Child Welfare Cases

Resolving Ongoing Conflict

Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) method of resolving conflict without litigation. It can be helpful in many types of family law cases and provides a more confidential way for families and other interested parties to negotiate an agreement and find solutions to complex problems. Mediation can even be helpful in child welfare cases, and the court will sometimes refer complex cases to mediation before resorting to trial.

When it comes to complex family problems, involving the court and a judge isn’t always beneficial. Every family involved in a child welfare case is unique, and the solutions to their problems aren’t cookie-cutter. Mediation is a way for parents and New Jersey’s child welfare agency to resolve conflict and make decisions in a way that makes sense for them and their specific case.

The Basics of Mediation

In mediation, a neutral third party (i.e. the mediator) works with the parents, the DCP&P, their respective attorneys, and other parties who have an interest in the well-being of the child. The point of mediation is to resolve the issue without going to trial. That said; lengthy DCP&P cases are often good candidates for mediation. In a child welfare mediation, issues such as permanency options and parental right termination can be explored confidentially. Open discussion and negotiation are central to the mediation model. All parties will have a chance to speak, and the mediator is simply there to facilitate the mediation and provide guidance and information when needed.

Without the help of a mediator, it is typically very challenging for multiple parties to get together to resolve a complex issue like child placement. Mediators don’t give legal advice or make any decisions. Rather, they take an unbiased standpoint so they can better identify common interests, guide participants in exploring certain issues, and ensure the discussion is productive.

If your DCP&P case is dragging on, mediation might be of help. If you feel like you aren’t making progress in your case or that your voice isn’t being heard or respected, consider speaking with an experienced child welfare attorney about your options. An attorney can explain your options and help you make an educated decision about how to proceed.

Do you have questions about mediation? The knowledgeable attorneys at the Williams Law Group, LLC can explain how mediation works and advise you on whether or not mediation is right for your case. Located in Short Hills, New Jersey, Williams Law Group, LLC provides compassionate and dedicated legal services to Union, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Monmouth, and Middlesex counties, and the surrounding areas. Our knowledgeable attorneys handle divorce and family law, child custody, and child abuse/neglect cases. Call our office at (908) 810-1083, email us at, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation and ultimately get you connected with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.

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