Alternative dispute resolution involves nonadversarial methods of resolving cases that might otherwise be decided in a court hearing. Mediation is one common strategy. Resources include State and local examples.
Alternative Dispute Resolution Programs in Child Protection Cases (PDF - 245 KB)
National CASA Association & National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges
Describes the types of dependency court alternative dispute resolution programs that are vital to improving outcomes for children and families, as well as to achieving timely permanency.
Conflict Resolution in Child Welfare: Collecting the Wisdom of 25 Years of Experience: A Think Tank on Child Protection Decision Making, September 25-26, 2007, Think Tank Summary (PDF - 210 KB)
Kathol & Mayer (2008)
Presents a discussion that addressed research in child protection mediation, decision-making, funding and sustainability, empowering parents and families, substance abuse, mental health, domestic abuse, and structures for future endeavors.
Creative Conflict Resolution Approaches for Dependency Cases (PDF - 159 KB)
National Center for State Courts
Describes the use of mediation in dependency courts in Los Angeles County and Orange County, California, and the Connecticut Juvenile Courts in the early and mid-1980s to provide an alternative to the traditional trial-court approach to dependency cases and discusses the momentum gained by alternative dispute resolution processes through the infusion of Federal Court Improvement Program funding to the State courts beginning in 1994.
Give Peace a Chance: A Guide to Mediating Child Welfare Cases (PDF - 1,362 KB)
Presents a mediation case in Queens County, New York, that illustrates the benefits of mediation, discusses how child welfare mediation can be a powerful tool for cutting through bureaucratic red tape and unearthing hidden options, why it works, and describes characteristics of mediators.
Child Protection Mediation in Texas: Past, Present, and Future (PDF - 1,280 KB)
University of Texas School of Law Mediation Clinic (2010)
Reviews past efforts to develop and implement child protection mediation programs in Texas, looks at current practices used in Texas courts, discusses what research reveals about child protection mediation, and offers guiding principles for the future of child protection mediation in Texas.
New Mexico Children's Court Mediation Program Evaluation Report FY 2010: July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010
Carrillo & Emord (2010)
View Abstract and Document
Discusses findings from an evaluation study of the Children's Court Mediation Program in New Mexico that considered formative evaluation questions, examining the implementation of the mediation program, as well as summative evaluation questions. Recommendations for improving mediation are addressed.
Non Adversarial Dispute Resolution Methods
View Abstract and Document
Provides a chart outlining a list of conferences and pairs them with nonadversarial dispute resolution methods, goals of the mediation, personnel responsible for conducting the methods, possible outcomes, and participants that can be used in Connecticut Juvenile Courts.
The Role of the Judge: Convene Stakeholders for Facilitated Pre-Hearing Conferences in Abuse, Neglect, and Dependency Cases (PDF - 724 KB)
Juvenile and Family Justice Today, Summer 2009
Provides a facilitated prehearing conference as a form of alternative dispute resolution where a trained mediator facilitates a problem-solving agenda with almost all of the stakeholders in a child protection case. Includes case examples that identify the role of the judges and describe a facilitated prehearing conference success story in Nebraska.