What is alternative dispute resolution in a child protection case?

2. Get a facilitator and get screened

If a (CAS) and you agree to try (ADR), you need to get a facilitator. This is a person who has special training to help you try and resolve your issues.

CAS usually arranges the process. 

If you or your lawyer would like to work with a specific facilitator, let CAS know. You don't have to take part in ADR with a facilitator who you don't want to work with. 

Your facilitator can answer any questions you have about the process. They can tell you how long the meetings will be, if they will meet with you and CAS separately or together, and what documents you should bring to each meeting.

Screening is usually the first step in ADR. Screening means your facilitator meets with you to find out if there are things like:

  • a history of partner abuse
  • a mental illness, such as depression

Screening checks to see if your ADR process can be fair and safe.

In some cases, a facilitator can run the ADR in a way that makes the process fair and safe even if there are concerns from screening. For example, if you are not comfortable being in the same room as your CAS worker or your ex-partner, the facilitator can talk to each of you in separate rooms. They can plan for both of you to come and go at different times.

ADR is free for parents in child protection cases. The government pays for it.

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