What is alternative dispute resolution in a child protection case?
Question & AnswerWhat is alternative dispute resolution in a child protection case?
5. Review the agreement
If you reach an agreement through ADR, the facilitator usually puts what CAS and you agreed on in a document.
Child protection mediators prepare a “memorandum of understanding” that says which issues were discussed and what everyone agreed to. Indigenous approach facilitators and family group conference coordinators make a summary of the plan that was agreed upon.
Make sure your agreement is specific enough so you know what you have to do to follow it. You should also know what happens if you don't follow it. If you feel that something was left out of the agreement or if the facilitator did not explain the agreement properly, you should let the facilitator and CAS know right away.
Your agreement can be used as evidence if CAS later starts a court case related to your child. For example, if you don't follow the agreement, CAS might give the court a copy of the agreement to show that you did not do what you promised to.
Your agreement is not the same thing as a . But a lawyer can put what was in your agreement into a document called a “”. After everyone signs the minutes of settlement, it can be filed with the court and become a court order.
You should get legal advice from a lawyer before you sign anything. A lawyer can help you understand the agreement.
If ADR fails
ADR doesn't always work.
If it doesn't work, you should speak with CAS about what happens next. Also speak to your lawyer, if you have one.
If you've already had a court date, check your court papers to see when your next court date is. In most cases, you will have to continue the child protection process in court. Your facilitator may write a letter saying you didn't reach an agreement. But they can't say what happened during ADR.