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An Evaluation of Child Protection Mediation in Five California Courts

Thoennes, Nancy. Family and Conciliation Courts Review, 35(2): 184-195, April 1997

This article presents the results of an evaluation of child protection mediation in five California counties. These counties used a variety of different mediation approaches, yet achieved similar results. Data retrieved for the study included a combination of court records, mediation files, parent surveys, and interviews with attorneys, child protection workers and other involved professionals. Analysis of this data found that parents felt "heard" at mediations and preferred mediation to a court hearing, that some form of settlement was reached in 90% of all mediated cases, that mediated treatment plans were more likely to reference specific services to be provided to the child, that mediation was more likely to lead to the parent acknowledging the need to cooperate with the service plan, and that compliance was greater for mediated cases.


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