What is Mediation?
Mediation is a voluntary and confidential process. It is a process in which people involved in a conflict seek help from an impartial third party (mediator), someone who is not involved in the dispute and who is trained to help people come to their own agreements.
How does this work?
Each party describes the dispute from his or her own point of view and offers possible solutions. The mediator helps the parties to focus on the real issues causing the problem, and then helps them find a workable solution. When the parties arrive at an agreement, the agreement is put in writing.
Who attends a Mediation Session?
The participants in the session are the mediators, the child, parents or guardians and any others the parties agree should be present because of their essential role in the conflict and resolution of issues.
Who are the mediators?
The mediators that are used for the Juvenile Court Program are contracted by the county through the Justice Center of Atlanta.
How to refer to Mediation?
Mediation accepts referrals by court order, probation officer, or child advocate, and by the Early Intervention Project Coordinator.
When are Mediation sessions scheduled?
Mediation sessions are schedule Monday- Friday with the first session starting at 9am and the last session starting at 3pm. Deprivation cases are normally scheduled on Fridays at 10 am and 2pm.
The Fulton County Juvenile Court offers mediation in the following areas.
â€¢ Juvenile Victim- Offender
â€¢ Early Intervention (Educational Neglect)
â€¢ Parent Child
The Deprivation Mediation Program
Mediation is an opportunity for family members to work out their issues and form agreements without having to go before a judge.
In a mediation hearing, you will sit down with the other parties involved in your case, including DFACS, relatives and attorneys. You will discuss the situation and try to come to an agreement.
A mediator will lead the session and will guide discussions, answer questions, and offer solutions.
The session is informal and confidential.
Any agreement made in mediation is presented to a judge, who can make that agreement an official order of the Court.
The advantages of Mediation
You get to be directly involved in the outcome.
All parties have the chance to tell their side of the story.
The purpose of mediation in the place of a formal court hearing is to avoid blame and to create the best possible cooperative solution.
Both your needs and your child's needs are considered in a mediation hearing.
Nobody will order you to do something you have not agreed to do.
NOTE: If an agreement is not reached in mediation, the case is not dropped; it will proceed before a judge.
Because you are reaching decisions together, parties are able to trust each other.
Because you have made an agreement, the outcome is likely to be supported by all the participants.
Who is present at a Deprivation Mediation Session?
- Mediator- aÂ neutral, impartial person to lead discussion and offer possible solutions.
- DFACS- If the state is bringing the charge of deprivation against the parent.
- Attorneys- only if the parties want their attorneys present, attorneys are not required.
- Other people involved in the case when the parties invite them.
- Child advocate and/ or CASA that represent the children's best interests.
Children do not attend the mediation sessions unless requested by the court or child advocate.
Mediation Department personnel can be reached at 404-613-4578.