What changes should be made to family law?

These proposals let family law lawyers discuss and vote on what changes they think should be made to the law or court procedures. The results can be viewed and shared with legislators and the Courts. The proposals put forth are written by member lawyers, and do not necessarily reflect the views of this website or its administrators. You can view more proposals or make a proposal yourself.

Proposal: Mediation should be used in child welfare matters
Child Welfare - Nov 9th

93% in favour out of 14 votes

Cynthia A. Murphy
  C.A. Murphylaw
   Edmonton, Alberta

While practicing in BC, I hardly ever ran a trial in a child welfare matter. Instead, liberal use of mediation was used. The mediators were not lawyers but they had the mediation course as well as a specialized course in mediating child protection matters. The mediations include all parties, lawyers, social workers community support individuals, extended families, foster parents (sometimes) and elders. They could easily involve 8 to 12 participants or more. Almost all matters came to some resolution from these. Sometimes there would be more than one mediation during the course of the matter. Avoiding trial means the parents are not sitting in a courtroom hearing terrible things said about them which they find personally devastating. It frees up court and trial time for other matters.

2 25 days ago

Anonymous 2019
   Other Region, Alberta

Yes! I'm continuing days 6-10 of a 10 day child welfare trial on a private retainer. Client's legal fees will be six figures by the time it's over. So much cost, fear, strive could be avoided if mediation were used.

0 24 days ago

Sierra Yanush
 view Arbitrator profile
  Bell and Stock LLP
   Calgary, Alberta

I am currently taking the 40 Hour AFMS Child Protection Mediation Course. My intention isn't to provide child protection mediation, but I am looking to expand my skillset with respect to addressing trauma, family violence, and practical safety strategies for families.

The first two modules focus on the benefits child protection mediation has had in the Courts and for families - seems really positive.

0 20 days ago

Anonymous 2018
   Edmonton Region, Alberta

Mediation in child protection matters is already an option. You just have to ask for it:

0 18 days ago

Cynthia A. Murphy
  C.A. Murphylaw
   Edmonton, Alberta

The mediation offered in AB is rarely used because it involves only the Director and parent. Parents relate they feel bullied and overpowered in them. The ones in BC involve everyone, including community resource individuals, support people and elders, if appropriate. The parents feel supported in that environment whereas in AB they feel not supported and bullied.

0 17 days ago

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