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Sharon Sutherland
LL.B., LL.M. (ADR), M.A. (Theatre Studies)
Assistant Professor of Law, University of British Columbia
Coast Fraser
Child Protection Mediation Details
I have experience with complex and multi-party disputes, process design


I have conducted Child Protection mediations since 2001, and am experienced in adapting the process to meet the specific needs of the clients in any given mediation. In child protection mediation, I am very conscious of working with perceived and actual power imbalances, addiction and mental health issues, and a variety of cultural backgrounds. I am flexible in process management to best respond to these and other factors of particular importance to both the families and the child protection workers. In addition to mediating Child Protection matters, I am the Manager of Development for the Child Protection Mediation Practicum Program. In this capacity, I have recruited and trained mediators in areas of the province where there are no local child protection mediators. In particular, I have engaged in a variety of projects to train aboriginal child protection mediators and to work with aboriginal communities in developing culturally appropriate models of mediation or related collaborative planning and decision-making processes. I am also a mentor in the Child Protection Mediation Practicum Program. From 2008 to 2010, I provided training in child protection mediation to mediators and social workers throughout New Brunswick and acted as a mediation mentor to support the launch of the NB child protection mediation program. As a law professor, I teach mediation as well as traditional law courses. I am called to the BC Bar and received a Master of Laws degree in Alternative Dispute Resolution from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1997. I serve as Clinic Supervisor of CoRe Conflict Resolution Society which provides affordable mediation services and mentoring to law student mediators.

Conflict within Families
  • Abuse/Sexual Abuse
  • Managing Power Imbalances
  • Mental Health Issues
Contact with a Child (Access/Custody)
  • Plan of Care & Living Arrangements
  • Aboriginal Child Welfare Issues
  • Aboriginal Communities
  • Adoption Issues
  • Child Custody/Guardianship/Access
  • Child Welfare
  • Cross cultural issues
  • Domestic Violence
  • Immigration/Settlement Issues
  • Parent and teen issues
  • Parenting Plan Issues
  • Permanency Planning and Guardianship
  • Risk Assessment
  • Special Needs Children
  • Youth Issues

  • Aboriginal: Connections to Aboriginal communities
  • Aboriginal: Knowledge/understanding of cultures, child welfare and traditional decision making
  • Filipino
  • First Nations
  • Indo-Canadian
  • Punjabi
  • Same Sex/Gender