The Child Protection Mediation Practicum (CPP) was a key mediator training initiative that provided opportunities for new mediators and others with or without mediation training or experience to develop their dispute resolution skills in a hands-on mentored practicum environment. Child protection mediation in British Columbia is a process that brings together the parents, child welfare workers and others in a respectful way to talk about everyone’s interests. This process provides a means for participants to understand each other through shared feelings, ideas, concerns and potential solutions for the child.
The CPP was designed to support the growth of child protection mediation in Aboriginal and geographically remote communities throughout British Columbia. The program was also able to undertake several programs to help support child protection mediation in British Columbia in collaboration with other organizations and programs. During the six year period the CPP operated (2006-2012), mediation in British Columbia saw a huge upswing in popularity and in resources available to utilize mediation services.
Mediate BC and the Child Protection Mediation Program (CPMP) have a close working relationship. The CPM Program provides mediation services in child protection disputes by contracting with private sector mediators to deliver these services. As a part of this program, a roster or listing of qualified child protection mediators is maintained by Mediate BC through which parties to a dispute (typically social workers and families) select their mediators. Mediate BC provides ongoing professional development services in collaboration with the CPM Program in support of the program’s mediators, and also makes available to child protection mediators other professional development opportunities offered to mediators across the province.
The primary focus of the CPP was the practicum, which trained 40 new child protection mediators, many of whom came from Aboriginal communities and/or other under served areas of the province.
In 2011-2012, the CPP, in partnership with the CPM Program, developed and implemented the Child Protection Co-Mediation Pilot Project, which paired qualified roster mediators to mediate together. This program supported mediation professionals in sharing best practices, and learning from different types of communities, mediators, and mediation styles.
In 2012, the CPP co-organized the Child Protection Mediation Conference: "Moving Toward Meaningful Engagement" in Vancouver, which was highly attended and acclaimed by professionals and mediators within the field.
Completion of the Child Protection Mediation Practicum
In the summer of 2012, the last practicum student completed their mentored mediations. However, Mediate BC is still committed to supporting child protection mediators and providing professional development programs through two new programs:
- The Training and Development Program (TDP) provides additional training and professional development for mediators and other dispute resolution professionals. To find out more about upcoming programs or to contact the TDP, please visit the web page.
- Mediation Support Services Program, in particular the new Child Protection Mediation Scheduling Service Project, is providing administrative support for child protection mediation in BC. To find out how to make a referral or find out about these services, please visit the web page.