Collaborative Decision-making in Child Welfare

Course Date: June 19, 2023

Full Course Materials
Total: 3h 1min
Total Ethics: 1h

Welcome and Land Acknowledgement (9:00 – 9:15)

Darsey MeredithCLEBC Program Coordinator, Tsawwassen

Conference Introduction

Lori Frank, RRMDirector of Child Welfare Initiatives, Mediate BC and Lori Frank Mediation & Consulting, Victoria
Sharon Sutherland, RRMExecutive Director, Mediate BC, Tsawwassen
Rowena VeylanIndigenous Initiatives Lead, Mediate BC, North Vancouver

The Spectrum of Collaborative Decision-making Options (9:15 – 10:05)

A panel of collaborative decision-making facilitators and mediators will discuss the range of collaborative decision-making options for families engaged in child welfare discussions, including:

  • Family Case Planning Conference
  • Family Group Conference
  • Youth Transition Conference
  • Mediation
  • Traditional Decision-making
  • Prevention Meetings

Participants will learn more about the processes, including factors to consider in choosing one process over another, possibilities for combining processes, and how to support your client in initiating collaborative decision-making processes.

Lori Frank, RRMDirector of Child Welfare Initiatives, Mediate BC and Lori Frank Mediation & Consulting, Victoria
Lila UnderwoodExecutive Director, South Island Wellness Society, North Saanich
Katie WalkerYouth Transition Coordinator, South Island Wellness Society, North Saanich

BREAK (10:05 – 10:15)

"Early" MediationMediation as a First Chance, Not a Last Chance (10:15 – 10:45)

In the early 2000s, mediation was frequently initiated very soon after a family became involved in child welfare discussions. With the development of many more collaborative options, mediation has tended to be utilized much later. A research team from University of Victoria's School of Public Administration is currently conducting a field study aimed at understanding when in the process mediation offers best outcomes. This session will discuss the early stages of the project and opportunities to participate.

Sharon Sutherland, RRMExecutive Director, Mediate BC, Tsawwassen
Robert Lapper, KCFaculty of Law, University of Victoria, Delta

Traditional Decision-making and First Nations Jurisdiction (10:45 – 11:45)

As First Nations exercise their jurisdiction in child welfare, options for families to engage in traditional decision-making processes and collaborative processes that explicitly include Indigenous values, and are conducted by Indigenous facilitators, are growing. On this panel, we hear about some examples of initiatives across the province.

Julie Daum, RRMCarrier Sekani Family Services, Fraser Lake
Stephanie KonefallDirector of Jurisdiction/Mediator, Carrier Sekani Family Services, Prince George

Best Practices for Client Support in Collaborative Decision-making Processes (11:45 – 12:30)

Supporting clients effectively in CDM processes requires process knowledge and an understanding of the potential outcomes for clients entering into different processes. Experienced counsel and mediators share best practices for supporting clients for lawyers and legal advocates.

Zahra Jenab, RRMJenab & Company, West Vancouver
Kimberly A.  Kelly, RRM Lawyer and Family Law Mediator, Interior Law LLP, Penticton