1. "Most cases mediated resulted in agreements.
2. These agreements can and will effectively protect
3. Families who try the process like it.
4. Most often social workers were satisfied with the
agreement made, were favorably impressed by the mediator and regarded
mediation as an effective use of their time.
5. Mediation improves or helps sustain the working
relationship between the social worker and the family in a significant
proportion of the cases.
6. The mediators feel that mediation is clearly
appropriate for use in child protection.
The great majority (greater than 85 percent) of the
families participating preferred mediation to meeting with the social
worker alone. Amongst single mothers the figure was 100 percent.
79 percent of the families felt the solution worked
out was fair and the same percentage felt that they "had a real say
in working out the agreement".
Half of the families thought that the mediation
process improved their working relationship with the social worker (21
percent felt there was no change).
Over 70 percent of the families were very satisfied
or fairly satisfied with the agreement made in mediation. (Dissatisfaction
often related to the fact that the terms of the agreement made
contemplated continued Ministry involvement in the family.)
Of the social workers involved in mediation, 70
percent were very satisfied or fairly satisfied with the agreements made.
Social workers felt that mediation improved their
working relationship with the family 35 percent of the time and did not
improve 45 percent of the time (in 10 percent of the cases there was no
further involvement and the question was not applicable in 10 percent of
Sixty-five percent of the social workers thought
that the agreement reached was different from what would have been arrived
at without mediation. Comments from social workers included "it broke
the deadlock", "there wouldn't have been any agreement without
going through this process", 'it provided the forearm to develop
additional details and consequences'. "