CCN

Program Description

WHAT IS ADR?

Families may decide to use Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to try to work out a plan for their family that is acceptable to both the family and Child Protective Services. If there is legal involvement, ADR may occur in addition to or instead of court.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

WHY USE ADR?

Alternative Dispute Resolution is beneficial as it:

  • supports families and allows them to have an active and vital role in planning/decision making;
  • respects and values the voices of all parties;
  • is voluntary;
  • is often faster and less complex than court;
  • is assisted by an impartial third party;
  • strives to preserve and improve communication and relationships;
  • is receptive to the uniqueness of each family; and
  • is confidential.

According to the Child and Family Services Act of Ontario, Children's Aid Societies must consider Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) when appropriate for the child protection cases. Specifically,

  • if a child is or may be in need of protection, a children's aid society must consider whether ADR could assist in resolving any issue related to the child or a plan for the child's care;
  • a judge, with the consent of the parties, may adjourn the court proceeding to permit the use of ADR for any issue in dispute; and/or
  • on applications to vary or terminate an openness order before or after an adoption, the court may, with the consent of parties, adjourn the proceeding to permit the use of ADR for any disputes related to the proceeding.

Further, according to Ontario Regulation 496/06, the alternative dispute resolution:

  • must be undertaken with the consent of all participants;
  • must be one that can be terminated at any time by any of the participants to it;
  • must be conducted by an impartial facilitator who has no decision-making power;
  • must comply with regulations concerning confidentiality of and access to records and information; and
  • must NOT be arbitration.

The Ministry of Children & Youth Services funds court-related ADR services in the child protection context.


WHAT IS THE CHILDREN'S COMMUNITY NETWORK'S ADR PROGRAM?

The CCN ADR Program connects Children's Aid Societies (CAS) with ADR practitioners in the Sudbury and Manitoulin Districts. When a child protection case qualifies for ADR, the CAS contact the CCN ADR Coordinator who will match the case with a qualified professional who accepts cases within that geographical area. CCN maintains a roster of qualified ADR professionals accepting cases in any part of its catchment area. Those professionals are all accredited or certified through either or both of these bodies:



WHAT ARE THE ADR OPTIONS OFFERED BY THE CHILDREN'S COMMUNITY NETWORK?

The two methods of ADR offered are:



WHAT ARE THE STEPS IN THE REFERRAL PROCESS?

  1. Determining if the case qualifies for ADR and selecting the ADR method most amenable to the case. (CAS does this)
  2. Securing consent of all key parties for the referral to CCN ADR Program. (CAS does this)
  3. Consulting the Band if the case involves a First Nations family. (CAS does this)
  4. Notifying the Office of the Children's Lawyer. (CAS does this)
  5. Making a referral to the CCN ADR Program. (CAS does this)
  6. Matching an ADR professional. (CCN ADR Program Coordinator does this)
  7. Setting up and conducting the ADR process. (ADR Professional does this)
  8. Gathering feedback about the process. (CCN ADR Program Coordinator does this)