Juvenile Mediation Services

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Juvenile mediation is designed to give youth ages 7–17 the opportunity to deal with the source of conflicts and helps participants to be accountable for their actions. In a confidential setting, each participant and their families have an opportunity to express their view of the dispute, and the mediator guides those in conflict toward a mutually acceptable solution so that the situation is settled.

What types of cases are mediated? Typically, cases handled involve simple assault, disorderly conduct, property injury, communication threats, and any disputes involving parents, teachers, neighbors, and friends. Who enforces agreements? Parties in a mediated case share responsibility for upholding their agreement, helping the youth to be accountable for actions now and in the future.

In conflict resolution classes, children learn creatively and enjoyably how to deal with conflict constructively. Children attend sessions in which topics such as anger management, learning to communicate effectively, and making a plan are addressed. Anyone can refer a child aged 7–17 to juvenile mediation services. Primary referral sources are Juvenile Court Counselors, Teen Court, School Resource Officers, School Administrators, and parents. The mediator can play a critical role by explaining the advantages of a cooperative settlement against a legally enforced ruling of the courts or arbitrators.

Mediation costs are far lower than litigation and are usually laid on one or both parties. The moment the parties move from a position of resolving the dispute among themselves to a position where a third party will rule on the dispute, the costs, and risks involved increase manifold for each party.