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How to Become a
Download a list of Permanency Mediator Qualifications. Permanency Mediators must have completed a 30 hour Basic Mediation course prior to attending the Permanency Mediation training.
For more information, download the Permanency Mediation Brochure
Download a list of all Continuing Education Events that Plummer Permanency Mediation Services offers. Continuing Education events are scheduled every other month.
What is Permanency Mediation?
Permanency mediation is an alternative to a contested court proceeding for children in the Massachusetts foster care system. Permanency mediation addresses the unique issues involved in care and protection, guardianship and termination of parental rights proceedings. The model uses an independent third party to facilitate a child-centered approach to permanency planning. By giving parents an opportunity to help develop cooperative plans for their child’s future, permanency mediation both empowers and preserves families.
Plummer’s Permanency Mediation Services:
- Identify a child’s specific needs and the strengths and characteristics needed for any adult to successfully parent a particular child.
- Unite parents, extended family, kin, caregivers and professionals in a cooperative planning process.
- Empower family members through participatory planning and decision-making on behalf of their child.
- Provide an important opportunity for all adults who are significant in a child’s life to plan together and develop positive relationships that can be sustained over time.
- Utilize a third-party neutral with no decision-making authority or stake in a specific outcome.
- Are scheduled at the convenience of families within their homes and communities.
Plummer Youth Promise Permanency Mediation:
Collaborative Decisions and Timely Outcomes
Permanency Mediation unites parents, family members, social workers, attorneys and service providers in a non-adversarial process to resolve case related issues and concerns.
Permanency mediation is used when:
- A child’s situation is highly complex and the goal is reunification; or
- A child’s goal is adoption or guardianship and a parent’s right have not been terminated
When a child’s goal is still reunification, permanency mediation facilitates the work of a family consultation team and:
- Incorporates Concurrent Planning by addressing what needs to happen for a child to return home while simultaneously exploring an alternative permanent plan.
- Allows for participatory planning that honors the primary role played by a child’s family in decision-making
When a child’s goal is adoption or guardianship, Permanency Mediation applies Cooperative Permanency Planning to avert the need for a trial to terminate parental rights:
- Works with attorneys and DCF staff to define a child’s specific needs
- Allows parents to plan for their child’s future even when they are unable to be the full time parents.
- Facilitates relationship-building between parents and permanent parents by bring them together to design a child-specific permanent plan for open adoption or guardianship.
How to Make a Referral:
- Referrals are currently accepted in Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin and Berkshire Counties.
- Referrals are all done through the court, by motion of a party on the Court’s own initiative.
- The Court will sign a Screening Order and have the parties complete an Intake Form.
- Both Screening Order and Intake Form will be forwarded to Plummer’s Permanency Mediation program through the court’s clerk’s office.
- Plummer will assign a permanency mediator
Referral Process and Forms
Download A Guide Through the Process which describes how a Permanency Mediation referral is processed.