Permanency Mediation Services

worcester office

44 Portland Street,
4th Floor,
Worcester, MA

Parking at Worcester Library or street meters

How to Become a
Permanency Mediator

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.

Permanency Mediation

For more information, download the Permanency Mediation Brochure

Para obtener más información, descargue el folleto de Servicios de Mediación para Permanencia

Continuing Education:

Download a list of all the Plummer Permanency Mediation Services Continuing Education Workshop Topics. Continuing education workshops are scheduled every month.

2023 Training Calendar

Join us for our next Permanency Mediation Training

Plummer Youth Promise Permanency Mediation Services is accepting referrals.

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:

Intake for DCF Referrals

Intake for Court Referrals

  • Referrals are currently accepted in Berkshire, Essex, Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin, Middlesex, Norfolk, Suffolk, and Worcester 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.

How We Mediate

We are mediating in person when appropriate and conducting on line mediation when necessary. Clients have been receptive to using this hybrid model to mediate their cases.

Remote mediation sessions require additional planning and facilitation strategies to ensure everyone can participate, remain engaged, and achieve the mediation goals.

Therefore, Permanency Mediation Services provided a 5 hour training to prepare and support our roster of mediators to facilitate online mediation sessions with our clients.  We currently have 32 mediators on our roster all of whom are prepared to facilitate both in-person and remotely.  We look forward to continuing to provide this online mediation service both for the foreseeable future and as another tool in the mediation toolbox going forward.

For more information, email Jodie Will at or call 978-219-5697