Toronto Mediation Centre

Frequently Asked Questions


What is Child Protection Mediation? (CPM)

Child Protection Mediation is a voluntary approach to resolving issues between the Children’s Aid Society, families and other stakeholders. A Child Protection Mediator is introduced as a neutral third party who facilitates the conversation and, with the children’s best interest as the focus, helps negotiate an effective solution. The Child Protection Mediator is an accredited mediator who has obtained advanced certification through the Ontario Association of Family Mediators (OAFM). Parties experience the mediation process as a safe, friendly and collaborative process.


Is CPM just a new flavour of the month?

Since the early 90’s Child Protection Mediation has been offered in Toronto through the Centre for Child and Family Mediation. In March 2008, the Toronto Mediation Centre (TMC) was incorporated to carry on the work of the successor organization and received funding from the Ministry of Children and Youth Services to ensure that Child Protection Mediation continues as a viable Alternative Dispute Resolution method for families in the GTA.


Why choose CPM?

The court system tends to polarize people. Furthermore, families and children may remain in limbo for lengthy periods of time. We know this is not in the best interests of children. Child Protection Mediation attempts to negotiate settlements outside of the court arena in a friendly, respectful manner. Not all situations are amenable to mediation. Of those that are, statistics from the Centre for Child and Family Mediation have demonstrated over an 85% success rate.


What's in it for the CAS?

  • Cost effectiveness
  • Quick resolutions
  • Positive experiences for CAS worker(s) and the family

What's in it for the client?

  • Enhances clients’ sense of dignity and self worth
  • Increases client “buy in” to plans, by giving them a strong voice
  • Opens the way for creative solutions

How much paper work is involved?

The mediator takes all the notes, freeing workers to concentrate on direct involvement with families and children. All the worker brings to the first meeting is the knowledge of the matter to be resolved. What could be easier?


Is there a lengthy waiting period?

The mediator can usually begin the process within 2 weeks of receiving a referral.


How does the process work?

In most cases the mediator meets with the CAS worker first and then the other participants. Once all parties have been interviewed individually, a joint mediation session occurs. Further sessions may occur depending on the situation. The mediator determines whether lawyers are present. At the end of the mediation, the mediator sends a reporting letter to all parties. This letter is reviewed by counsel, is not binding and can be incorporated into either the court proceedings or form the basis for a voluntary agreement.


Who pays for the mediation?

The Toronto Mediation Centre is funded to pay for Child Protection Mediation when an OAFM Child Protection Mediator is retained.


How are referrals made?

There are two ways to access a Child Protection Mediator:

  1. Contact Karen Ehrlich at the Toronto Mediation Centre (416) 603-3773 and she will assign an accredited OAFM Child Protection Mediator
  2. Contact an OAFM accredited Child Protection Mediator directly (see OAFM roster @

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