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Hon. Ann Murry Keller
Hon. Andrea Price Janzen
Hon. Barron C. Burmaster
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Jefferson Parish Juvenile Court
1546 Gretna Blvd.
P. O. Box 1900
Harvey, LA 70059
: (504) 367-3500
: (504) 361-8033
Office Hours are 8:30 A.M. - 4:30P.M. Monday through Friday
(excluding legal holidays)
Dependancy Mediation Program
In March of 2004 Jefferson Parish Juvenile Court launched a full-time dependency mediation program.
Mediation expedites permanency for children in state's custody by creating an environment that encourages and allows communication among all parties of what is expected and what needs to be accomplished to meet the needs of the children served. The Jefferson Parish Juvenile Court Mediation Program was established to help children reach their ultimate goal of permanency as efficiently and effectively as possible.
Mediation has long been used in civil and domestic cases, but it is a relatively new procedure in juvenile cases in Louisiana. In all cases, it is a private and confidential process to help resolve issues with the assistance of a neutral, trained mediator.
Any case may be referred to mediation where there is a need for creative thinking, discussion, and problem-solving. Mediation is also appropriate for cases where there has been a breakdown in communication among the parties, as mediation is a process of education as well as remediation.
Cases may be referred to mediation at any point in the process.
Many cases in our program are referred to mediation at the Continued Custody hearing, but cases may be referred at the time of the Answer, prior to the Adjudication, in lieu of the Review hearing or for a Termination of Parental rights or Adoption hearing, for example.
In mediation, parties are free to express opinions and share information without the restrictions of the rules of evidence and other court procedures. Participants in mediation are the decision-makers; in court, the judge imposes decisions on the parties. The mediator is the facilitator of the process and has no authority or power over the outcome.
The participants in the mediation process may include:
Other family member
Mental Health Specialist
Benefits of Mediation
LOUISIANA CHILDREN'S CODE HANDBOOK
CHAPTER 6. MEDIATION
Art. 435. Purpose
The purpose of mediation is to encourage and assist parties to reach their own mutually accepted settlement by facilitating communication, helping to clarify issues and interests, fostering joint problem–solving, and exploring settlement alternatives.
Art. 436. Definitions
"Mediation" is a procedure in which a mediator facilitates communication between the parties concerning the matters in dispute and explores possible solutions to promote reconciliation, understanding and settlement. "Mediation parties" means:
In a child in need of care proceeding, a representative of the Department of Social Services, the parent and the child.
In a delinquency proceeding, the alleged victim and offender.
In a families in need of services proceeding, the parent and the child and any other person involved in the complaint including, in truancy cases, a school representative, and, in offense cases, the alleged victim.