On Wednesday, September 19, 2012, DuPage County Domestic Relations Division held their mediation training for Court Approved Mediators.

Erin Birt was honored to be a member of the Discussion Panel. During the discussion, the issue of mandatory reporting for child abuse was raised.  There were differences in opinion about the role of a mediator and whether or not mediators are mandatory reporters for child abuse.

In DuPage County, the Local Court Rules for the Mediation Referral Program (15.15) state:

“E. REPORTING RISK OF BODILY HARM AND ABUSE

(1) A mediator shall promptly reveal information to the appropriate law enforcement agency to the extent it appears necessary to prevent a party from committing an act that would result in death or serious bodily harm.

(2) Attorneys, when acting as mediators, shall reveal information required by Rule 1.6 “Confidentiality of Information” under the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct.

(3) The mandated reporting requirement of the Abuse and Neglected Child Reporting Act, 325 ILCS 5/1 et seq., as applied to mental health professionals shall also apply to all mediators.”

Therefore, mediators for the DuPage Mediation Referral Program are mandated reporters pursuant to DuPage County Local Court Rules.

As discussed at the 9/18/12 training, Ms. Birt recommends that mediators take all comments about abuse seriously and learn to ask appropriate follow ups questions to assist in information gathering and to assist in the making the determination to report a statement to the appropriate authority.  Ongoing training in domestic violence and child abuse is highly recommended for any mediator.

For more information about the Mediation Referral Program and DuPage County Court Approved Mediation, please visit our webpage devoted to the program.

Erin Birt has been approved by the Presiding Judge of the Domestic Relations Division of the 18th Judicial Circuit Court as a qualified mediator.

It is best practice to attend mediation with a court approved mediator as soon as a parenting issue is known. To begin court approved mediation services, please contact the firm to set an appointment and provide the firm with a copy of the court order or Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage, if applicable.

DuPage County Court Approved Mediator, Erin Birt, serves clients in Wheaton, Glen Ellyn, Naperville, Warrenville, Winfield, Carol Stream, Bloomingdale, Lombard, Elmhurst, Downers Grove, and Oak Brook as well as other cities located in DuPage County.