A grandmother was caring for three grandchildren, the youngest a toddler with special needs. She became overwhelmed and asked a state agency for assistance. Instead, the state sent the youngest to a foster home and the other two children to live with other relatives. The grandmother fought to retain her grandchildren. She maintained she could provide the family environment that a foster care environment couldn’t.
The Dispute Resolution Center was asked to mediate through its peacemaking initiative. The grandmother and prospective adoptive family met and, with the help of a trained mediator, discussed the best outcome for the child. They mutually agreed that the grandmother would maintain a connection to the child while entering into a new family life. All parties were heard, shared their concerns and arrived at a mutually agreeable solution.