Assessing efficiency and workload implications of the King County Mediation Pilot

November 11, 2011

Child protection mediation has been used for more than 25 years to improve case processing and outcomes in juvenile dependency cases. Prior research has been primarily descriptive, and has focused on the effect of mediation on efficiency measures and on parents’ perceptions of the process. The current assessment of a mediation pilot program implemented in King County, Washington examines early case mediation as a tool for improving case efficiency to reduce judicial workload. Results indicate that mediation is effective in increasing the efficiency of case processing. Directions for future research on efficiency and judicial workload are discussed.