Child In Need
Published by The Alaska Court System
Who is a child in need of
A person under 18 years of age is a
“child in need of aid” if the court
fi nds that the child needs the help of
the State of Alaska because the child
is not receiving the proper care or is
in a bad situation.
What is mediation or a
family group conference?
In a mediation and in a family group
conference a neutral and impartial
person, the facilitator, helps the
people involved in the case reach
voluntary and mutually acceptable
Mediations and conferences may
involve a number of individuals
including parents, extended family,
and others important to the children
and family who meet together with a
facilitator to come up with a plan or
resolve a dispute.
What happens in
mediation or a family
The facilitator tries to create an
atmosphere that is comfortable for
everyone and is careful to make
sure that all parties understand the
Everyone has an opportunity to
speak and be heard. Everyone’s ideas
and points of view are important.
The facilitator tries to make sure that
everyone has the information needed
to make whatever decisions or plans
need to be made.
In a family group conference,
family and others with important
connections to the family meet
privately to discuss the issues and
come up with a plan.
When agreements are reached, the
facilitator helps to put them into
What does the facilitator do?
The facilitator helps the people
involved talk about their concerns
and fi nd solutions to them. The
facilitator does not decide who is
right or wrong and is not a decision-
maker. The people involved make
the decisions together.
Is this confi dential?
What is discussed in mediation or a
family group conference is private.
Before the meeting begins, the
facilitator explains confi dentiality
and some of its limits, and everyone
signs an agreement abo