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Mediation & Monitoring

Mediation & Monitoring

We can help you carve out a path forward to improve your system, bringing together divergent viewpoints and identifying common ground.

 

Oklahoma

Child Welfare System

At the request of the State of Oklahoma and advocates for the state's foster children, Eileen Crummy, Kathleen Noonan and Kevin Ryan serve as the court-appointed Co-Neutrals charged with monitoring Oklahoma's progress under the Compromise and Settlement Agreement in D.G. v. Henry, a federal class action lawsuit brought on behalf of the state's foster children. In 2011, the parties to the lawsuit asked Kevin and Kathleen to serve as the lead mediators during settlement negotiations. The mediation resulted in a groundbreaking settlement, which the plaintiffs and the state acknowledge is unique nationally in affording the state an ability to build its own improvement plan, while ensuring accountability for positive outcomes for children. The Compromise and Settlement Agreement is, in part, modeled on a classic bankruptcy restructuring paradigm, which allows an organization to reorganize itself, right the course of its operations and exit court oversight once having made substantial progress and continuing to trend in a positive direction.

 

Michigan

Child Welfare System

Kevin Ryan and Eileen Crummy are the court appointed federal monitors in the class action lawsuit, Dwayne B. v. Snyder. Their appointment was the result of a 2008 settlement of a lawsuit filed by Children's Rights, a national child welfare advocacy organization, on behalf of children in the Michigan child welfare system. In 2011, the State and Children's Rights entered into a modified settlement agreement.  The parties renegotiated the modified agreement in 2015, resulting in an Implementation, Sustainability, and Exit Plan that was approved by the Court on February 2, 2016. Kevin and Eileen served as the mediation team assisting the parties in crafting the modified agreements. In their role as monitors, Kevin and Eileen conduct verification work through case reviews, meeting with public and private child advocates, staff, consumers and government representatives. They produce periodic reports for the federal court on the progress of child welfare reform in Michigan and, as necessary, continue to mediate issues that require resolution between the parties.

 

Mississippi

Child Welfare System

Public Catalyst is the court appointed federal monitor in the class action lawsuit, Olivia Y. v. Bryant. Foster children represented by attorneys from Children's Rights, Inc., a nonprofit advocacy organization, who are now with A Better Childhood, also a nonprofit advocacy organization filed suit in March 2004 against the Governor of Mississippi, Mississippi Department of Human Services and its Division of Family and Children’s Services alleging that Mississippi was not adequately protecting and serving children in its child welfare custody. The parties ultimately reached an agreement embodied in the Mississippi Settlement Agreement and Reform Plan (Settlement Agreement), which was approved by the Court in January 2008. The Settlement Agreement included commitments designed to enhance the safety, permanency and well-being of children in the foster care custody of Mississippi.The parties renegotiated the Settlement Agreement and the federal court approved a Modified Settlement Agreement in July 2012 that maintained most of the original Settlement Agreement’s commitments but sequenced their implementation regionally.  The parties renegotiated the modified agreement in 2016 and the Court approved the 2nd Modified Mississippi Settlement Agreement and Reform Plan (2nd MSA) in December 2016. Public Catalyst served as the mediation team assisting the parties in crafting the 2nd MSA. In their role as monitors, Public Catalyst conducts verification work through case reviews, meeting with public and private child advocates, staff, consumers and government representatives. Public Catalyst produces annual reports for the federal court on the progress of child welfare reform in Mississippi and, as necessary, continues to mediate issues that require resolution between the parties.