Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Multi-Party Mediation in the Child Welfare System: Thinking Outside the Box

June 21 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am


Learn about the benefits of dependency court mediation, the role of the mediator, and how to “think outside the box” when mediating complex multi-party disputes, especially concerning children and families involved in the child protection system due to allegations of child neglect, abandonment, or abuse. Discover how Dependency Mediation can reduce barriers to communication, diffuse conflict, and influence the lives of our most vulnerable citizens, their families, and those professionals who serve to protect them.

The conversation will be led by Michelle Artman-Smith, 12 th Judicial Circuit ADR Director, and Kathy
Brown, Dependency Mediator and conflict resolution professional.


Michelle Artman Smith
Michelle Artman Smith is the Alternative Dispute Resolution Director for the 12th Judicial Circuit of Florida and oversees the circuit’s court mediation services. She graduated from Stetson University College of Law and was admitted to the Florida Bar in 2004. Michelle is an active Florida Supreme Court Certified County, Family, and Dependency Mediator. Prior to her current employment with the State of Florida, Michelle practiced Family Law in Tampa, Florida. She began her employment with the 12th Judicial Circuit as the Family Court Manager, spearheading many court improvement projects and initiatives. Michelle served as a member of the Florida Supreme Court Mediator Ethics Advisory Committee from August, 2012, until June, 2016, and she is currently appointed as a member of the Mediator Qualifications & Discipline Review Board for the Central Division of Florida. Additionally, she serves as an assistant trainer and role play critiquer for the Florida Supreme Court approved Dependency and Family mediation certification training provider, My Florida Mediator.

Kathy G. Brown
As a Florida Supreme Court certified mediator, Kathy mediates county, family and dependency cases in several Judicial Circuit Courts in Florida. She is passionate about creating safe spaces to help people find their own solutions to internal and external conflict. Kathy also leads interactive Authentic Communication Groups that practice conflict resolution in real time, with tools that include Nonviolent Communication (NVC), and the Internal Family Systems (IFS) model as it is used in the dispute resolution setting. Kathy was also a journalist for 10 years, a parenting consultant, and co-founder of an educational program that catered to individual learning styles.


  • Understand when to use mediation to resolve conflict in child protection cases.
  • Identify the benefits of child protection mediation.
  • Learn how to obtain an order of referral to dependency mediation.
  • Define permanency goals.
  • Describe the dependency case management flowchart.
  • Differentiate between termination of parental rights and voluntary surrenders.
  • Explore the benefits and important considerations of post-adoption contact agreements.
  • Learn about the Early Childhood Court Program.
  • Explore Parenting Partnerships in Family-Centered Practice.


June 21
10:00 am - 11:30 am


FL United States


The Florida Center Training Institute
View Organizer Website