The William H. Bowen Law School at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock received $24,872.22 to continue the Early Intervention Mediation Project. Funded by the Arkansas Department of Human Services, this project provides free services for children up to age three who need developmental assistance.
The program provides assistance through a mediator, an independent third party who can identify, discuss, and provide context for different issues and views. The mediator, however, does not make decisions or provide legal, professional, or financial advice. The mediator meets with parents and educators in order to create an action plan to assist the child in the best way possible.
The Early Intervention Mediation Project provides unique services that can improve relationships, allow thoughtful discussion, and allow parents and educators to develop a unique plan of action that works best for them and the children.
Along with mediation services, the program offers facilitated meetings in a safe environment to help parents, providers, and service coordinators discuss an infant or toddler’s needs. Because a toddler’s development is rapid, parents have the opportunity to seek an Individualized Service Plan meeting with trained facilitators.
“Trained Facilitators and certified Mediators use effective problem-solving focused on the needs of the infant/toddler to guide all involved to a speedy, mutually agreeable resolution,” said Tiffany Kell, Mediation Program Coordinator. “Both processes seek to foster and maintain productive partnerships between parents, providers, and service coordinators.”
The William H. Bowen Law School is the only law school in the country to administer this federally required special education mediation program. Because of this distinction, Arkansas is recognized as a leader in system design by the Center for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education.