Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 12. Health
Agency 35. Department Of Behavioral Health And Developmental Services
Chapter 225. Requirements for Virginia Early Intervention System
1/18/2022

12VAC35-225-390. Mediation.

A. Mediation shall be voluntary on the part of all parties; shall be available at any time to parties to disputes involving any matter under Part C, including matters arising prior to the filing of a due process complaint; and shall not be used to delay or deny a parent's right to a due process hearing.

B. The department shall maintain a list of individuals who are qualified mediators and knowledgeable in laws and regulations relating to the provision of early intervention services and shall select mediators on a random or rotational basis.

C. An individual who serves as a mediator shall not be an employee of the department, a local lead agency, or an early intervention service provider that is involved in the provision of early intervention services or other services to the child and shall not have a personal or professional interest that conflicts with the person's objectivity. A person who otherwise qualifies as a mediator shall not be considered an employee of the department, a local lead agency, or an early intervention provider solely because he is paid by the agency to serve as a mediator.

D. The department shall appoint a trained and impartial mediator within five days of receiving the request for mediation.

E. Each session in mediation shall be scheduled in a timely manner and shall be held in a location that is convenient to the parties involved in the dispute.

F. Mediation, including a written mediation agreement reflecting agreements reached by the parties to the dispute, shall be completed within 15 calendar days of the receipt by the department of notice that both parties have agreed to mediation. If resolution is not reached within 15 days, the department shall inform the parents in writing that they may request a due process hearing.

G. Extensions of the 15-day timeline may be granted for good cause. If there is a simultaneous request for mediation and a due process hearing, an extension shall not result in a violation of the 30-day timeline for completion of the due process hearing.

H. If the parties resolve the dispute through the mediation process, the parties shall execute a legally binding agreement that sets forth the resolution, states that all discussions that occurred during the mediation process are confidential and may not be used as evidence in any subsequent due process or civil proceeding, and is signed by both the parent and a representative of the local lead agency or early intervention service provider who has the authority to bind that agency.

I. The department shall bear the full cost of the mediation process.

Statutory Authority

§ 2.2-5304 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 32, Issue 10, eff. February 27, 2016.

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