Like every other agency, Hennepin County Family Court Services regular routine and structure were altered considerably with the onset of COVID-19. Within a matter of days, calendars for both staff and families which had been set, sometimes months in advance, were suddenly wiped clear. In person services across the board were suspended, and serious questions arose about how HCFCS would function. With determination and creativity, HCFCS has been able to adapt quickly to meet the needs of both families and the Court.
During this Community Chat session, three Custody and Parenting Time Mediators/Evaluators will share how the Department has utilized the Microsoft Teams platform to provide Mediations, Social Early Neutral Evaluations, and Facilitated Settlement Conferences. The discussion will also address how evaluative services are being conducted without the benefit of in person contact. Attorneys and mental health providers will gain insight into the process that has been implemented that they can share with their clients to prepare them for the various services that are offered. While challenges continue to exist, HCFCS has shown the ability to meet them as they come.