A parenting plan is a series of sessions conducted with the parents and can include aspects such as where and with whom the child is to live, maintenance of the child and contact between the child and the co-holders of parental rights and responsibilities, and/or any other relevant person. It can also include topics such as the schooling and religious upbringing of the child. A parenting plan is also used to determine how the responsibilities co-holders of parental rights are exercised.
Mediation does not constitute a care and contact investigation as it is a process where the social worker assists and guide the parents to come to a conclusion regarding their disagreements.
The Children’s Act 38 of 2005 provides for mandatory referral of child centred disputes to mediate (see section 33 (2) of the Children’s Act 38 of 2005).