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Making a Referral

Submit a Referral:
For Social Workers For Attorneys

Referral Guidelines

Referrals to PPM, including court ordered referrals, should be submitted right after the termination of family reunification (TFR) services has occurred at the Permanency (366.21) hearing (or if FR was bypassed) and once a Selection and Implementation (366.26) hearing has been scheduled.

Referrals must be received:

  • 75 days prior to the scheduled 366.26 hearing for adoptive placement referrals
  • 100 days prior to the scheduled 366.26 hearing for legal guardianship referrals
  • 120 days prior to the finalization hearing for referrals involving only sibling contact

For referrals that do not meet the above criteria, please contact our Intake Manager for a consultation about what might be possible.

Note that PPM should never delay permanence for children, so please do NOT request a court continuance solely for the purpose of submitting a referral, as we will not accept it. PPM is a voluntary process with no guaranteed outcome.

If you have a referral that has a scheduled 366.26 hearing, but not an identified placement, please submit the referral and it will be held pending placement.

For questions about the forms or referral process, please contact our Intake Manager, Samantha Miller, at (415) 491-2414 or

PPM Timeline

1.Initiating a Referral

After FR is terminated (or bypassed) and at least 75 days prior to TPR, a professional working with the family notifies them about mediation and submits a referral to PPM.

2.Intake Review

Our Intake Manager reviews the referral and will be in touch about any questions or missing information to allow the referral to be accepted.

3.Mediator Assigned

A mediator is assigned and intro letters/emails are sent to the involved parties and professionals.

4.Professionals Contacted

The mediator reaches out to all professionals and must connect with at least one of the child’s social workers and the child’s attorney before contacting the parties. For youth 12 or older, the mediator will ask how best to involve them in mediation discussions.

5.Introductory Meetings

The mediator first meets separately with each of the referred parties to explain mediation and help them consider the current and future needs of the children.

6.Ongoing Mediation

If parties choose to mediate, the mediator will continue to go between the parties, or meet together if all agree. The content and progress of mediation is confidential unless parties provide written permission to share.

7.Agreement Drafting

If parties reach an agreement about contact, a written draft is developed and reviewed with them.

8.Professional Draft Review

With all parties’ permission, the draft agreement is provided to the involved professionals for review and feedback. Any feedback is discussed with the parties.


The parties sign the contact plan (Post Adoption/Legal Guardianship Contact Agreement) and Judicial Council Adopt 310 if needed. Youths 12 and older, along with their attorneys, sign as well.

10.Filing of Final Documents

The original signed documents are sent to the adoption worker or other appropriate professional to file in court at finalization. Copies of the signed documents are also sent to all parties, their attorneys, and social workers.

Talking with Families

Below are some things you can tell your clients and families when informing them you are making a referral to PPM.

PPM is an opportunity for everyone to work together through a skilled mediator on how best to support children as they grow and mature.

There is no cost to participate.

PPM is voluntary. The initial meeting with the mediator is informational and not a commitment to continue. You can end mediation at any time.

Agreeing to mediate is being willing to have a conversation and not a guarantee of any particular outcome.

Mediation is confidential, so nothing you say to the mediator will be shared with anyone, unless you give written permission to share or if there is danger of harm.

The mediator will meet with you at a time and place that is convenient for you, or work remotely with you if preferred.

The mediator will meet with you individually and convey only what you approve to the other party.

Only if all parties agree and feel comfortable would they all meet together with the mediator.

Contact does not necessarily mean visits, and through mediation you and the other family will work together on the types and frequency of contact that would be best for the child and situation.

Mediation is separate from the department of social services and court, and should not delay either process. No one gives up their legal rights by participating in mediation.

Informational Sheets & Flyers

PPM Info Sheet for Professionals

A one-page informational flyer suitable for distribution


PPM Guide for Professionals

A more detailed summary of the program and benefits


PPM Info Sheet for Parties

A one-page description of the program for your clients and families

English Spanish


PPM Explainer Video

A 5-minute video illustrating the PPM process which you can share with your clients and families

PPM Overview for Professionals

A more detailed look at PPM providing useful information for attorneys and social workers about the process

Refresher Dates & RSVP

Join us during one of our live, state-wide Referral Refresher presentations on PPM and how to make a referral through our secure online intake portal. If you are new to PPM or even if you have made numerous referrals to the program, there is something for everyone in these interactive, free hour-long sessions. We also discuss things you can tell your clients and families when making a referral to PPM.

Referral Refreshers are held through Zoom and usually run from 10:30am-11:30am with time for Q & A at the end.

For more information and to RSVP, follow the link for the date you are interested in. If you would like us to present at your county or agency on a date and time convenient for you, please contact our Intake Manager, Samantha Miller, at (415) 491-2414 or

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Implementing PPM in your County or Region

Referrals to PPM are welcome from all counties in California.

Our hope is that every child in California who is exiting foster care to adoption or legal guardianship will have the opportunity to safely maintain important connections to their family of origin.

The cost of PPM is covered through a CADSS contract and thus provided at no cost to the county, court or participants.

Introducing PPM county-wide generally works best when the county social services department, child and parent attorneys, and the court have had an opportunity to learn about PPM and get answers to any questions that may arise. Our staff is happy to schedule consultations or training to facilitate county-wide implementation. We also schedule Statewide Referral Refreshers.

We are able to accept referrals on a case-by-case basis if county-wide implementation has not occurred. Please contact Susan Yobp at to explore how this can be done for any child or children you believe will benefit from a continuing connection to their family of origin. All referrals to PPM must meet our referral guidelines.

If you are interested in implementing PPM, please contact

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