To celebrate 40 years of family mediation provision, the Family Mediation Trust is aiming to create 100 Family Mediation Champions. COULD YOU BE ONE!
We would like to invite you to step forward and help families to access mediation more smoothly and with confidence, by becoming a Mediation Champion.
A mediation champion is someone who:
We don't want to make it difficult to become a champion because we know how busy everyone is; we have, therefore, made the process as quick as possible. All we ask from you is to attend a FREE 90 minute workshop with one of our expert mediators, to learn about the options parents have when they go through a separation and the role of mediation in this process.
On completing the workshop, we will issue you with a certificate welcoming you as a champion. We will also list your name and organisation on our register of Mediation Champions.
Support families to explore family mediation in a positive way to help them manage their separation. This support could be as simple as signposting parents to mediation; or it could go further and you help them to be referred to mediation. We also ask you to try and dispel some of the myths that surround mediation when you talk to parents.
There are approximately 1.8 million single parent households, of which 90% are run by mothers. 49% of children living with a single parent will be living in poverty. We live in a world where we still see far too many families looking at court as the only way they can find a solution.
Courts play a critical role for families separating; but they are FULL - and many cases being managed in court could be managed in other ways, such as mediation. This was set out by His Honour Judge Stephen Wildblood QC, Designated Family Judge for Bristol, Gloucestershire and North Somerset who said; "Therefore, the message in this judgment to parties and lawyers is this, as far as I am concerned. Do not bring your private law litigation to the Family court here unless it is genuinely necessary for you to do so. You should settle your differences (or those of your clients) away from court, except where that is not possible. If you do bring unnecessary cases to this court, you will be criticised, and sanctions may be imposed upon you. There are many other ways to settle disagreements, such as mediation." READ THE HEARING
Families going to court can use legal support - but for a contested court case the cost of this can be well over £50,000 per parent. Or, and this is increasingly common, the parents are litigants in person. 71% of litigants in family court cases are litigants in person, and amazingly 58% of parties in domestic violence courts are litigants in person, including 21% of the applicants.
Regardless of the above, when someone says they are leaving their partner the first thing they are told is "find the best lawyer", "make sure you get what you deserve" or "don't let X have custody".
We need to amplify the message that there are other options than going to court and the child's needs should be the key focus to all decision making. To make this happen we need Mediation Champions.