Mediation is an informal process conducted in a neutral setting with two skilled mediators to help you to work out a lasting solution to your conflict. Mediation is voluntary and confidential.
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Parties should come to the process with an open mind, and be willing to create a win-win situation. Mediation allows for both parties to be heard. The mediation is a safe environment for people to address their conflicts.
The mediator is a volunteer who has been professionally trained to help you resolve your conflict. He or she will:
Listen as you explain the issue of concern
Ask questions to help you and the other parties clarify and understand issues.
Guide you through a process to develop solutions.
Assist you in drawing up an agreement which is satisfactory to both parties.
The mediator will not take sides, make judgments, assess blame, or tell you what to do. The mediator will not force you to make decisions. The mediator helps to facilitate the conversation between the parties. You, the parties, will create the agreement.
The agreement is a summary of the resolutions you and the other person(s) have decided on to solve your dispute. You will receive a copy of the agreement at the end of the mediation process. The agreement may be a legally binding document. You can consult an Attorney.
How to prepare
To prepare for mediation you should think about possible solutions you could offer. Think about what it is you need and what you would be willing to do to achieve it. Conflict can be a learning experience, if parties allow for growth, through the process.
Rights and obligations of each party
The mediation process is strictly confidential except in cases where the mediation determines that child abuse or pending criminal activity is involved
No information received by the mediator during the mediation process shall be revealed to parties outside the mediation process
Mediation is completely voluntary; each party has the right to withdraw from the mediation process at any time
Should the mediation process produce an agreement signed by the parties, that agreement can be formal and binding upon the parties
Become a volunteer mediator
If you like helping people, want to help promote peaceful ways to resolve conflict in your community and can listen to others without passing judgment, we could use you as a volunteer. For information on becoming a mediator, visit our Volunteer Mediator Training or call 410-638-4807.
Divorce, custody cases
We do not mediate domestic violence, divorce or custody cases; for divorce and custody cases, call Family Services at 410-638-3100.