Exploring options, moving forward
Many families experience challenging times. Conflict is a part of life and it can arise for a number of reasons. Mediation can be helpful in any family situation where there is a problem or conflict that family members aren’t able to resolve, especially if those involved are struggling to talk to each other and can't seem to find a good way forward.
For example, if you are separating, getting a divorce, or dissolving a civil partnership or if you have been bringing up your children with an ex-partner you may be finding it difficult to manage all the practical arrangements around the care of the children. This can be very difficult if you are feeling hurt, confused or just angry. Family mediators can help here as they are specially trained to support separated parents or any family members deal constructively with things such as:
- contact arrangements for the children
- improving clear communication between parties
- reducing/resolving conflict
- resolve family issues causing a fall-out
- financial and property matters in relation to separation or divorce
Family Mediation can be helpful when normal communications have broken down and you and the other parent/family member are struggling to find a way to work together, resolve issues and jointly support your children. Mediation can support, for example family members of different generations who are having difficulties over particular issues, to move forward to better relationships and a more stable and happy living environment. This can be young people and their parent(s), adult siblings, or any extended family members (aunties, nephews, kinship carers, grandparents).
Our Mediators are currently supporting families in Angus, where family relationship breakdown is causing one family member to face homelessness. If you live in Angus and you or someone in your family could benefit from practical support and mediation, please contact us.
How does it Work
Mediation is voluntary - family members only take part if they want to. A mediation meeting provides the space in which you explore and identify the possible ways forward. The family mediators are specially trained to support you in talking openly and constructively about the issues you are facing. Mediators have the skills to enable helpful communication between those involved and the expertise in problem solving that will keep the process moving forward. The mediator will not take sides and will support you to find solutions that work for you both and especially for any children involved. They listen to everyone and allow you all an equal opportunity to speak.
What to Expect
If after your intake appointment mediation is deemed appropriate a joint meeting will be arranged with the mediator. In this meeting you will have the opportunity to discuss your concerns, explore future options and agree a way forward. This may take one, but usually several meetings, but the same mediator will stay with you throughout the process. If joint sessions cannot be offered, or where they cannot be offered yet, individuals can access other support. Please contact us to find out more about the one to one STEP AHEAD - Conflict Mentoring Service.
Putting Children First
Our practice is to work with children primarily through their parents with the focus of family mediation putting children and young people’s needs first. Families can do this best by listening to them, trying to understand them and taking their views and feelings into account. We also offer the option, if appropriate of a mediator meeting individually with the children/young people (generally over the age of 12) to hear their view of issues which affect them. The mediator agrees with the child/young person what they would like to feed back into the mediation process for their parents to hear. This is called "Consulting children in mediation".