Supporting Children and Families
Services - Family Mediation

What is mediation?

Mediation is a way to resolve conflict. Mediation aims to enable those involved to reach an agreement that satisfies everyone. Each person is free to talk confidentially about the situation as it affects them. The Mediator will then help the parties involved to identify the issues that need to be resolved and find ways to reach a solution.

Family mediation comes into play when there is a relationship breakdown between couples whether married or not. The South London Family Centre is a neutral place where a professional family mediator progresses the mediation process to help the conflicting parties find solutions for the issues between them.

The mediators do not give advice or tell you what to do. You the client are in charge of what you bring to mediation. The mediators probe and progress the process of mediation so that both parties get to hear each other’s point of view in front of an impartial, neutral person. Everything said is in confidence and there is no threat of any of it leaking out and exacerbating the situation. The conflict between the parties is allowed to be expressed by each in their own way.

More often than not couple begin to recognise what the other party is going through and start engaging in a dialogue as ex partners or parents. Where they are children both parties for the sake of their children should progress to a point from where both can engage as parents and not as conflicting partners. Where there is a break up between parents, the children benefit hugely when they have resolved some of the conflicts between them. The children suffer whenever their parent’s part, they feel guilty and responsible for the situation. The children also become more accepting when the parents can communicate as parents. Mediation may help both parties to arrive at this point.

The mediators are in charge of the process of mediation but not the content. They can, however encourage both parties to work within acceptable boundaries so that the acrimony between them can be lessened and some constructive decisions can be made. Both parties must be willing to engage and participate in mediation. It is not a win, win, situation but a levelling out so the conflict can be looked at from both points of view and a clearer picture can be focused on. Both parties must be open and honest.

Family Mediation Referral procedure

Clients can self refer or get referred by solicitors, Social Services or other referral agencies.
Firstly a referral form has to be filled in, once the form has been filled in with both parties’ details on it, if possible. We then can go ahead and arrange individual intake (assessment) meetings for both client 1 and client 2. Once both parties have attended their assessment meetings we can, only then proceed and arrange mediation sessions.

NOTE - Mediation will not start until both parties have attended the initial assessment meeting.

All our Mediators are fully trained and accredited. We maintain and adhere to the quality framework of the Legal Service Commission.