Raising the profile of family mediation: over 1,600 people spell event success
With a collective attendance of over 1,600 people, a series of webinars forming part of Family Mediation Week 2023 has been declared a success… with plans for 2024’s corresponding event already under way.
Family Mediation Week, which has become a much-welcomed annual family justice fixture, saw family mediators run numerous events in January.
Organised by the Family Mediation Council (FMC), it was opened at a launch by Lord Bellamy KC, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Ministry of Justice.
“The overall objective of Family Mediation Week 2023 was to raise the profile and public understanding of the many benefits that family mediation can bring to separating couples,” says John Taylor, Chair of the FMC.
“Twenty-one webinars were held in five days. Some aimed at providing information to members of the public, while others were focused on supporting mediators, lawyers, divorce coaches, financial experts, social workers, and other professionals involved in family justice. All were very much appreciated.
The collective audience of over 1,600 people for these events, and the very positive feedback received, show that Family Mediation Week 2023 was a great success. Planning for next year’s event has already begun.”
Successful webinars held for members of the public included those focusing on:
- Communication after the split: getting solutions with non-court resolutions
- A tailor-made process for separating families: the approaches available in family mediation and how they can be used in practice
- Overcoming barriers to mediation
- Surviving divorcing a narcissist
Meanwhile, webinars aimed at the professional audience included:
- CAFCASS developments: Separated Parents Information Programme and Parenting Plans
- The difference between mediation and arbitration
- Why isn’t mediation ‘flying off the shelf’?
- Young Family Mediators Association: focus on post-foundation training and sharing experiences about working towards accreditation
Family Mediation Week takes place in January, sometimes dubbed ‘divorce month’ as it is a period which usually sees rising numbers of couples making enquiries about separation and divorce.
Yet John Taylor stresses that the benefits of family mediation are felt all year round: “Family mediation saves you money if you are looking to separate or divorce, as it is usually much cheaper than being represented in court.
It is a process that helps you make arrangements over parenting, property and money, in a way that lets you keep more control of your family’s future. Importantly, it also enables you to put your child’s interests first.
In family mediation, an independent, professionally-trained mediator helps you work these things out, enabling you to avoid courtroom confrontation. Professional mediators help you to create long-term solutions for your particular circumstances, rather than leaving it to a court to make decisions for your family.”
The Government is currently operating a time-limited voucher scheme to encourage more people to consider family mediation as a means of resolving their disputes, where appropriate. To support this, a financial contribution of up to £500 towards the costs of mediation relating to children will be provided, if the couple are eligible. Only mediators authorised by the FMC are taking part in the voucher scheme.
Notes to editor
- The Family Mediation Council (FMC) is the home of regulated family mediation in England and Wales. Choosing a mediator from the FMC Register guarantees that the mediator is appropriately trained, follows the FMC’s Code of Practice, maintains professional practice by carrying out appropriate professional development activities, and is supported by a highly-experienced supervisor (known as a Professional Practice Consultant). FMC mediators are fully insured and offer access to a complaints process if something does go wrong.
- Family Mediation Week 2023 took place from 16 to 20 January. Next year’s event will be held from 22 to 26 January 2024.
- For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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