Coordinators are responsible for developing and managing programs to assist families in transition.
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Mediation is a process in which a trained impartial person, called a mediator, helps people in a dispute communicate, understand each other, and reach agreement if possible. Mediation is voluntary, confidential, and lets the people in the dispute decide what works best for them.
Maryland Mediation and Conflict Resolution Office, Consumers’ Guide, Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Services in Maryland, page 8 (5th Edition 2009, Online edition updated March 2011) www.marylandmacro.org.
If your case is referred to mediation by the court, or if someone suggests that you try mediation instead of going to court, it may be because:
Mediators are people who have training in conflict resolution. They have experience helping people to communicate better with each other, even when it seems impossible for any agreement to be reached.
Facilitation is often used when there are many interested parties or stakeholders and it differs from mediation. Mediation tends to focus on a single-issue dispute between a small number of people (2-4 or so). The large group dispute resolution facilitator helps a large number of people work out a dispute. In this Directory, we define a "large" group as 6 or more people. The facilitator is part of a joint effect to design and oversee the process of resolving a dispute. The facilitator will help to set up the ground rules for how the dispute will be resolved. The goals of the facilitator are to:
Mediation is not about winning or losing. Mediation is about having an opportunity to find solutions that work for everyone.
Maryland judges recognize that in appropriate cases people may achieve more satisfactory outcomes in a less time consuming and less expensive manner by using mediation than litigation. The courts solve problems, but judges realize that the underlying problems in many disputes cannot be resolved by the decision of a judge or jury. Mediation provides the public with an opportunity to resolve many disputes permanently and effectively. It also provides the courts with a mechanism to relieve overburdened dockets and help prevent disputes from escalating.
For a family issue that is already in the courts, contact a Family Court Coordinator.
For other types of cases or problems that are not part of a court case, or for more information about mediation or assistance in finding a mediator, you can contact the Mediation and Conflict Resolution Office or look at the on-line Dispute Resolution Practicioners Directory.
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