Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Good Ways to Resolve Conflict

You don’t have to stay stuck in conflict or resort to court action. Consider conflict resolution at the NY Center for Interpersonal Development on Staten Island. We can help.

What is Mediation? How does it work?
Mediation enables people in conflict to create their own mutually acceptable agreements to resolve their differences in a comfortable, informal setting, and to do so quickly and conveniently. 

Participation in mediation is always voluntary, and everything discussed in mediation is confidential.  You do not need to have a lawyer but you are welcome to bring one if you want. Parties are asked to speak for themselves.

People come to the mediation center on their own or through referrals made by the court system, law enforcement agencies, employers, lawyers, the clergy or other public and private agencies. For over thirty years, mediation has served as a court-approved alternative to civil litigation, criminal prosecution and other traditional avenues for resolving conflict.

Men, women and families of every age, race, ethnic background, income and education level can avail themselves of mediation serves. Mediators can be provided for people who speak languages other than English. 

What does the mediator do?
Mediators do not act as judges or decision makers; rather, they empower people to resolve disputes for themselves. Our mediators are professionally trained with over 100 years of combined mediation experience.  They serve as impartial facilitators, ready to listen and take the time to help all the parties involved to reach mutually acceptable agreements. 

Here are some of the types of programs and services the Staten Island CDRC at the NY Center for Interpersonal Development provides:

Supreme Court  The Supreme Court Matrimonial Part Mediation Program offers custody and/or visitation mediation to litigants in the process of divorce.  Mediation services may be offered through judicial referral or at the parties’ choice.

Civil Court  The Center provides mediation services to both represented and pro se litigants in the following Civil Court parts: Small Claims  - Civil Claims  - Housing Court  Civil Court mediation services are initiated either at the election of the parties or by judicial referral.

Criminal Court  Based on referrals from the Staten Island District Attorney’s office, the First Time Offenders Program offers individuals charged with non-felony offenses the opportunity to participate in a Restorative Justice Model mediation process as an alternative to criminal prosecution.

Special Education Mediation  This federally mandated mediation program allows schools and parents to come together to sort out differences on a child’s education plan.  Less stressful than an impartial hearing, this process allows all parties to be heard and to work together to develop a plan that is in the best interest of the child.

Truancy Mediation  Truancy is often a symptom of a deeper problem.  Through mediation involving the school, the parents and the student, very often the cause can be identified and a plan developed to assist the student in getting back on track in school and at home.

Peer Mediation (High Schools and Intermediate Schools)  Students are trained to mediate among their peers and encourage those in conflict to seek mediation before a conflict escalates to violence, thereby reducing violence in schools.  New York Center offers mediation training to both teachers and students and offers ongoing supervision and support of these programs.

Workplace Conflict Management  Conflict in the workplace hurts business.  It can result in employee dissatisfaction, reduced productivity and high rates of employee turnover.  The Center offers a comprehensive range of services to businesses, from organizational assessment and conflict management design to individualized employee coaching and workplace mediation services.  Our focus is not only on addressing specific conflicts when they arise within an organization, but also on working with organizations to develop effective tools to manage conflict before it becomes a problem.  Because no two businesses are alike, all services are tailored to meet the specific needs of our clients.

Community Mediation Mediation services are provided to the community, either through self-referral by the parties or by referrals from the police, social service agencies or other community organizations.  Issues such as neighbor disputes, noise complaints, parking issues, animal issues and other community and quality of life issues are addressed.

Family Mediation  The Center has a comprehensive program designed to address multiple family conflicts.  Services provided include custody/visitation mediation, resolution of disputes between adult siblings or family members, and probate disputes.

Parent/Child Mediation  Mediation has proven to be a useful tool in settling conflict between parents and adolescents.  It can improve communication and help both parents and teens learn how to “fight better” so that everyone wins. 

Lemon Law Arbitration  Under the direction of the New York State Attorney General’s office New York Center’s state certified arbitrators hear cases under New York’s new and used car lemon laws.

Do you have questions about whether you and your conflict could benefit from conflict resolution or mediation, call the Staten Island CDRC at the NY Center.

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