Family Services of Central Massachusetts
Empowering People. Promoting Peace.
What is Mediation?
Mediation creates the opportunity for people to have a conversation about what brought them to the mediation table.
Mediation is a Voluntary, Confidential process in which a Neutral Mediator assists in the disputes to see if people are able to reach a mutual agreement in a safe and cooperative environment.
When is Mediation Used?
- Cases in Probate, District, Juvenile, and Superior Court
- Divorce/Parenting Plans
- Family/ Teen Conflicts
- Landlord/Tenant Issues
- Conflicts in our Community
- Mediation is confidential and informal.
- Mediation allows people to retain control over the decision-making process
- Mediation usually costs less than going to court, both financially and emotionally
- Mediation helps reduce hostility and offers results that work for all people
- Studies have shown that mediation generally results in high level of participant satisfaction
Mediation has the power to be very special. We see it every day. Mediation brings light where there is dark; hope where there is fear; and assurance where there is doubt. Mediation does this because, like the Constitution itself, Mediation returns the power to the people.
Get Involved in Voluntary Mediation
Do you like helping people?
Do you want to help promote peaceful ways to resolve conflict in your community?
Can you listen to others without passing judgment?
Do you want to help neighbors resolve conflicts, help youth learn new skills to handle conflict, help parents create parenting plans to meet everyone’s need?
... then we need you!
- A strong sense of empathy with the problems, situations, and feelings of others
- The ability to stay neutral
- A good listener
- A non-judgmental attitude and ability to set aside any personal biases
- The ability to take yourself out of the equation
- The ability to summarize issues and solutions clearly and succinctly
- A natural curiosity that makes you eager to continue learning
If you have some or all of these qualities please contact us to learn more about becoming a Volunteer Mediator!
Family Services of Central Massachusetts uses co-mediation assigning two Mediators to act as neutral supports for each case. We have found that there are many advantages of co-mediation, such as the promotion of teamwork and effective communication. Our Mediators are trained to facilitate rather than direct the mediation. Facilitative mediation means we help people learn each other’s interests with the goal of reaching a durable agreement. During the process we help people clarify issues, consider their options, and reach workable settlements that fit individual needs. Time and again we have seen that mediated agreements are generally more acceptable and sustainable since people make their own solutions.
Our diverse Mediators are well trained and hold, at least a 30-hour Certificate in Basic Mediation in compliance with MGL Ch. 233 § 23C and the MA Supreme Judicial Court’s Uniform Rules on Dispute Resolution Rule 8(c)(i). Mediations are held at our office, in the courts, and at other locations as needed.
We also offer Training for Basic Mediation and Conflict Resolution. We would be happy to conduct a training to meet your specific needs at your location or ours.
What Does It Cost?
Grants and Trial Court Contracts allow us to offer small claims mediation for court cases at no charge (with the exception of our Probate Pilot where we offer two free mediation sessions – additional sessions move to Sliding Fee Scale). Family Services of Central Massachusetts uses a Sliding Fee Scale based on individual income, which makes community mediation affordable. Our Sliding Fee Scale is used for all private mediations at our center.
Family Services of Central Massachusetts also provides a 10% discount to all Active Military, Veteran, Law Enforcement, and Fire Fighters using our Sliding Fee Scale (copy of DD214 or other verification required). The discount is applied to both parties in divorce/unmarried parents/same-sex/cases. Please contact us for specific information on rates.
Who We Are
- We are Volunteer Mediators and Staff who are committed to ensuring our community has access to high quality, affordable mediation services.
- We, as an organization, embrace our diversity and respect the diversity in others. All things are possible when we work together.
- We understand that conflict is a starting point for new growth and that it brings change to the landscapes of peoples’ lives.
- We have a passion for our community to exist in peace and have access to resources to help resolve their disputes.
- Proud Members of the National Association for Community Mediation
- Working in cooperation with the Office of the Attorney General, the Massachusetts Office of Public Collaboration, and the Massachusetts Trial Court.
Download a copy of our FSCM Mediation Services Brochure and watch the videos below to learn more about our services:
If you would like more information about our mediation services, training programs or you are interested in volunteering, please contact us by phone or email.