Community Mediation Center FAQs
What is Mediation?
Mediation is a confidential and voluntary process where participants have an opportunity to have a face-to-face discussion about the conflict between them with a mediator(s). The mediator facilitates this conversation by making sure everyone has a chance to be heard and getting clarity where needed to help participants get a better understanding of what everyone is feeling and what is important to them.
What does the mediation process look like?
The mediation begins by giving everyone an opportunity to talk about what they would like to address. The mediators listen, check to make sure they have heard everyone correctly, and ask questions to get a better understanding of what is important to everyone involved. They work with the participants to identify the topics they would like to discuss further or what plans they need to develop. The mediators then facilitate a solution phase where those involved can develop viable options to their specific situation. Mediators can put the solutions into a written agreement.
Isn’t mediation just counseling?
No, mediation is not like counseling. Mediators are not therapists and do not provide an analysis or opinion of the situation or give suggestions about what people should try or do. Mediators are committed to participant self-determination, which includes giving participants the space to talk about whatever they want to discuss and make plans or agreements that are important to them.
Do the mediators make any decisions or give their opinions?
The mediators do not make any decisions, nor give opinions or advice; all decisions or solutions come from the participants. The mediator’s job is to be nonjudgmental, listen, ask questions for clarification and facilitate the process to meet the needs and goals of the participants.
How much does mediation cost?
Mediation services are offered at no cost to participants.
How long is mediation?
Mediation is scheduled for a two-hour period. If at the end of the two hours participants feel they need more time, they can schedule another session with mediators. Participants may have as many mediation sessions as they want at no charge.
How do I set up mediation?
Participants can contact the CCCMC directly to request services. Staff will speak to them about their situation and, if mediation is appropriate, contact the other people involved in the conflict to discuss the option of mediation.
How do I refer someone to mediation?
Agencies, organizations and individuals may refer potential participants to mediation by contacting the CCCMC. Names and contact information for each person being referred must be provided.
Is community mediation part of the court system?
Carroll County Community Mediation Center is not part of the court system. We are a completely separate non-profit entity. However, we often receive referrals for mediation for people who are involved with a court case or are under a court order to mediate.
Will my agreement in mediation be binding?
Agreements made in mediation may be binding contracts. The mediation process provides an opportunity for participants to explore all possible options and choose the one(s) that work for everyone involved. Mediation is a completely voluntary process; all agreements reached come from the participants involved and no one is forced to agree to anything. Participants always have the opportunity to consider their agreement and review it with anyone they feel comfortable getting advice or input from before signing.
What if you are not sure a situation is appropriate for mediation?
If you are unsure a situation is appropriate for mediation, give us a call or email us and a staff member can discuss the case with you to determine if it is suitable for mediation. A pre-mediation conversation is conducted with each potential mediation participant to determine if mediation is appropriate, explain the process, answer questions and schedule the mediation if everyone agrees to move forward.
What information will I receive?
Referring agencies may receive status reports on mediations, which include scheduled mediation appointments, whether or not the mediation occurred and whether or not an agreement is reached.
Who are the mediators and coaches?
The Mediation Center provides professionally trained mediators and coaches who volunteer their time and represent the diversity of Carroll County with regard to age, race, gender, ethnicity, income, experiences and education. All mediators and coaches have completed at least 50 hours of mediation training, an apprenticeship and continuing education.