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Mediation Services

Mediation is when an independent and impartial third party helps people in a dispute to reach a mutually acceptable agreement.

MEDIATION is a confidential service. Initially each person is seen separately at their homes and asked to describe the situation from their point of view. The conversation you have with our mediators remains private unless the safety of adults or children is involved, or there is evidence of crime.

MEDIATION ensures everyone that takes part has an equal chance to make their point and reach a fair agreement. Whether you choose to take part in mediation or not, your other options are still available to you although these may be costly or take longer. We aim to help you find a solution within 8 weeks.

MEDIATION is a balanced, positive way of sorting things out before the situation gets out of control. If everyone agrees, a joint meeting will be arranged in a neutral venue and our mediators will work through the issues with everyone during a structured process. This helps people talk to each other in a constructive way, so they can deal with situations more positively.

The mediators:

  • ensure that everyone has an equal chance to make their point,
  • ensure that everyone takes part in reaching a fair agreement which will work,
  • put a stop to any behaviour that prevents people from negotiating fairly

We aim to complete the mediation process within 8 weeks for a Community case.  Family mediations take longer as they involve more meetings with the families involved, but are usually completed within 12 weeks.  Workplace mediation takes place over 2 separate days and is usually completed within a timescale of 8 weeks.  The Restorative Justice programme works with the offender before they meet with the victim of their crime.  The process can take around 12 weeks.

The process

Smile will contact all parties to arrange an initial meeting at their home with two of our mediators. They will listen to your issues and discuss all the options that are available to you.  During the initial visit the mediators will ask you what you would like to happen and to think about the things you want to say at a meeting with the other parties.  If all parties are willing, a joint meeting will be arranged at a neutral venue and our mediators will be there and will explain the mediation process.

Preparation: During the joint meeting, each party has uninterrupted time to explain how they see the situation and what they would like to happen.

Exploring the Situation: The mediators explore what everyone wants and looks at ways of resolving the situation. These might include:

  • working through differences,
  • managing conflict,
  • helping to explore solutions,
  • preparing for the next steps.

Making an agreement: The mediators will help you to come up with a solution that everyone can accept.

Closure: We aim to end the session with an agreement which is acceptable to everyone.