As divorce rates rise, family mediation represents an alternative way of making settlements without involving an already overburdened judicial system. This book presents a discussion of the current North American trends in the burgeoning field of family mediation by featuring both a review of the literature and a model for family mediation practice. The practice model presented here, Therapeutic Family Mediation, stresses an ecological perspective, and considers the feminist critique of the mediation process. The authors also address mediation's role in the important issues of joint custody, ethnicity, and child protection. Future directions in family mediation are examined in the final part.
Family mediation has come of age. Once a minor technology, it has now entered the mainstream and exploded. It is now a major source of court diversion and conflict resolution in divorce. Service is now available across North America in communities both big and small. It has also spread internationally and is available throughout Europe, Australia and New Zealand, South Africa, and parts of Asia.
Subsequent proliferation has seen mediation services spring up in a ever-widening array of locations, including the civil courts, landlord and tenant associations, classrooms and school yards, community and environmental settings, prisons, child welfare agencies, and so on.
Rising demand for service has had predictable consequences. Mediation associations now exist in most states and provinces, and national organizations have sprung ...