From the Director
It has been a challenging and exciting time for Community Mediation Services. The challenge has been in figuring out how to go about implementing our Strategic Plan and the commitments we have made under our three year, $110,000 grant from the Meyer Memorial Trust. The excitement has come as the vision for achieving our goals becomes clear and we embark upon implementation.
I am including examples in this newsletter of programming at some of the other Dispute Resolution Centers in the state. I think it is so interesting to see the variety of ways dispute resolution can be applied and the way mediation has been adapted to fit community needs.
Over the next couple of years we are going to expand our services by adding Divorce and Elder Care services to our Family Program. The demand is high for both and our approach can save divorcing couples stress, time and money. A growing elder population requires services not just with mediation, but with facilitation, ombudsman services, multi-party negotiating, and decision making around senior living facilities and medical care.
The vision for developing a team of mediators with these specialized skills involves using outside consultants and trainings at other Dispute Resolution Centers to help our staff and volunteers become certified in Family, Divorce and Elder Care mediation.
Over the next six months we will be hosting all of these trainings. Our current volunteers will be able to take advantage of the trainings, at no cost, as part of their in-service training requirements. The trainings are typically 20 hours and we will open them up to the general public as well.
Expanding our programs will help us better serve the community, strengthen CMS operations and ensure that we have the resources to support our lower income residents. The challenge keeps us sharp and the excitement we feel as we focus and move forward assures us we are on the right track.
Jane Harris, Executive Director