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Make a difference as a volunteer mediator!
We offer a community-based Restorative System Response to local child welfare offices so families can mediate safety and conflict issues to restore an area that needs support. Our goals are to empower families with a court-approved, culturally responsive ADR process and lighten the burden of county child welfare teams with a community-based model.
What types of family conflict could I engage with as a volunteer mediator?
Every referral is different! We support anything from drug-positive moms giving birth to juvenile conflict issues.
Can I volunteer remotely? Are there time requirements?
Absolutely! Most mediation sessions last 2 hours. Sometimes only one is needed, while others need monthly accountability, support, or reviews. We recommend that the lead mediator follow the family case, and co-mediators can join when available - offering greater flexibility for volunteers.
Would I mediate alone as a volunteer?
Restorative Family Mediators work in teams. This means you'll always have a co-mediator to plan agendas, implement sessions, and debrief.
Do I need a background check?
Yes - a background check is required because we work with sensitive case information. We ask volunteers to cover that cost ($18) and provide you with a quick option to handle it online.
What type of training is required to become a volunteer mediator?
You must attend Restorative Family Mediation 40-hour training. Training is free. Choose any session that works with your calendar.
What if I've already been through Rule 114 training in other mediation training programs?
Our training takes a restorative approach making it suitable to serve the needs of child welfare. You'll be required to take our training to be a volunteer mediator, but you'll see you'll get plenty of CEs for free!
Where are in-person volunteer opportunities available?
Generally, across the Twin Cities metro area, we will expand and update as new counties reach out. We go to families and meet them where they are - this might be at a hospital, a library, a community center, a home, or any other location the family and mediators are comfortable with.
What does remote mediation look like?
Remote mediation is a video conferencing option allowing families to include loved ones or allies that may live far away. We use Zoom primarily for remote mediation.
Aren't mediators professionals like lawyers?
Mediation training is available and recommended to anyone - if you've ever experienced conflict, you benefit from learning a life skill like this! You do not have to hold a professional license to become a Rule 114 family mediator. Life experience alone can make you a gift to many!
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