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Southern California Family Mediation

Ending cycles of family conflict and rebuilding relational foundations with respectful communication & interpersonal problem solving.

“This has undone years of conflict and disagreements.”

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About Us


  We serve the most at risk parents and children at all 28 child dependency courtrooms throughout Los Angeles County, including all cities such as Burbank, Glendale, and Pasadena.  

 2018: Mediators donated more than 1,700 hours valued at over $340,000. 

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How we helped in 2018:

237 Mediations...


229 Agreements...


= 96.6% Families Reunited


= Made Possible Thanks To Grants From =

The Pritzker Family Foundation


Foster Care Counts


= Additional Support Comes From =


What We Do

Help families solve problems


 Our Mediations assist with parenting plans, making tough decisions, rebuilding trust, and helping co-parents communicate peacefully & with respect.  The families decide what details are important to them and what their agreement will be. 

Keep kids at home & out of the juvenile justice system


 Mediation helps reduce recidivism, reunify families, and teaches skills to handle difficult and emotional situations. 

Get results


 We have been working hard and producing excellent results.  We have served over 1,000 parents and over 1,200 children since 2014.  Our elite team of mediators has consistently produced agreement rates in excess of 95%.

Train Mediators


 We have created a challenging professional volunteer training program.  We also partner with USC's, Gould School of Law to provide hands-on training and mediation oversight for law school students. 

What's the most difficult conversation you've had this year?

 Bio-Dad to Foster Parent 

“Thank you so much for stepping in and being the father to my son that I couldn’t be. My son deserved better and you gave him better, I appreciate all you have done for him.”

 14 -Year-old daughter to Mom (recovering from addiction)

“Mom I have been afraid to tell you this, because I love you and I don’t want to hurt your feelings.  I want to stay with you at least once a week, but I really love my new school and I just feel more stable living with Dad.” 

Why It's Important


  • 30,000 children who are victims of abuse and neglect are entrusted to the care of the Los Angeles County Juvenile Justice System.

  •  73% of foster youth spend two or more years in the system.

  • Mediation has been shown to shorten timelines for children under court supervision.

  • The Children's Court and Foster Care systems are being pushed beyond capacity by a constant flow of families returning to conflict.

  • Every time a child is uprooted from his or her support systems (family, friends, school)  their chance of graduating high school is reduced, and their likelihood of becoming incarcerated or homeless is increased.

Mediator's Tip

Make a request, instead of a complaint.  A complaint is accusatory and causes immediate defensiveness.  Mediators help people re-frame complaints into requests.  

For example, "You Always..." can bee seen a request for someone to do less of something.  Similarly, "You Never..." is really a request for someone to do more of something.

Solving Problems


Rebuilding Trust


2019 SCFM Children's Court Mediation Training

If you are interested in joining the team to: 1. Help keep children out of foster care, 2. Reduce violence between co-parenting families, and 3. Promote social peace & justice, please contact us at:  

2019 SCFM Children's Court Mediation Training: If you are interested in joining our elite team of mediators, find out more by clicking "ABOUT THE TRAINING".

About the training

Co-parents learn to create their own Parenting Plan Agreements

Healing the heart of social conflict begins when co-parents learn better - more successful and less harmful - ways to communicate, negotiate, and agree for their children.

For many co-parents, creating their own agreement together can be one of the most transformational experiences of their lives.


Who We Are

Southern California Family Mediation is helping to save a generation, by providing stability for families.

We are a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation.

We recruit professional mediators and train them to help co-parents create their own visitation plans as they exit the L.A. County Child Dependency Court system.  

We are not funded by the Court, and rely on private donations.


Our Amazing Volunteer Mediators

  • Our team of 30 specially-trained volunteer mediators, with decades of experience and stacks of advanced degrees, serve all 25 courtrooms at both L.A. County Children’s Courthouses.
  • 2 Co-mediators spend all day helping co-parents develop the communication and negotiation skills they need to create their own comprehensive Custody & Visitation Agreement, the same skills they need to co-parent peacefully for their children.
  •  In 2017, our volunteer mediators donated over 1,700 hours, valued at more than $340,000.     

What We do

Donna Bernstein, Attorney

 “Southern California Family Mediation provides a sophisticated, equitable, meaningful agreement, the way a child’s visitation schedule should be. Because if they know what to do, it alleviates the stress and confusion, and makes for a much more peaceful coexistence. 

They are highly, highly recommended by a veteran Children’s Court attorney.”  

Dennis Smeal, Supervising Attorney, Los Angeles Dependency Lawyers Inc.

 “Children’s Court cases end, but the consequences must be dealt with by the families everyday thereafter. Thanks to Southern California Family Mediation, exit orders of all kinds are being negotiated regularly, thoroughly, and with great compassion for the families involved.” 

Jennifer Bryan, Attorney

 “Southern California Family Mediation has resolved my most difficult cases that I did not believe could be resolved without court intervention.” 


 “It was very helpful for both parents, very clear and very smooth for fixing and finding an agreement. Thank you so much for your help.” 



“This has undone years of conflict and disagreements.” 


 “I appreciate that we were able to agree upon things to simplify a tough situation. Thank you for helping us compromise.”