To successfully mediate better (more detailed & durable) agreements, reunifying the most at-risk co-parenting families, and improving the service and integrity of the California, Los Angeles County Superior Dependency Court.
Because: Without customized, detailed Reunification Plans that match coparents’ lives & the children’s needs, a return to violence, the overwhelmed juvenile justice system, and the life-shattering dangers of shelter care rotation too often becomes generational.
We are the only mediation program reuniting co-parenting families, serving all 25 courtrooms and both courthouses of the California, Los Angeles County Superior Dependency Court.
Because no other court-connected program meets our standards of success, we must design and teach our own Child Dependency Mediation training. We offer our training once a year, and it is taught by our Leadership Team and our Founder, L. A. County Superior Court Commissioner, Marilyn Mordetzky.
The court provides our offices, and we provide everything else. We design, plan, implement, service, and constantly improve all our own systems. From computer systems support, and our website and self-service appointment-booking system to fundraising, recruiting, scheduling, convening, teaching, supervising, and of course, mediating, everything is done in-house by volunteers.
SoCal provides ongoing education opportunities.
We comdeiate, meaning there are two or more mediators leading each mediation. Mediators have a number of private meetings with a Supervising Mediator throughout the course of each mediation. We actively seek constructive feedback from each other, parents, attorneys, judges, and other mediation professionals. We also conduct a Lessons Learned debriefing at the conclusion of every mediation.
We are in our third year of our partnership with the USC Gould School of Law. In the Fall, LLM and Master's in Dispute Resolution students, who have completed the prerequisite comediate with our elite team of Volunteer Mediators. In the Spring, second and third year law school students, who have completed the prerequisite comediate with our elite team of Volunteer Mediators.
Every conflict can be thought of as a self-contained workshop, because there are the "conflict partners", the presenting issues, the underlying issues, and the solution, which the conflict has wrapped itself around.
This workshop mentality empowers co-parents as they come together to learn about their conflict and learn to how negotiate more successfully & less harmfully. Before they even realize it, 95% of co-parents have created their own agreements.
We will reunite approximately 600 co-parents for about 800 children, in 2018.
A lot of little agreements add up to one big agreement!! Maybe even more importantly, parents come away with new perspectives, tools and techniques for dealing with their co-parenting challenges, and they may have agreed for the first time... ever... on anything.
It is commonplace for coparents who have not spoken in months or even years to be seen having lunch together, while attorneys stand mouths agape. This is the reality. We are the good news!