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For years, Catholic Charities has been providing an opportunity for people to meet and work out a solution to their problem(s) with the help of a trained, neutral mediator. Over the years, the center has grown and diversified in order to provide comprehensive conflict resolution services to couples, families, churches, schools, institutions, businesses, and the community. Most of our services are free; all are confidential.
What is Mediation?
We like to call mediation an opportunity for two or more people to have a difficult conversation guided by a skilled neutral called a mediator. Hopefully this conversation will end in an agreement which all parties can accept and follow. . The terms of any agreement that is reached are completely in the control of the people involved. The meeting is held in a private, confidential settling. Over 80% of our cases are resolved.
The Centers mediators are volunteers who have undergone at least 30 plus hours of training followed by an apprenticeship. Our mediators represent the ethnic and demographic make-up of the three counties we serve: Fulton, Montgomery and Schoharie. Our mediators are retirees, young professionals, homemakers, counselors, etc. We have bi-lingual mediators and staff. The mediators are pledged to confidentiality, are strangers to the parties, and are non-judgmental and fair.
Advantages of Mediation
Mediation is cost-effective. It is confidential, informal and less time-consuming that going to court. Mediated agreements withstand the test of time. Since there is no winner or loser; mediation is a “win-win” approach to conflict.
The Center offers the following mediations:
• Community Mediation:
Any conflict affecting quality of life issues within the community
• Business mediation:
Small claims (usually referred by court)
• Family mediations
Elderly, caregiver and family
Juvenile Accountability Program
• Agricultural Mediations
Farmer/USDA or Soil and Water
Any other dispute which affects the farmers’ ability to farm or make a living
• Rural Development Mediations
Rural Development loans to home owners/business
Rural Development loans to business and municipalities
Village and town disputes concerning zoning, application of town ordinances, and mergers etc
• Mobile Home Disputes
For mobile home owners living in a mobile home park or community
***If there is an accusation or ongoing investigation for child abuse or domestic violence we do not mediate.
The Center provides specialized trainings and workshops for local businesses and non-profits. We offer life-skills workshops and presentations to local schools.
How to use mediation services:
People can request mediator by calling our office. A staff person will answer your questions and discusses mediation with you. Staff will then contact the other parties and if all agree to mediation, trained mediators will be assigned to your case. Agencies may also make referrals to the Center by having permission from their clients to discuss mediation with us.
April Rando - Dispute Resolution Center Coordinator
Melissa Capone - Case Manager