What is Parent and Adolescent Mediation?
Mediation is a voluntary, co-operative problem-solving process in which a qualified and impartial mediator assists participants to resolve disputes and make decisions by mutual agreement.
Parent and Adolescent Mediation helps young people and their families to resolve conflict and to develop new styles of communication.
It allows for equal input from both family members to decide how their conflict will be resolved. Mediation tends to be short term and focuses on resolving current issues.
Mediation is a not a session to lay blame, find fault, or an opportunity to go over the same arguments. Mediation is private and non-judgemental, and is focused entirely on resolution.
Mediation is confidential however there is a limit to confidentiality in relation to any information about harm or suspected harm to children and young people, other people or property, which mediators must report to the appropriate authorities.
How does Parent and Adolescent Mediation Work?
The parent or adolescent can initiate the process. If the parent calls Relationship Matters to start the process, he/she will be asked if they have spoken to their adolescent about mediation and if she or he is willing to attend. Mediation is a voluntary process and the mediator can not force an adolescent to attend.
If the parent has not yet spoken about mediation, or the young person is unsure, Relationship Matters can send further information to the parent which could be shared with their teenager to assist them with their understanding of what is being proposed.
An initial meeting is arranged at Relationship Matters when both the adolescent and his/her parent are seen separately by the mediator. The adolescent is seen first then the parent. These sessions can take up to an hour each. During these sessions the mediator will:
- provide information on the process
- hear and understand each person’s perspective, explore strategies and options
- make an assessment that mediation is appropriate, particularly if there has been violence or other forms of abuse in the family.
These sessions are non-judgemental and confidential (with limitations as previously outlined).
If the mediator has assessed that mediation is appropriate, a joint session will be arranged for both the parent and adolescent to meet together with the mediator. A date and time can be chosen that that works best for all, and these sessions are also usually one hour in length.
In these sessions the mediator guides the family to identify the issues they wish to discuss, encourages exploration of options, and encourages each ‘party’ to negotiate towards coming to agreement on the current issues.
If requested, a written agreement can be provided on the day which family members are invited to sign. This can show their commitment to, and provide a clear record of, their agreements.
Who can attend Mediation?
Usually one parent attends initially and will discuss with the mediator which family members could be involved. The mediator will ensure that sessions feel balanced for the young person.
Parent Adolescent mediation is appropriate for young people aged from 12 to 18 years.
How much does Parent and Adolescent Mediation Cost?
Relationship Matters is a not-for-profit community organisation and is partially funded by the Federal Government. Your fees will be advised when contacted.
Want More Information or to Make an appointment?
If you would like more information call us on 1300 543 396 to discuss your situation and how we can help you. You can also request a call back by using the ‘Request an Appointment’ form at the top of this page.