Mediate BC Society’s 2012 Highlights

One of the benefits of preparing for Mediate BC’s Annual General Meeting and Reception last week in Vancouver was chronicling our progress and accomplishments in the past year as part of the 2012 Annual Report.  A year goes really quickly and in the flurry of activity it is often easy to lose sight of our achievements along the way.   I was amazed to see how long our list was this year and I am excited to share it with you.  In addition to the list, the report provides a unique opportunity for us to thank all of our funders, stakeholders, supporters and friends.  In truth, all of the accomplishments listed are really joint achievements for without these very important folks they wouldn’t have happened!

A pdf version of the annual report is available on Mediate BC’s website here.

For your convenience, the text is included here as well.  Thank you for another great year!!

ANNUAL REPORT

September 19, 2012

It is my distinct pleasure to provide a summary of the highlights of Mediate BC Society’s 2011/12 year.  We have accomplished a tremendous amount over the last 12 months through the very dedicated efforts of our Board, Committees, staff and colleagues, including:

  • We implemented the Family Mediation Services Program and the Regional Mentoring Program pilot.  The FMS is poised to provide much needed mediation information and referral services to BC families.
  • We created the new Training & Development program which will support Mediate BC’s existing training initiatives and develop and implement new offerings to support mediators and the public as well as customized training packages for special needs.
  • The CSEMP is up and running to test a unique mediation model for disputes involving child support for adult children
  • The Child Protection Mediation Practicum Program completed its mandate.  Since its inception in 2006, 67 mediators participated in the practicum, 47 of whom were aboriginal.  Mediate BC is pleased to continue offer support for the Provincial Child Protection Program of FJSD to build on the strong foundation of the CPP.
  • The Court Mediation Program continues to offer first-rate mediation services to the public and, at the same time, offer to a wide variety of professionals unparalleled practical experience co-mediating with a mentor in small claims matters.
  • In fiscal 2011/12 the CMP accepted its 20,000th referral, mediated 1,195 cases and provided practicum training to 50 individuals (including 24 UBC law students).
  • The Distance Mediation Project, Phase 3, has completed its last mediation and the report and “guidelines for mediating from a distance” will be published before the end of 2012.  This fascinating project will inform many future initiatives in the mediation field and beyond.
  • The Civil and Family Rosters continue to grow.
  • The Roster Committee commenced a full review of the Standards of Conduct (the first since 1998).
  • Our Roster Program office and staff moved successfully to our new space in North Vancouver.
  • We offered a variety of educational and training opportunities including co-sponsoring Bill Eddy’s course on dealing with High Conflict Personalities and the Child Protection two-day conference last February.
  • We are grateful for rich, collaborative relationships with other training organizations such as CLEBC, People’s Law School and the Justice Institute.
  • We introduced the Mediate BC Blog (building on the excellent work of Susanna Jani with the DMP3) and the Mediate BC twitter account (@mediatebcsoc).
  • We continue to offer our support to the Ministry of Justice in relation to the new Civil Resolution Tribunal.
  • We continued to support the Vancouver Justice Access Centre and to assist its clients through assessment, problem-solving and mediation referrals.
  • Our involvement in administering the mediation program for the Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner was expanded to providing conflict resolution training for policy agency staff and local police agencies.
  • The Aboriginal Human Rights Project completed its novel work and produced its final report and “Guide for First Nations Communities” (available on our website).
  • Mediate BC made a submission to the BC Justice Review providing suggestions for effective conflict resolution in the criminal justice system and forged new relationships with partners in the restorative justice community.
  • Mediate BC also made a submission in response to the Green Paper and has received an invitation to comment on the National Action Committee on Access to Justice on Civil and Family Matters.
  • At the invitation of the Ministry of Justice, Mediate BC provided input into the new Family Law Act and the mediator qualification regulation.  We were also consulted with respect to the Law Society’s Family Law Task Force Report.
  • Our Board strengthened its governance framework.
  • We are being approached to participate in a wide variety of initiatives and to speak to the media on current dispute resolution topics.

We are blessed to have such a dedicated Board and Roster Committee as well as talented and devoted staff.  However, we owe a huge debt of gratitude to the many people who have supported this organization including the very professional mediators and mentors who are members of the three Rosters, those who provide services for our programs, those who participate in our practicum programs, our supportive funding agencies (most notably the Ministry of Justice, the Law Foundation of BC and DOME), our colleagues with Family Justice Services Division, the Provincial Court Judiciary and Court Services staff, our bankers at VanCity, our lawyers at Bull Housser, our auditors (Nemeth Thody), our legal profession colleagues (CBABC, LSS, Access Pro Bono and the Law Society of BC), our fellow mediation organizations (CoRe, FMC, BCAMI and SIDRC), CLEBC, JIBC, UBC, UVic, TRU and a myriad of other wonderful colleagues and supporters.

We continue to live in times of tremendous change as well as significant opportunity.  We are committed to continuing to work to improve access to justice and effective conflict resolution for BC citizens and we are very excited about what lies ahead for Mediate BC.

Sincerely,

Kari D. Boyle

Executive Director, Mediate BC Society

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