Last week’s release of the Distance Family Mediation Project’s second edition of “Mediating from a Distance: Suggested Practice Guidelines for Family Mediators” has certainly been cause for celebration for us, here at Mediate BC Society.
Not only do these much-anticipated guidelines bring our project one big step closer to a successful completion, but they offer what we believe will be a valuable resource for the growing number of family mediators – in British Columbia and further afield – who wish to incorporate distance mediation into their practice. We hope the publication will also serve as a launching point for further discussion and study of the rapidly developing and fascinating field of technology-assisted mediation.
The guidelines are a detailed compilation of the knowledge acquired by our Distance Family Mediation Project on the topic of how to conduct family mediation “from a distance”, using technology. The project – which took place in three phases, beginning in 2007 – explored the feasibility of using information and communication technologies to conduct distance family mediations in British Columbia. The third phase, completed in June 2012, was a pilot providing family mediation services to people in all parts of the province, with a focus on using web conferencing technology.
This second edition of Mediating from a Distance updates and expands on the guidelines published previously by our project, and highlights the knowledge gained during the third phase. It provides a new and exciting emphasis on how to mediate using video and web conferencing technology, as well as offering additional suggestions for mediating with other types of technologies.
As is the case with many culminating documents, there was an exceptional team of dedicated people working behind the scenes to produce these guidelines. We gratefully acknowledge the project team members from all three phases for their contribution. Special thanks are due to the mediators who participated in the recent, third phase . They shared their knowledge and experiences with distance mediation freely and generously – indeed, this second edition would not have happened without them!
Mediate BC plans to use the new guidelines as a foundation for a training program in distance mediation, developed in collaboration with our partners. Keep your eye on this blog, as more will be coming on that initiative. We think it will be yet again another reason to celebrate!
* * *
Information about the Distance Family Mediation Project, including copies of reports from its first and second phases, can be found on the Mediate BC Society website (scroll down) and BC Distance Family Mediation blog. An evaluation report for the recently completed, third phase of the Project is in process and expected to be published in early 2013.
Mediate BC Society thanks the Law Foundation of British Columbia for its
generous funding of the Distance Family Mediation Project.