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7 questions to ask when choosing your mediation service

Whatever you do, choose a mediation service you are happy with and one you know has professional FMC accreditation, experience, qualifications and skills to do a good job for you.  

Whether or not you go with Harmony Mediation for your family mediation we suggest you should ask the following questions of any service you are looking at, to help you make an informed choice:

1. The most important question of all. Is your mediator FMC accredited?

(If you only ask one question of a mediator this is it.)

To give the public peace of mind about the qualifications and status of family mediators the Family Mediation Council (in conjunction with the Ministry of Justice) has set up a register of suitably qualified accredited family mediators who can use the letters 'FMCA'.  

Only FMCA mediators are recognised by the courts to sign court forms..

Make sure your family mediator is FMCA compliant.  Details of qualified accredited mediators can be found here:

https://www.familymediationcouncil.org.uk/find-local-mediator/

 

2. Are the mediators able to offer more than one type of mediation? Does the service offer sole mediation, shuttle, co-mediation, Direct Consultation with Children?  

 

3. Are the mediators specialists?Would you like to see a mediator who conducts a few mediation cases a year or one who permanently has mediation cases 'on the go'? The more cases being handled in a service the more experience there is available to benefit clients. Previous experience as a solicitor or counsellor or other profession can be helpful, but it is not the same as being a family mediator.  Family mediation is a profession in its own right.

Harmony Mediation is a specialist mediation service. We have handled over 7,500 referrals since 2006. 

4. Is mediation what the service specialises in - or is it an add on? 

Is the service full-time and focused on mediation?

Our response: again, yes. 

5. Who audits or regulates the service?  Is it run in a business-like manner?

Is the service regulated by any external organisation?

For ten years, up to May 2017,  Harmony Mediation was audited by the Legal Aid Agency working under contract with this government body. We gave up our Legal Aid contract recently as we could not continue to offer a high quality service on the fees paid by legal aid which had not increased since 2007.

All mediators have a professional supervisor and we work under the Code of Practice of the Family Mediation Council.

6. Do they answer the phone or does it go to a mobile?

If you ring Harmony Mediation's landline you will find a receptionist ready to answer your call between 8am to 8pm weekdays and 9am to 1pm on Saturdays.

7.  How much do they charge?  Are the fees clear and easy to understand?

 

 

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