What is Mediation?

Mediation is a structured process that involves parties in conflict coming together in a non-threatening environment to discuss their issues and disagreements in order to resolve the conflict in a sustainable way.

This discussion is facilitated by a qualified Mediator (or Mediators) who is an independent neutral person who is there to use his/her skills to ensure that parties are able to freely understand each others points of view and are able to explore potential solutions and thereby reach agreement.

Mediation is not an arbitration or legal/court process, where a decision is made by a third party. Any solution will have been reached and agreed on by the parties themselves; this is the crucial element in any solution being long term.

Mediation works because all parties gain from the process (a 'win-win' situation). Other conflict resolution methods such as arbritation and Court processes mean that someone loses and the chance of agreement has been lost in the process.

How can Derek Finch Associates help?

We have the capacity to assist you in resolving neighbourhood, homelessness or workplace conflict by using qualified mediators to help resolve your problems. We can ensure that a timely, professional response will be given to your request for assistance at very reasonable rates and if you wish, we can discuss contract rates with you directly.

Landlord/Tenant Mediation

DFA uses experienced Mediators to carry out successful mediations between landlords and their tenants (private, Housing Association or Local Authority are possible), where a tenant and landlord may have reached a point where relations have broken down, and communication has become difficult.

These may be misunderstandings that could easily be clarified by the use of an independent Mediator ; we can help you through that seemingly impossible situation!

Neighbourhood Mediation

Derek Finch Associates can help enhance your performance in dealing with neighbour disputes through the use of independent Mediators at affordable market rates; this method of resolving disputes can save your organisation time and money!

Mediations can be carried out at a neutral venue, with our service taking responsibility for organising dates, times and venues* - this is known as a ‘conference’ mediation.

* Derek Finch Associates may need to discuss venue arrangements with the client organisation.

Alternatively, should neighbours not wish to meet (at what may be a tentative stage for pursuing more positive neighbour relations), then we can organise what is known as a ‘shuttle’ mediation where our Mediator ( s ) will call out on a particular day and work with both parties by making alternative visits to parties’ homes to assist them in moving towards resolution. Please note that we are also able to deal with private neighbour disputes between tenants or owner-occupiers.

Client organisations may be informed if agreement s reached or not as a result of the mediation, although it should be remembered that due to party confidentiality it is up to the parties to decide if they wish to share more detailed information ( such as an agreement ) with their landlord.

Homelessness Mediation

We are successfully providing a homelessness intervention Mediation service for a number of local authorities in the Devon and Cornwall area, and have done since since 2002, mainly where the intervention involves a young person who has left home, but who wishes to either return home or establish an improved relationship with their family.

In general we are achieving an 85% success rate on the young person either returning home with a new way forward, or with the mediation resulting in an improved family relationship.

Workplace Mediation

Workplace conflict can be the cause of team underperformance and individual stress, leading to absenteeism and costly disciplinary action.

Mediation in the workplace is one possible solution to resolving workplace conflict in that the process is entirely confidential, with outcomes being agreed by parties alone ; this means that an open and frank discussion can take place on all the issues without parties fearing the consequences of notes taken or evidence gathered.

Outcomes can mean such things as action plans agreed, agreements to work in a future focused way, positive framing of issues, and reduction of conflict in the working environment.

Commercial Mediation

Should you have a commercial dispute that is causing your company a real problem, contact us to find out how we can help you.

If the person or organisation that you are in dispute with also think that mediation might be the route for a solution, then we can offer competitive quotes that can also mean you will have no Court costs involved ; your dispute could be settled by simply attending a meeting for all parties with an independent Mediator assisting you to reach a solution and agreed way forward.

Taking part in Mediation?

There are ten things you need to know if you are thinking of using a Mediator:

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The Mediation Process

The mediation process follows a basic pattern. Remember, mediators are not there to judge you, blame anyone or take sides and they will not tell you what to do.

The mediator will ensure that a balanced discussion takes place and that the focus remains on the issues at the centre of the conflict along with future focused solutions.

Accessing the Service

DFA is committed to anti-discriminatory practice in recruitment of Associates or staff and delivery of services.

We commit to abide by the principles laid down in the equalities policy of any referring authority.

DFA shall provide equal opportunity of access to the service to all eligible individuals regardless of race, religion, culture, disability or sexual orientation and shall ensure that in delivering contract mediations we operate in partnership with any referring authority to ensure access to Language Line, interpreters or any other such critical support mechanism (eg Support workers).