By Amelia Charles
Riverdale’s Mediator-In Training (MIT) program offers hands-on learning, mentorship and supervised experience to students who have completed their family mediation training.
Designed to qualify for the AccFM designation (OAFM), the program seeks to empower all trainees to become the best mediators they can be.
The program is broken down into two phases:
- Students observe 60 hours of combined simulated and live mediations, taking notes, debriefing with mediators and mentors and noting their reflections. During this time they also attend a Family Law Information Centre, observe the work done there, and join a Mandatory Information Program session.
- Students co-mediate on active files with seasoned mediators, serving clients using court-connected services as well as in our private practice.
Through this experience, students learn how to conduct intake meetings, mediations and draft outcomes with excellence.
Our MITs also have access to our online learning management system and free or discounted ongoing training, gaining knowledge and skills to apply in their own practices.
Our students say:
“The MIT program is a great opportunity to observe different styles of mediation”.
“It provided a very well-rounded experience of the Family Court system and the integration of mediation”.
“I learned that an important part of mediation is establishing trust with the parties at the beginning, specifically trust in the fact that you are neutral, there to help them come to an agreement, and will not be taking sides”.
“Our job is to support the process, bring their needs and wants to that table and facilitate healthy conversations”.
“I have been able to observe intakes, helping me to craft my own style in starting the process”.
“What I learned from this is that in intake/screening process is just as important as the mediation itself. It is our duty/responsibility as mediators that we are not causing harm to anyone by proceeding with mediation. We need to ensure that by participating in mediation, both parties will be safe and have the resources necessary.”