Brief Description of Organization: The Upstate Mediation Center (UMC) is a community based non-profit organization providing high-quality, affordable mediation services to individuals, families, and businesses in conflict in the Upstate. Since its creation in 1999, the UMC has provided mediation services in hundreds of conflicts each year. Mediation is the process of dispute resolution. It involves one or more neutral third parties (the mediator) who intervene in a conflict and assist disputants in reaching a mutually acceptable agreement. In mediation, decision-making authority and the outcome is determined by the disputants. During the mediation, the parties propose solutions and options with the mediator’s guidance and suggestions. The goal is to get an agreement resolving all outstanding issues between the disputants. Mediators are challenged to sift through the facts, emotions and individual interests of the parties involved to determine what the issues are, while maintaining an unbiased perspective. The mediator can offer creative approaches and innovative ideas that allow the outcome to be decided by the parties. Family mediation is simpler, less stressful and faster than using the court system and it is also much less expensive. If a mediator is able to bring disputing parties to a resolution, he/she has helped bring peace, harmony and closure for those parties, as well as for other family members and children who have been impacted by the conflict.
Name of Volunteer Position: Family Court Mediator
Mediators are usually scheduled 1-2 weeks in advance for each 3-hour mediation.
Training Needed: Volunteers must complete the SC Bar Mediator Training, a 5-day, 40-hour training course. The next Family Court mediator training is at the UMC office in downtown Greenville and takes place October 24-28. Cost for training can be waived in exchange for an agreed upon number of mediations.
Other Requirements: College degree, an open mind, the ability to remain unbiased, and a creative personality for a problem-based/solution-focused attitude. Mediators should be empathic, passionate, caring and dedicated to human well-being.
Name of PCE Coordinator: Richard Kahn
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org