Family mediators help divorcing or separating couples reach agreement without having to go to court.
1. Entry requirements
You’ll usually need a higher education qualification or up to 5 years’ relevant work experience in:
- social work
- therapy or education
You’ll also need paid or voluntary experience of working with families. You could do this in places like:
- child contact centres
- family support centres
- counselling services
- local community mediation services
2. Skills required
- excellent communication and listening skills
- conflict management skills
- the ability to relate to people from all backgrounds
- creative thinking
- the ability to deal with people who may be upset, vulnerable, angry or distressed
3. What you'll do
You’ll need to always be impartial, so you won’t tell people what to do, or give counselling or legal advice. Instead you’ll provide factual and legal information if required.
Your day-to-day duties may include:
- meeting clients jointly or separately to explain the mediation process and decide on the issues to discuss
- helping clients find ways of communicating with each other
- listening to each client’s feelings and concerns
- discussing issues like child residence and contact, property and money
- helping clients to consider all options and suggesting and discussing solutions
- keeping discussions fair, equal and focused
- keeping accurate and confidential records of discussions
- summarising agreements in writing
- recognising when mediation is not working
- working with solicitors and courts when necessary
In some jobs you may also talk to children, or deal with other family conflict situations.
Starter: £20,000 to £25,000
Highly Experienced: Up to £35,000
These figures are a guide.
5. Working hours, patterns and environmentYou’ll usually work standard office hours, although some services offer evening and Saturday morning appointments to clients.
You’ll be based in an office at a local family mediation service or solicitors’ practice.
6. Career path and progressionWith experience you could set up your own mediation practice, train and supervise other mediators, or become a service manager.
You could use your mediation skills in other careers like housing, social work or advice work.
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Last updated: 08 December 2016