Are you interested in pursuing a career in Family Mediation and becoming an Accredited Family Mediator?
Family mediation is a voluntary dispute resolution process in which a neutral third party intervenes to assist spouses and other cohabiting partners in the negotiation of a mutually acceptable agreement on matters that emerge on separation including the parenting of their children, child support, spousal support, and the division of their property.
Our 112-hour non-credit Certificate in Family Mediation is designed to provide specialized knowledge in family mediation, and an opportunity to refine your skills in this particular context of practice. Successful completion of the Certificate Program will enable participants to apply for membership in several associations, including the Family Mediation Canada (FMC), the ADR Institute of Ontario, and the Ontario Association for Family Mediation (OAFM).
Who Should Take this Certificate?
- You are interested in becoming an Accredited Family Mediator and have experience in the social services sector
Dramatic changes are being made to the current justice system that would deny family law litigants access to the courts unless they first go through mediation. These changes may serve as a springboard for a career as a Family Mediator.
The Family Mediation Program offers a comprehensive curriculum on the theory and practice, and the process and skills to become a family mediator. It is appropriate for lawyers, therapists, and others who may already be actively involved in family dispute resolution and seek to add an important other process option to the services they offer their clients. This program is also designed to accommodate the career ambitions of others not currently engaged in this field.
This Certificate Program consists of four courses, listed below. Each course combines lecture, interactive teaching models, exercises, and role-plays (where applicable), specifically designed for our Certificate.
Course 1: Introduction to Family Mediation
The Introduction to Family Mediation course introduces this program by offering a foundation for learning required to become a family mediator. It is a prerequisite to enrolling in the Family Mediation course. Participants will learn about the nature of conflict and conflict management, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) processes, negotiation with a focus on the interest-based negotiation model developed by the Harvard Program on Negotiation, and Mediation with an emphasis on facilitative mediation as applied in a family mediation context. Course material is explored through lectures, interactive experiential activities and role-plays. The course is 21 hours in duration and extends over three days. Attendance for all sessions is mandatory.
Course 2: Family Law for Family Mediators
The Family Law for Family Mediators course provides an overview of the law applicable to the resolution of family disputes. Participants will learn about the law-making systems in place in Canada, the legislative jurisdiction over family law, and the family justice system in Ontario. They will learn of the law pertaining to custody of and access to children, child support, spousal support, and property equalization and division. Participants learn how to search online for legislation, regulations, and reported decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada and the Ontario Court of Appeal. They will review statutory and case law. The instructor will demonstrate the use of computer software to determine potential financial support and property outcomes. The course is 30 hours in duration, and it extends over four days such that it complies with the requirement of the Attorney General of Ontario for family arbitrators. It is a prerequisite to enrolling in the Family Mediation course. Attendance for all sessions is mandatory. Lawyers whose practices are substantially family-law centred are exempt from this Course.
Course 3: Family Mediation
The Family Mediation course is the core learning of this program. Participants will learn how a family mediation is commenced in an initial meeting with the parties. The instructor will inform them about the necessity to screen for domestic violence and power imbalance. The participants will review a precedent Family Mediation Agreement. They will learn how to plan and prepare for a family mediation. Through practice exercises, the participants will learn how to open a mediation, to facilitate the storytelling of the parties, to develop an agenda, and to prepare a Progress Report. In role-plays, they will practice mediating the negotiation and resolution of parenting, child support, spousal support, and property issues. They will learn how to overcome impasse and the use of caucus for this purpose. Participants will review settlement documents and prepare a Memorandum of Understanding. The course concludes with information about the principal family mediation organizations, the services they offer, the benefits of membership including the opportunity to acquire a professional designation, and the codes of ethics and standards of practice they developed and maintain. A variety of learning modalities is used including lecture, demonstrations, interactive experiential activities, and role-play. The course is 40 hours in duration and it extends over five days. Attendance for all sessions is mandatory.
Course 4: Screening for Domestic Violence and Power Imbalance
The course in Screening for Domestic Violence and Power Imbalance informs participants of an essential element of the family mediation process required by all of the principal family mediation organizations. The instructor will inform the participants about domestic violence and power imbalance as phenomena that are characteristic of many families. The instructor will provide them with a screening instrument and they will role-play its application. The instructor will review the impact of what participants learn through screening, in particular, whether mediation is appropriate, and if so, those measures a mediator can take to ensure that he or she provides a safe environment. A variety of learning modalities are used including lecture, demonstrations interactive experiential activities, and role-play. The course is 21 hours in duration and extends over three days. Attendance for all sessions is mandatory.
- an undergraduate degree; and
- experience working in the social services sector.
If you are a graduate of the School of Continuing Studies Certificate in Dispute Resolution , you may qualify for exemptions. Contact us for more information.
Below are some of our esteemed instructors. Our instructors are carefully selected for their academic and instructional expertise.
Richard W. Shields, LL.B., M.A., LL.M., Ph.D.
Certified as a Specialist in Family Law (LSUC)
Cert. CFM (FMC), C.Med., C.Arb., Cert.F.Med., Cert.F.Arb., Acc.F.Med.(OAFM)
Richard W. Shields (Rick) is a collaborative lawyer, mediator, arbitrator, and trainer.
Admitted to the practice of law in Ontario, Canada, in 1976, he now restricts his professional practice to Collaborative Law, family mediation, and family arbitration. Rick has an M.A. in Conflict Resolution, an LL.M. in ADR, and a Ph.D. in Adult Education. He is a Certified Specialist in Family Law (Law Society of Upper Canada), a Certified Comprehensive Family Mediator (Family Mediation Canada), a Chartered Mediator and Chartered Arbitrator (ADR Institute of Canada), a Certified Family Mediator and Certified Family Arbitrator (ADR Institute of Ontario), and an Accredited Family Mediator (Ontario Association for Family Mediation). He is a past certifying administrator for Family Mediation Canada, a past president of the ADR Institute of Ontario, and a past president of the Ontario Association for Family Mediation. Rick is an instructor in negotiation and mediation in the Certificate in Dispute Resolution program at York University, a Collaborative Law, family mediation, and family arbitration trainer, a co-author of Collaborative Family Law: Another Way to Resolve Family Disputes, and the author of Family Mediation: A Handbook for Trainers and Practitioners.
Barbara Anderson, M.S.W., R.S.W., Acc FM (OAFM)
Barbara Anderson is an individual, couple, and family therapist, mediator, assessor, parenting coordinator, and collaborative law family professional. She is trained in all methods of dispute resolution including family mediation, arbitration, and child welfare mediation. She is a member of the Ontario College for Social Workers, Ontario Association of Social Workers, Ontario Association for Family Mediation, Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, Peel-Halton Collaborative Practice Group, Hamilton-Halton Collaborative Family Practice Group, and the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. She has offices in Mississauga and Hamilton, Ontario.
Antoinette Clarke, B.S.W., M.S.W., Grd.Dip.Soc.Adm
Antoinette Clarke is a PhD candidate with Osgoode Hall Law School, York University. Her thesis is focused on the influence of culture in the mediation process. Antoinette is an adjunct professor with the school of Social Work, York University. Antoinette is a Certified Comprehensive Family Mediator, and has provided mediation and related services for over 20 years. She provides course instruction in family mediation, cultural diversity, and custody and access. In addition, she is a co-facilitator for a course in assessing for power imbalance and domestic violence in mediation and arbitration. Antoinette has provided a variety of internships through community mediation programs and court-based services, and has served as a coach for a number of mediators. Antoinette is a consultant for individuals and some social service agencies. Her dispute resolution work covers a wide spectrum of services such as all family issues, workplace, and community-based services with a heavy emphasis on cultural issues as they impact on the various case situations. Until 2006, Antoinette was the coordinator of the Peel Family Mediation and Parent Education program.
Mardi Edelstein, Hons BA, QMed
Mardi Edelstein is a mediator and conflict coach who has worked in Toronto family, and small claims courts, is on the CCAC Mediation Roster, and is a member of the Ontario Association for Family Mediation (OAFM) and ADR Institute of Ontario. She teaches and coaches in York University’s School of Continuing Studies professional courses in Mediation (Core to Advanced) and Family Mediation. Mardi’s private practice, Spectra Mediation, works to achieve tailored results for her family and organizational clients.
Gregg Fenten, AccFM (OAFM)
Gregg Fenten has a long history of assisting and supporting individuals and groups in all types of relationships from his work in community mediation/development. He is an accredited family mediator and also works as a mediator/coach and mentor in private practice with different types of relationships, having founded the transformational relational mediation approach. He is a graduate of the York University Certificate in Dispute Resolution in one of the first cohorts in 1997. As an independent practitioner, he works as an information and referral coordinator at Family Court. In addition to being a coach for the Certificate in Family Mediation, he is also a coach for the Certificate in Dispute Resolution, and an educator with the Advanced Certificate in Dispute Resolution. Gregg’s work also involves writing funding proposals, and developing and implementing community projects. He provides coaching and mentoring of mediators with private training. Since February 2005 he has written, produced, and hosted the radio program Mediation Station on CHHA 1610 AM in Toronto and also is the CHHA Volunteer Coordinator for the non-Spanish speaking community.
Cindy Holovac Leithead, Hons BA, MCA, AccFM (OAFM), CP. Med (OAFM), QMed (ADRIO)
Cindy Holovac Leithead has over 30 years of experience assisting individuals, families and groups with various disputes to negotiate and create their own resolutions. As an accredited family mediator, Cindy’s private practice, CINDIAIN Resolutions Services, provides family mediation, child protection mediation, civil mediation, parent coordination, elder mediation and circle restorative mediation. She is on the ADRIO roster as an Independent Complaint Facilitator for Community Care Access Centre (CCAC). Cindy is also on the roster at several court-based family mediation services in Ontario, as a mediator, coach, Information Referral Coordinator (IRC), and Mandatory Information Program (MIP) Presenter. Prior to starting her mediation practice Cindy worked as a senior manager in the Ontario Public Service focusing on workplace issues and labour relations among staff and stakeholders. She also worked with individuals and families specializing in domestic violence and substance abuse. For several years now, she has been coaching at York University’s School of Continuing Studies for the Certificate in Dispute Resolution, the Certificate in Family Mediation and as a Dispute Resolution Educator in the Advanced Certificate in Dispute Resolution. Cindy is also a coach for the Osgoode Hall Law Society, Mediation Clinic and Intensive Program at Small Claims Court.
The Certificate Program is designed to assist graduates in acquiring the education for membership in various family mediation associations.
Successful completion of the Certificate Program will enable participants to apply for membership in Family Mediation Canada (FMC), the ADR Institute of Ontario, and the Ontario Association for Family Mediation (OAFM). The courses are designed to satisfy, in part, the education component for accreditation designations offered by these organizations. For specific requirements, participants should visit the association websites.
ADR Institute of Canada
ADR Institute of Ontario
Association of Family and Conciliation Courts – Ontario Chapter
Family Mediation Canada
Ontario Association for Family Mediation
If you would like more information or have a question about the Certificate in Family Mediation, please contact us.
|Fall 2017||Certificate in Family Mediation (Fall 2017)||$4,875.00||Register|
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Room 116, Atkinson Building
4700 Keele Street, Toronto, Ontario, M3J 1P3
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Installment Plan Policy
The School of Continuing Studies allows students in certificate programs the option of paying in two or more installments. You must pay the initial deposit as stated below and then you may make any number of online payments that you choose, provided that you pay the entire balance before the stated due date. Students opting for the installment plan will also be charged a one-time, non-refundable administrative fee of $125 that is due at the time of registration. The following are the details of the instalment plan policy according to the program you have registered for:
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Students registered in a part-time program that is less than 1 year in length may withdraw from the program. However, they are strongly advised to consult with the Program Manager before a final decision is made. A full refund is granted only when the School of Continuing Studies cancels a program. Refunds will be issued using the initial method of payment or by cheque, if original payment was made by money order. Withdrawal requests must be submitted on the official School of Continuing Studies Withdrawal Request Form to the School of Continuing Studies and subject to the terms listed below.
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In any case where a student feels that this policy has been violated, they are urged to notify the instructor of the course/program as soon as possible. Students may be asked to provide a detailed written description of their complaint to the instructor. The instructor may take measures they feel are appropriate to resolve the issue and/or may forward the complaint to the Program Manager for review. Please refer to the full policy document on the York University website at: http://www.yorku.ca/scdr/
a) Grading for Certificate Programs:
Students registered in certificate programs will be evaluated using the following categories of achievement:
|A+||90 – 100%||Thorough knowledge of concepts and/or techniques, and exceptional skill or great originality in the use of those concepts/techniques in satisfying the requirements of an assignment or course.|
|A||80 – 89%|
|B+||75 – 79%||Thorough knowledge of concepts and/or techniques with a fairly high degree of skill in the use of those concepts/techniques in satisfying the requirements of an assignment or course.|
|B||70 – 74%|
|C+||65 – 69%||Good level of knowledge of concepts and/or techniques together with considerable skill in using them to satisfy the requirements of an assignment or course.|
|C||60 – 64%|
|D+||55 – 59%|
|D||50 – 54%|
|F||Below 50%||Insufficient knowledge of concepts and/or techniques needed to satisfy the requirements of an assignment or course.|
|PASS||Pass is awarded as a grade only to courses that have an experiential component. A student that has received a Pass has met the requirements of the course.|
|FAIL||Fail is awarded as a grade only to courses that have an experiential component. A student that has received a Fail has not met the requirements of the course.|
|EXEMPT||Exempt is awarded to those that have completed a comparable course elsewhere and have met all of the requirements for completion of that course.|
|DNA||Did Not Attend – The student did not attend, did not withdraw, and did not submit course work.|
|DNC||Did Not Complete – The student did not complete the course.|
b) Grading for Academic Bridging and Math for Admission Waiver courses:
Students are required to complete all course work.
- Students who fail to complete the course work will receive a DNC (Did Not Complete).
|A+AB+B||90 – 100%80 – 89%75 – 79%70 – 74%||Academic Bridging Studies – Meets Admission Requirements
Elementary Mathematics – Students already admitted to YORK UNIVERSITY who earn a grade of “B” or better will gain automatic entrance to AK/MATH1710.06 and will be exempt from the pre-requisite test.
|C+CD+D||65 – 69%60 – 64%55 – 59%50 – 54%||
Academic Bridging Studies – Does not meet Admission requirements. Student cannot repeat the same Academic Bridging course but can enroll in the other Academic Bridging course.
|F||Below 50%||Academic Bridging Studies – Does not meet Admission requirements. Student cannot repeat the same Academic Bridging course but can enroll in the other Academic Bridging course.|
|DNA||Did Not Attend – The student did not attend, did not withdraw, and did not submit course work.|
|DNC||Did Not Complete – The student did not complete the course.|
Students may, with sufficient grounds, request a reappraisal of any “tangible” work required for a course/program. Tangible work may include written, graphic, digitized, modelled, video recording or audio recording formats. Students seeking a grade reappraisal must complete and submit the attached form, along with the original work and instructions for the assignment, to the Program Manager within 2 weeks of the date of issue of the letter of grade.
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