The choices you help your clients make can change their lives forever
This program offers you enhanced mediation skills to work in:
Ontario family court appointed mediation
Family mediation and negotiation
Health care services
Ontario’s only university-level family mediation program
Graduating from our Certificate in Family Mediation gives you an edge over other mediators in the field, allowing you to add a credible university credential to your resume. You also enjoy the benefits of learning from expert instructors, hand selected for their real-world experience and AccFM certification. Program content is supplemented by their firsthand knowledge in dealing with the types of challenging situations you’re going to face as an accredited family mediator, as well as the opportunity for you to network with likeminded peers in your program. You’ll also participate in dynamic role-playing sessions facilitated by seasoned coaches, allowing you to put your mediation skills to the test and improve your confidence.
Secure your internship faster and more easily
The AccFM designation requires you to complete an internship with an accredited family mediator. The Certificate in Family Mediation is accelerated, giving you a quicker path to your internship. Our certificate is also the only program in the field that sets you up for success in finding a placement by providing you with formative skills assessments, so you can provide tangible proof of your abilities, in the form of a learning portfolio, to your potential internship provider. We also connect you with support in finding an internship for up to four months after you graduate.
The Certificate in Family mediation is offered in both intensive and part-time formats. Both formats are delivered in class on our Keele Campus in Toronto, ON.
Who should take this program?
The Certificate in Family Mediation is for anyone who is currently or prospectively involved in family dispute resolution, and especially those who want to gain formal certification. While many students in this program are lawyers and social workers, others work in healthcare, education, personal support services and trust management.
Taking into account the specific existing expertise of lawyers and social workers, these two groups are exempt from one course each, reducing the course load to four.
Hear from a graduate
This Certificate Program consists of five courses, listed below. Each course combines lecture, interactive teaching models, exercises, and role-plays (where applicable), specifically designed for our Certificate.
Family Mediation (40 hours)
This introductory course exposes students to fundamental theory of conflict and its corresponding nature, causes and cycle. Students will also become acquainted with the history of Alternative Dispute Resolution, the dispute resolution spectrum, and the principle of informed consent. From there, students will engage in more nuanced learning as it relates to the nature of negotiation and related strategies, tactics and skills, as well as appropriate alternatives.
Screening for Family Violence, Abuse and Power Imbalances (21 hours)
This course provides an overview of relevant concepts and issues related to family violence, abuse and power imbalances. Students will become acquainted with theoretical and conceptual frameworks that inform a holistic understanding of power imbalances in families that can subsequently lead to family violence and abuse. Students will have experiential learning opportunities for developing and utilizing skills as they relate to triaging, assessing for appropriateness, and evaluating for prospective harm. \
Family Law (21 hours)
This course examines marriage and divorce as it relates to the law-making systems in effect in Canada and Ontario. Students will go in-depth into the about principal issues in family proceedings (i.e. parenting, child support, spousal support, property) for the purposes of informing students on legal implications for mediated settlements for divorcing partners.
Family Relations (21 hours)
This course explores through a theoretical framework of family systems theory the various considerations of child development, attachment, causes of conflict, and extension of the original family in the context of separation and divorce. Students will also deconstruct the politics of separation, examine historical traditions, and utilize various narrative and therapeutic approaches to facilitate processes of grieving and separation recovering.
Advanced Family Mediation (20 hours)
This course focuses on the application of mediation skills and knowledge in a variety of contexts and primarily through experiential learning. Students will focus on demonstrating skills related to a variety of advanced topics such as high conflict families, conflict resolution models, advanced communication techniques, step-parenting and multi-party mediation, cultural diversity, mediation with persons with disabilities, and trauma informed practices.
Anisa Ali, M.S.W., R.S.W., Acc. FM (OAFM), Acc. CPM (OAFM)
Anisa has been the Family Mediator and Settlement Conference Facilitator for Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) Peel/York for the past 10 years. Prior to LAO, she worked for 8 years with the Ministry Of Attorney General Family Mediation Provider (Blue Hills Child and Family Services) at the Superior Court of Justice Newmarket, Ontario as a Family Mediator/Information Referral Coordinator. An accredited family mediator since 2002, she holds a Masters of Social Work degree from University of Windsor and a Bachelors of Arts from York University. She bring over 18 years of experience in the field of conflict resolution, mediation, negotiation and training.
Anisa volunteers as the current Chair of Peel Family Mediation Service and has been a Board member since 2011. For the past six years she has been responsible for Peel Family Mediation Annual Domestic Violence Symposium where she gather professionals and experts from within Ontario for day of enlightened training and networking.
Since 2015, Anisa has been a guest lecturer at York University Social Work (BSW & MSW) Family Mediation courses. She works on family mediation and domestic violence/power imbalance course development and training at Humber College ADR Program; Peel Family Mediation Services Internship training, Legal Aid Ontario training programs and community workshops within Greater Toronto Area and Kitchener-Waterloo area. Anisa also supervises BSW, MSW and Humber ADR students at her workplace throughout the year.
Lorraine A. Bortolussi, B.A., LL.B., LL.M. (ADR), AccFM (OAFM)
Family Mediator / Collaborative Practitioner / Family Law Arbitrator / Lawyer
Lorraine is delighted with the opportunity to contribute to the development of the Mediation Certificate Program at YorkU along with a brilliant new team of Family Law professionals. As Instructor of the Family Law course in the program, she strives to bring value to YorkU’s students from her long and rich experience as a lawyer in the Family Law field for the past 34 years. She is the founding lawyer of Bortolussi Family Law, Lawyers-Mediators-Arbitrators, where the practice of all associates at the law firm is focussed on Family Law and helping people through separation and divorce in the most constructive way possible.
Lorraine is an accredited Family Mediator through the Ontario Association for Family Mediation (OAFM) and is the OAFM’s immediate past president. She is also a Collaborative Family Practitioner. She represents clients in complex cases and is trained and skilled in the entire spectrum of dispute resolution processes including negotiation, mediation, Collaborative Family Practice and Arbitration. Her focus for years has been helping her clients settle through comprehensive mediation or in Collaborative Family Practice, where all issues arising out of a separation, including parenting, child support, spousal support, and complex property (including businesses) issues, are resolved.
Her mediation training includes completion of the Harvard University Law School Mediation Workshop (2001) and a Master of Laws degree specializing in Alternative Dispute Resolution from Osgoode Hall Law School at York University (2006). She has also assisted as a guest lecturer and mediation coach for law students in mediation courses at Osgoode Hall, and has served as an instructor at the Bar Admission Course, Family Law Section.
Lorraine presently serves part-time as a Deputy Judge of the Small Claims Court, a branch of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. She also served for six years as a Vice-Chair of the Province of Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal (WSIAT), the final level of appeal for final decisions of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board. Prior to that, she served for five years as member of the Province of Ontario’s Licence Appeal Tribunal.
Antoinette R. Clarke, M.S.W., R.S.W.,Grd.Dip.Soc.Adm
Mediator – Consultant – Trainer
Antoinette is currently the Executive Director and a board member of Peel Family Mediation Services which oversees court-based services at the Brampton and Orangeville courts. Part of her role includes the overseeing of a very successful Mediation Internship Program. Antoinette is a contract faculty and field Instructor with the School of Social Work at York University. Her teachings include Family Mediation, Critical Perspectives, Oppression and Intersectionality and Social Services and the law for persons with Disabilities.
Antoinette is the co-author of a book chapter, ‘Restorative Justice-based mediation for elder abuse among ethno-racial minority seniors’ in Diversity and Aging Among Immigrant Seniors in Canada: Changing Faces and Greying Temples. She has also co-authored a chapter on “Culture and Gender’ for Child Protection Mediation.Antoinette is a Certified Comprehensive Family Mediator with Family Mediation Canada and has provided and accumulated over 2000 hours in dispute resolution training. Her practice covers a wide range of dispute resolution processes; which includes family mediation in such areas as Child Protection Mediation, Elder Mediation, estates, community, parent/teen, same-gender, grand parenting issues, interpersonal relationships and civil matters. In addition, she is a Parent Coordinator as well as a clinical investigator for the office of the Children’s lawyer. Antoinette has provided and continues to provide Domestic Violence and Power Imbalance training for Family Mediators and Arbitrators. This training forms part of their accreditation process. Antoinette is a co-trainer for the Level 1 and 11 Collaborative Law process.
Antoinette initiated Family Law Information sessions for users of the Family Court in Toronto, co-founded and co-facilitated a Lawyer-in-service program at the same court. She served as a board member for the Ontario Association for Family Mediators and was a member of the task force on the Abuse Forum for family mediators.
Antoinette has led a number of workshops, made presentations, authored and co-authored on such topics as: Caught in the Middle, the involvement of children in mediation, Grandparent Access, Parenting Techniques for parents of teenage children, Cultural Diversity and Racial Power Dynamics in a Supervisory Relationships.
Antoinette is a member of the ADR Institute of Ontario, Family Mediation Canada (FMC), and Ontario Association for Family Mediators (OAFM), Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC), The Peel/Halton Collaborative Law Association, Ontario College of Social Workers, Canadian Association of Social Workers and The Caribbean Association of Social Workers.
Cindy Holovac Leithead, BA(HONS), M.C.A., ACC.FM (OAFM), Q.MED (ADRIO), CP.MED (OAFM), OPENNESS IN ADOPTION MEDIATOR (OAFM), ACC.EM (OAFM), WFA
Cindy Holovac Leithead has over 30 years of experience assisting individuals, families and groups with various disputes in negotiating and mediating and creating their own resolutions. As an accredited family mediator, Cindy’s private practice, CINDIAIN Resolutions Services, provides family mediation, child protection mediation, openness in adoption mediation, elder mediation, civil mediation and workplace mediation. She is on the ADRIO roster as an Independent Complaint Facilitator for Community Care Access Centres (CCAC). She is also the co-chair of the special section Family at ADRIO. Cindy is also on the roster at several court-based family mediation services in Ontario, as a mediator, internship supervisor, Information Referral Coordinator (IRC), and Mandatory Information Program (MIP) Presenter. Prior to commencing her mediation practice Cindy was a senior manager in the Ontario Public Service focusing on workplace issues and labour relations among staff and stakeholders. She has also worked with individuals and families specializing in domestic violence and substance abuse. For several years Cindy has been coaching and most recently instructing at York University’s School of Continuing Studies for the Certificate in Dispute Resolution and the Certificate in Family Mediation. She is also 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.
Jennifer Suzor, LL.B., AccFM, CPMed, AccEM
Jennifer Suzor is an experienced Family Law lawyer, mediator and trainer based in Windsor, Ontario. Having practiced in all levels of the Court for thirty years, Jennifer now focuses on neutral consultation and non-court dispute resolution, primarily mediation. Jennifer was certified by the Law Society of Upper Canada as a Specialist in Family Law in 2004 and has been accredited in family mediation, child protection mediation and elder mediation by the Ontario Association for Family Mediation (OAFM). Jennifer has served as President of OAFM since 2013.
In 2016, Jennifer received the President’s Award from the Association for Family and Conciliation Courts, Ontario Chapter, in recognition of her volunteer work as Co-Chair of the Walsh Family Negotiation Competition and her vision of creating a series of events in Windsor called “Changing the Culture of Conflict Resolution in Family Breakdown Roundtable Dinner Series” for the Judiciary, Counsel, Psychologists, Social Workers and other family professionals. She is the President of Bridging Family Conflict, the service provider in Windsor for the Ministry of Attorney General subsidized mediation and information services.
- an undergraduate degree; or
- related college diploma with experience in human services.
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.
|Summer 2018||Certificate in Family Mediation (Summer 2018)||$4,875.00||Register|
|Fall 2018||Certificate in Family Mediation (Fall 2018)||$4,875.00||Register|
|Summer 2019||Certificate in Family Mediation (Summer 2019)||$4,875.00||Register|
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- Your credit card information is never received or stored by our system. Only your financial institution has access to your credit card information.
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Online – Visit our website at continue.yorku.ca to register in any course or program offered by the Continuing and Professional Education.
Fax – (For credit card payments only) Complete the registration form, including credit card information. Fax to 416-650-8042, with program-specific documentation (i.e., proof of degree).
Mail – Complete the Registration Form and mail to the Continuing and Professional Education.
|School of Continuing Studies
Room 116, Atkinson Building
4700 Keele Street, Toronto, Ontario, M3J 1P3
|Tel:||+1 416 736 5616||Email:||firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Fax:||+1 416 650 8042||Web:||continue.yorku.ca|
All applications are processed on a first-come, first-served basis, so early registration is recommended.
The School of Continuing Studies reserves the right to alter fees, other charges, instructors, and course dates/locations described in this brochure.
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:
- Certificate in Family Mediation – The first payment of $2,499 is due upon registration with the balance due by November 1 for the Fall Program or June 1 for the Summer Program.
- Customized payment plans are available to align to employer policies but are not available for individuals. For further information please contact the Program Manager at 416-736-5616.
- A student that fails to make installment payments as required will not be permitted to continue in the program.
All correspondence, including your registration confirmation, grade report, and refund cheque, will be sent to the “mailing address” provided at the time of registration.
To maintain accurate student records, notification of any changes to your name, address, and contact information are required. To update your personal information:
- go online to Contact Us and email all changes;
- submit a written request to the Registration and Convocation Assistant Rumina Habib
All name-change requests must be accompanied by official documentation justifying such a change.
We will not accept telephone requests to change a name or address.
Income Tax receipts will be available online in February of the following year. Please refer to the income tax guide for allowable deductions.
Students must contact the Program Manager for permission to transfer to another session. Transfer requests are only granted for documented medical reasons.
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.
- If you withdraw 7 calendar days prior to the start of the program, you will receive a 75% refund of program tuition instalment and no academic penalty.
- If you withdraw between 6 calendar days prior to the start of the program to 7 calendar days after the start of the program, you will receive a 50% refund of program tuition instalment and a $50 administrative fee and no academic penalty.
- No refunds will be issued after the first 7 days of the program.
When necessary, the School of Continuing Studies may alter, postpone, or cancel classes. In these instances, students will be notified by e-mail, based on the information provided at the time of registration.
Cancellations or changes will also be posted on the School of Continuing Studies twitter account.
The School of Continuing Studies reserves the right to withdraw or cancel programs/courses. Should a course or program be withdrawn or cancelled, the School will issue a full refund of fees paid.
Students and instructors are expected to maintain a professional relationship characterized by courtesy, collegiality, and mutual respect, and to refrain from actions that would be disruptive to such a relationship;
It is the responsibility of the instructor to maintain an appropriate academic atmosphere in the classroom, and the responsibility of the student to cooperate in that endeavour; and,
The instructor is the best person to decide, in first instance, whether such an atmosphere is present in the class, and may, at their discretion, take steps that they feel are appropriate to resolve an issue or dispute.
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.
Students and instructors will be informed in writing of the reappraisal result and the reappraiser’s comments. The School of Continuing Studies will ensure the anonymity of both the student and the reappraiser.
You may submit a financial petition if you experience a serious documented medical illness or a death of an immediate family member that causes you to drop courses. Financial petitions may be granted at the discretion of the University, and will be considered for a period of one year after the occurrence of the illness or death.
The Financial Petition form is located here: http://sfs.yorku.ca/refunds/petitions/
Please complete the form and return it via email email@example.com or via fax at 416-650-8042.