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CURRENT PROGRAMS & ACTIVITIES

ClearingHouse

The NAFCM Clearinghouse serves as a portal through which resources of all kinds can be discovered by and shared with members of NAFCM’s community mediation member network. Entering the Clearinghouse opens your browser and extends your reach to the whole of community mediation. Whether you are starting a local center, branching out into new service delivery, enhancing administrative practices, seeking the latest research, or any other community mediation-focused activity, NAFCM’s Clearinghouse has the resources to help inform and support your efforts. With its expansive categories, extensible architecture, flexible structure, accessible platform, collaborative capacity, and open design, the Clearinghouse is a vibrant, supremely helpful resource for those engaged in community mediation. Read more about this collaborative undertaking and begin exploring all that is contained within the unmatched resource known as the NAFCM Clearinghouse. (The NAFCM Clearinghouse is exclusively available to current program members.)

Case Management Service

NAFCM has partnered with Mediate.com, the internet's premier portal and online technology host to the ADR community, to create a version of Mediate.com's cloud-based Caseload Manager specifically designed to meet the needs of community mediation programs. Through this partnership, we are able to extend to NAFCM Program members a discount on Caseload Manager. This partnership makes online case management technologies affordable and accessible to even the smallest community mediation programs, allowing all programs to now enhance operational efficiencies and extend their local impact. You can learn more about Mediate.com's Caseload Manager system at www.CaseloadManager.com.

Committee Activities

The NAFCM Board of Directors maintains a number of active Committees that work to further the goals of the Association. Current NAFCM members may choose to join select Committees and participate in their important activities on either an ongoing or project basis. Participating as a NAFCM Committee member provides a number of professional benefits, including networking with recognized leaders within the community mediation movement, developing a field-wide perspective on the needs and impact of community mediation programs, and helping to develop projects and resources that will be used by local programs throughout the practice area. Feel free to review the following Committee webpages to learn about their respective goals, current projects, leadership, and opportunities to join: Outreach & Policy Committee.

Diversity + Inclusion
Community mediation in the U.S. is a wonderfully eclectic patchwork of programs, professional employees, and dedicated volunteers. As practitioners and programs we vary on nearly every measure of diversity and continually work to thoroughly engrain inclusiveness in everything from our founding tenets to our daily practices. Part of NAFCM's commitment to diversity and inclusion is realized through its Diversity + Inclusion Working Group. Read more about this Group's important work and be part of our collaborative efforts to advance diversity and inclusion within community mediation.

Legacy Project

NAFCM's Legacy Project ensures the resources and wisdom from struggling community mediation programs continue to live on. Through the Legacy Project, NAFCM offers to house the collected resources and wisdom generated by the program, connect former program leaders with future initiatives and energies, and receive any remaining assets requiring distribution. Board members, staff, and volunteers from community mediation programs that are nearing or have faced closure can ensure their legacy lives on through the dedicated work of colleagues across the nation and around the globe. To contribute your organizations' documents to NAFCM to to a part of the Clearinghouse, contact us.

Mini-Grant Program (2014)

A partnership with the JAMS Foundation has enabled NAFCM to provide mini-grants to centers across the country to work specifically with Veterans/Military personnel and their families regarding mediation/conflict resolution options within their communities. This support includes $85,000.00 from the JAMS Foundation with the potential to expand to $150,000.00 in future years. The purpose of this resourcing project is to develop and refine community mediation programs that can be replicated by other centers so that they too can design a path for sustainable mediation resources for our veterans and military families. In order to achieve this purpose, the community centers will work together through a learning community design to:

* assess the need for veterans and military family mediation services, define and build capacity to meet the discovered needs and implement a selected pilot program, practice or policy enhancement;

* provide leadership in the development of materials that can be shared and replicated by other centers in the U.S.; and,

* leverage and focus resources and expertise to maximize impact of selected pilots and enhancements throughout the U.S. and for the benefit of the community mediation field generally

The six community centers who will be members of this learning community design are the following:

· Arkansas Community Dispute Resolution Centers, Inc. (Little Rock, Arkansas);

· Community Mediation Services, Volunteers of America of Northern New England (Brunswick, Maine);

· The Mandell Gisnet Center for Conflict Management at Monterey College of Law (Monterey, California);

· Mediation Matters (Albany, New York);

· Child and Family Services, Center for Resolution and Justice (Buffalo, New York);

· Quabbin Mediation (Orange, Massachusetts)

For more information please contact D.G. Mawn, Program Coordinator at 502.777.0603 or at dmawn@nafcm.org



Publications and Resources

Since its founding in 1994, NAFCM has served as the authoritative source for information on and resources for the community mediation field. We have compiled our collective wisdom in a series of publications and digital resources available on our website. Please review the list of well-received publications available for sale, as well as previous print editions of The Community Mediator.

Regional Training Institutes

Periodically, NAFCM holds one- and two-day Regional Training Institutes (RTIs) in locations around the country designed to connect and inform those involved in community mediation. These trainings, offered to board members, executive directors, and staff of community mediation centers, are intended to improve programs' capacities and proficiencies in fundraising, management, stakeholder engagement, strategic planning, volunteer administration, and many other topics of specific interest to those working in the community dispute resolution field. To ensure these events are accessible to our community, NAFCM strives to regularly schedule these RTIs at different points throughout the U.S. If you would like to explore the possibility of holding a RTI for programs in your area, please feel free to contact us to learn more. You may also review our current schedule of RTIs, including detailed course descriptions, speaker biographies, and registration instructions here.

Teleseminar Series

Teleseminars allow you to call-in and get connected with colleagues and content. NAFCM offers several regular teleseminar series convening community mediation program administrators and volunteers around a wide variety of topical conversations. Featuring expert speakers providing new information and perspectives on the field's latest developments, NAFCM's teleseminars are an educational and engaging way to stay up-to-date and advance your skills. Individual teleseminars typically last between 60 and 90 minutes and include both a formal presentation and plenty of time for Q&A. Learn more about the series co-hosted by NAFCM and the ACR Community Section, as well as NAFCM's other teleseminar series, their schedules, topics, speakers, and a registration processes here.

Visual Clearinghouse
Interested in not only reading about, but actually watching your colleagues' work from around the globe? NAFCM's new CommunityMediation YouTube channel is the place to go! We've collected dozens of videos from around the web featuring community mediation interviews, presentations, program highlights, PSAs, and news stories. With hours of programming available on the CommunityMediation channel, you can sit back to an educational presentation or get re-energized from a short PSA or news story! Using this growing catalogue of videos, programs can inform volunteers, clients, funders, and other stakeholders about community mediation and why its work is so important. You can even add to the channel by completing the following form. Subscribe, Friend, and Propose Content for NAFCM's CommunityMediation YouTube Channel: The VISUAL Clearinghouse of Community Mediation!


Webinar Series

Brand new in 2012, NAFCM is pleased to offer its Community Mediation Webinar Series! NAFCM's webinars are professionally designed and delivered by leaders in the community mediation field, and provide actionable recommendations and tangible resources to enhance key areas of center administration. In designing this Series, NAFCM has innovated its traditional in-person trainings to meet the demands of today's community mediation programs. It acknowledges both the continued financial hardships faced by many programs, as well as their local mandates to do even more good with fewer resources. Stripped of the requirement to incur often substantial travel expenses and related out-of-office hassles, the Community Mediation Webinar Series will allow program administrators, volunteers, and board members to keep atop latest developments and enrich their skills from the comfort of their own office. Learn more about individual courses and the entire Webinar Series.

Website

NAFCM's online presence began a series of sweeping changes at the start of 2011. NAFCM's website is now designed to serve as the online platform for community mediation practitioners and volunteer mediators. Through our website, those involved and/or interested in community mediation can access a series of diverse discussion Groups (list serves), contribute to our crowd-sourced clearinghouse of community mediation resources, learn about the latest events for our field, and a host of other new feature additions. Visitors experiencing conflict can learn more about community mediation and use the search feature to locate nearby programs. As we continue to add features to our website, including those you suggest, we look forward to making NAFCM.org a stronger, more comprehensive online portal for the community mediation field.



COMPLETED PROGRAMS & ACTIVITIES

AmeriCorps Program

NAFCM secured a grant from Corporation for National & Community Service as a National Direct Program. The Program trains members to develop and deliver conflict resolution and mediation programs in schools and the community. With youth and adults, they foster partnerships and build peace. NAFCM places AmeriCorps Members within NAFCM member community mediation programs. The purpose of the Community Mediation AmeriCorps Program is to build safe and peaceful communities by developing and promoting conflict resolution and mediation programs with youth, diverse volunteers and the community.

Defining "Mediator" for the DOL (2010)

In mid 2010, NAFCM played a significant role in actually defining who and what a mediator is, what they do, and how they do it. This was a huge opportunity for community mediation, the broader ADR field, and potential mediators everywhere! By request, NAFCM worked closely with representatives from the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) Occupational Information Network (O*NET) project, an online tool for career exploration and job analysis that provides detailed descriptions of the world of work for use by job seekers, workforce development and HR professionals, students, researchers, and more. NAFCM engaged in lengthy, substantive, and nuanced discussions about the mediation and broader ADR fields with DOL representatives. We then requested volunteers from throughout the field to participate in detailed DOL-administered questionnaires, the answers to which would restructure and literally redefine how the DOL understands and describes the mediator role. Having previously been defined by a small group of corporate HR administrators, NAFCM's involvement and strong push toward inclusiveness in redefining mediation will no doubt lead to a much richer portrayal of mediators' characteristics aspirants' expectations. In total, NAFCM relayed over 200 volunteers' contact information representing every U.S. state and practice areas as diverse as agriculture and aviation, community and commercial, education and elder care, intellectual property and international trade, marital and maritime, and everything in between. As the DOL continues to collect, combine, and communicate this new picture of mediators, you can visit the current O*NET listing for mediators here.

Military Reservist Program (2007-2008)

In collaboration with the National Guard and Reservists, health professionals, and community mediation centers, NAFCM launched the Reservist Re-Integration and Transitions Program (RRTP) to provide transitioning service members, their families and communities with mediation services, training opportunities, and referral sources for family assistance. Read more about NAFCM's initiative to provide conflict assistive services to military personnel and their families.

Mini-Grant Program (2000-2005)

Beginning in 2000, with funds provided by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, NAFCM’s minigrants program distributed over $750,000 in amounts ranging from $220 to $12,000 to community mediation centers across the country. These grants were used to begin new programs, develop new and ground-breaking services, and even expand centers’ technological capacities. More than 200 centers received mini-grants. No grant cycles are scheduled at this time. To see some of the fantastic programs NAFCM has had the pleasure of funding in the past click here.

Policy/Interests

Based on inquiries and requests from member centers, NAFCM developed an "Interest Statement" on the Uniform Mediation Act ("UMA").

Quality Assurance (2000-2002)

NAFCM developed a system for mediation center quality assurance and improvement. Recognizing the diversity of programs, funding systems, community needs, and organizational structures, NAFCM's system is not prescriptive, but is an elicitive tool designed to help programs assess their goals and values and develop strategies for furthering them through their work.Read more about community mediation quality assurance.

State Funding Initiative

NAFCM conducted research of the various ways that states provide funding for community mediation programs, with the intent of developing a guide and strategy for advocacy. While relatively few states provide dedicated funding for community mediation, there is no single training model guiding their development. Some states simply appropriate a flat sum from their annual budget, distributing it to community mediation centers across the state, while others use a surcharge on county court filing fees to fund local programs. NAFCM's initiative analyzed the successes and flaws of all models and produced a guide for states and community mediation programs to consult when designing or revising their funding strategies. Readmore about NAFCM's efforts to support state funding for community mediation programs.
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