Effective Screening for Domestic Abuse in Mediation – Advanced Level for Accredited Mediator

Effective Screening for Domestic Abuse in Mediation – Advanced Level for Accredited Mediator

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Effective Screening for Domestic Abuse in Mediation – Advanced Level 

 Trainer: Adrienne Cox

 Adrienne ceased practice as a family law solicitor in 2000 to focus on mediation and become a Family Law Lecturer at Exeter University in. 2002.  In 2013 she started her own private family mediation practice, which continues to grow and stopped lecturing in 2015.  Adrienne joined the Family Mediation Standards Board in 2015 as one of its founder members, leading on working panels for both accreditation and training and was involved with, amongst other areas, implementing standards for child inclusive work and co ordinating the PPC Code of Practice. Adrienne retired from the FMSB in July 2020.

Adrienne has trained on mediation foundation training courses and has designed and run mediation courses on communication, child focused mediation and effective screening for domestic abuse, which are areas in which she has a particular interest.  She has presented at various conferences in recent years, in the UK and abroad.  Adrienne has been sitting on the Family Solutions Group which is a sub group of the Private Law Working Group.

Course objective

Effective and appropriate screening and assessment of mediation suitability is paramount in ensuring safe and positive outcomes in mediation.  Research carried out by Anne Barlow and colleagues in ‘Creating Paths to Family Justice’ in 2017 found that “inadequate screening may lead to traumatic mediation experiences and / or unfair or dangerous outcomes.” This was again highlighted in the Assessing Risk of Harm report published in June 2020.

This course will provide participants with the skills to carry out more effective screening for domestic abuse, ensuring, as far as possible, that only clients that are suited to the mediation process proceed to mediation. It will highlight perpetrator tactics, the impact of domestic abuse on the victim/survivor and consider how to tell the difference between abuse and high conflict.  There will be time to take questions on this topic and have a discussion about the challenges being faced by mediators, of screening for domestic abuse online and how these challenges are being overcome.

Who is this course for?

This course is for mediators of all levels but will aimed at experienced mediators to encourage a higher level of discussion of scenarios and challenges, appropriate to that level of expertise.

Course content

  • Exercises to encourage a deeper understanding of domestic abuse in the mediation context
  • Presentation of relevant research to support your practice
  • Sharing of information about different risk assessment tools
  • Sharing of information about impact of domestic abuse on victims/survivors and their children
  • Sharing of useful questions, approaches and strategies to assist mediators with their assessment of suitability
  • Case study/role play/ fishbowl exercises (depending on time) to develop risk assessment skills.
  • Supporting clients where decision of not suitable has been made.
  • Group discussions to help support best practice

Course duration: 1 day