National Family Mediation has 47 affiliated Services throughout England and Wales. Further details of location and contact details can be found on our Services List.
How are they managed and financed?
All NFM Services are not for profit organisations and are charities in their own right.
All NFM Services have contracts with the Legal Services Commission (formally the Legal Aid Board). This enables them to offer publicly funded mediation to those individuals financially eligible.
Each Service has its own premises, dedicated to family mediation. Some of our Services receive partnership grants for a range of support activities. Some are in receipt of Local Authority grants for preventative services for children. All are governed by local Trustees.
NFM is in regular consultation nationally with Government, Ministry of Justice, DCSF, CAFCASS and other voluntary organisations concerned with family support.
Issues dealt with
All NFM Services provide mediation for parents negotiating arrangements for their children before, during or after separation or divorce.
The single most frequent issue to be resolved is that of contact (65%) followed by residence (20%). Grandparent contact features in 7% of cases and step-parents in 9%.
All our Services provide All Issues Mediation this includes finance, property and children.
Who reaches agreement?
83% of cases resolve all or some issues.
The range of services
Services also provide some form of direct help or counselling for children.
Some also provide support to parents individually and in groups as well as providing information.
Who are the mediators?
Mediators come from a range of professional backgrounds including social workers, lawyers, counsellors and health and education professionals. They increasingly come from a range of ethnic backgrounds.
What training and supervision do they have?
Local Services recruit mediators according to a nationally agreed selection procedure. The NFM Foundation Training programme is currently an 11 day programme stretching over a 6 month period and is linked with supervised co-mediated practice in their local Service.
The training is modular and the components include:
- core training in the process of mediation,
- training in the mediation of children, finance and property issues,
- training in domestic violence screening
- training in diversity and equal opportunities
There is also training in direct consultation with children.
Each Service appoints a Professional Practice Consultant who is required to be trained in mediation supervision by NFM. The supervisor is responsible for supporting and overseeing the mediator’s work as well as ensuring their professional development.
Quality Assurance Standards
All our Services have contracts with the Legal Services Commission to provide Family Mediation. As a requirement for maintaining their contract services are audited against the LSC’s Quality Mark Standard for Mediation.
All our Mediators must work to a nationally agreed Code of Practice for Mediators as defined by the Family Mediation Council of whom NFM is a founder member.
Charges of Mediation
NFM is pledged to make mediation available to all regardless of ability to pay. However Services must obviously cover their costs to remain financially viable and available. The income from grants and charitable trusts is declining. As a consequence all services have a charging policy.
The current situation is as follows:
Free for clients funded by the Community Legal Service Fund (formerly Legal Aid)
Approach to fees
- each local Service sets its own fees
- most operate a sliding scale based on client income
- some operate fixed fees
- some charge lower fees for mediation involving children’s issues only (average 5 hours) and higher fees for mediation on all issues (average 12 hours)
- the range of fees charged often begins at around £25 per hour for those on lower incomes, with those on higher incomes generally being asked to pay more