National Family Mediation (NFM) is the largest provider of family mediation in England and Wales, offering its services in over 500 locations. To find your nearest NFM family mediator you can enter your postcode here on the NFM website
How are they managed and financed?
All NFM mediation services are not-for-profit organisations. Affiliated services based in local communities across England and Wales are charities in their own right, governed by local Trustees.
NFM and its member services have contracts with the Legal Aid Agency, enabling them to offer publicly funded mediation to people who are eligible.
All NFM mediators offer mediation sessions in premises that provide confidentiality. Some NFM mediators work in premises that are solely dedicated to family mediation.
NFM is in regular consultation nationally with the Government, Ministry of Justice, CAFCASS, DWP and other national organisations concerned with family support.
All NFM services hold the Help and Support for Separated Families quality mark.
Issues dealt with
All NFM mediators provide mediation for parents negotiating arrangements for their children before, during or after separation or divorce.
All NFM mediators offer ‘All Issues Mediation’, which means property, finance and parenting arrangements – these tend to be the three areas that most commonly feature in family mediation. However, ‘Single Issue Mediation’ is also available – for example, where the dispute revolves solely around finances.
Mediators can also help resolve issues relating to contact with grandparents and step-parents.
All NFM Mediators are accredited by the Family Mediation Council, the regulatory body for family mediation.
Who reaches agreement?
83% of cases dealt with by NFM mediators are fully settled.
The range of services
NFM mediators can also provide direct help or counselling for children. Where appropriate and practicable, child-inclusive mediation can be undertaken – this means children can play an active part in helping shape their futures after their parents have separated.
Some NFM mediators can 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. There is no set career path. Typically, however, backgrounds of mediators tend to includes people who have worked as lawyers, counsellors, social workers, and health and education professionals.
What training and supervision do they have?
As England and Wales’ leading provider of professional training and accreditation for family mediation, all NFM mediators are trained to the highest levels.
All NFM mediators are required to meet the Family Mediation Council standards for practice, supervision and continuous professional development
Each affiliated local NFM service appoints a Professional Practice Consultant who is trained in mediation supervision by NFM. The supervisor is responsible for supporting and overseeing mediators’ work as well as ensuring their professional development.
Quality Assurance Standards
Contracts with the Legal Aid Agency mean all NFM mediators are able to provide Family Mediation, legally aided where the participant is financially eligible. As a requirement for maintaining their contract services are audited against the Agency’s Quality Mark Standard for Mediation.
All NFM mediators must work to a nationally agreed Code of Practice for Mediators as defined by the Family Mediation Council of which NFM is a founder member.
Charges for Mediation
NFM is pledged to make mediation available to all regardless of ability to pay. Of course costs must be covered, and all NFM mediators and services have a charging policy.