Exploring the Benefits and Challenges of Mediation Services in Ontario
Description of Project:
The AFCC-O is providing financial and other support to a research project on Court-based Family Mediation Services in Ontario, being undertaken by Dr. Denise Whitehead of the University of Waterloo and Dr. Rachel Birnbaum of King’s University College, Western University. The project is intended to examine what works and what is not working with respect to court-based mediation services as well as private mediation in Ontario. The project is beginning in the Fall of 2017, and a final report will be completed and made available on the AFCC-O website by December 1, 2018.
This project will employ multiple methodologies, including:
(1) A literature review on public and privately funded mediation to examine what has been done and what are the gaps in knowledge;
(2) A survey of Ontario professionals about mediation services: The survey will have questions related to both court-based and government subsidized mediation and private mediation. This survey will have some questions directed to professionals who refer individuals to mediation (i.e. lawyers and counsellors) as well as a section for mediators; it will distinguish between those doing publicly funded mediation, those doing private mediation and those doing both;
(3) In-person interviews of professionals about their views and experiences with mediation at eight court sites (Sudbury, Guelph, Windsor, Newmarket, London, and in Toronto at 311 Jarvis, 47 Sheppard, and 393 University);
(4) Subject to the approval of the Offices of the Chief Justice, interviews with both OCJ and SCJ judges at these eight sites;
(5) Online survey of participants who have utilized court-based publicly funded mediation services and telephone/in-person follow-up interviews with some of them; and
(6) Online survey and in-person interviews with litigants who are contemplating using public mediation services.
The researchers contact information is as follows:
Dr. Denise Whitehead firstname.lastname@example.org, and Dr. Rachel Birnbaum email@example.com