Promoting Informed Use and Best Practices for ADR in Washington
We are excited to announce the forming of the Academy of Professional Family Mediators - a new international organization. The Academy of Professional Family Mediators is seeking founding members. I am on the board of APFM, along with a dozen other highly experienced family mediators (several with nearly 30 years in the field). You may be familiar with many of the board members’ names (see attached Announcement Letter).
I believe the Academy of Professional Family Mediators will quickly become the leading Family Mediation organization for promoting family mediation to the public, providing top-quality conferences and training in family mediation, and setting standards for the field. For the past few years, family mediation has not had a leading organization to promote this method to the public, yet family mediation is used more widely than ever before. In the 1980’s and 1990’s, the Academy of Family Mediators led the field as it became established and accepted by the judicial system as an important alternative to litigation of family disputes. But in the 2000’s, a lot of momentum was lost when family mediators joined with other mediators of all types in joint organizations and lost our own identity and focus.
The Academy of Professional Family Mediators has just started signing up founding members and is having its founding conference on September 27-30 at Cape Cod in Massachusetts. The attached Letter explains the purpose and ambitious goals of APFM and a notice about the conference.
I believe we are at a turning point in the history of handling family disputes – divorce, parenting, elder issues, probate problems, family business and other sources of family conflict. Family mediators have skills that help families, rather than pulling them further apart as litigation does. There is a need for a strong family mediation organization at this time and I am very hopeful that APFM will be able to make a difference in promoting this work worldwide.
[Ed. note: The APFM website is here: http://www.apfmnet.org]