Welcome to the Alberta Family Mediation Society
What is family mediation?
Mediation is a family-centered conflict resolution process in which an impartial third party (the mediator) helps the participants in negotiating a consensual, informed and fair agreement. Decision-making rests with the parties throughout. The mediator assists the parties in identifying issues and information needs, reducing obstacles to communication, exploring alternatives and focusing on the needs and interests of those who it is agreed are affected.
Alberta Family Mediation Society (AFMS) advocates resolution of family conflict through the use of mediation by qualified professionals.
Article in The Medicine Hat News
Report from the Chair, May 3, 2013
Posted May 2, 2013 7:07AM
The Board of Directors of the Alberta Family Mediation Society (AFMS) has had a very interesting year that included promotion, advocacy, training and marketing activities.
Our website, directory, promotional materials, brochures and banners have all been updated and branded with specific colours, logos and fonts so that the public and membership will quickly be able to recognize us. We have also added a “Meet the Board” page to our website and produced a new Board manual.
This is the first year that we have entered the world of “social media” and we are finding that this has been a very positive way to raise awareness for our organization as well as for the mediation process.
Our annual Conference has a new dimension this year because of professionally-produced PowerPoint presentations and video-recording of the sessions. We have also invited more speakers than ever before for a two-day Conference and are therefore able to offer registrants several options to network and meet their training goals.
Besides hosting a public presentation in Calgary on May 2, 2013 AFMS participated in a number of educational and outreach activities throughout the year. Our Board and members were active in informational booths on both Law Day and Conflict Resolution Day throughout the province and also participated in the Calgary Library Legal Resources Fair. We have given presentations and served on local, provincial and national committees where our voice has been influential and respected.
Our Board of Directors has been amazing! Each has shared unique skills and gifts and, as a result, we all benefit. We have had two planning Retreats in 2012 and meet for a third on May 4, 2013. Our commitment for the upcoming year involves developing greater collaboration with other organizations, becoming even more financially sound and serving the province of Alberta with competence and wisdom. We are thankful for Sue Bedier, who is an excellent Executive Assistant, and for our growing membership who are so loyal and supportive.
Dr. Linda Hancock, Chair (2012-2013)
AFMS erroneous email
Posted April 18, 2013 6:53PM
AFMS apologizes for any fake emails that were sent under our account today. Do NOT click on the website link that was given. The subject line was "Content-Type: text/plain;" and was NOT sent by AFMS.
Membership Renewal; John Haynes Award; Call for Board Nominations; and of course, the Conference...
Posted March 15, 2013 10:50AM
1) The membership year for all AFMS Members is April 1 – March 31. If you haven’t already, please renew your membership for the 2013/14 year by going to www.afms.ca and logging in to the Members’ Area. Your login is your email address and you will have been emailed a random password. If you don’t have the password, let Sue know and she can reset it. While you’re there, register for the upcoming annual Conference (Hotel Arts, Calgary, May 2 and 3rd, 2013 – The Making of a Mediator & The Making of a Parenting Coordinator). You can also email or call Sue directly to renew.
2) The Dr. John Haynes Memorial Award
Dr. John Haynes was a pioneer of family mediation in the US and was the Founding President of the Academy of Family Mediators there. He came up to Canada in the 80's to do some training of some pioneers, in their own right, here, including Larry Fong, Deborah Prowse, Kent Taylor, Nancy Flatters, Mike Porter and Joanne Goss, to name a few. He came back periodically to give training sessions and/or attend conferences. John used to say that mediation is good work and is therefore only one letter away from "God's work". Also, that a mediator must love his/her clients: "There is good in everybody and if you want mediation to work, you must find the good in people".
When John died prematurely in 1999, Judge Michael Porter, Ret'd, wrote to John's wife, Gretchen, to ask if the Alberta family Mediation Society could establish an award in his name to be presented annually to one or more persons who have contributed significantly to the field of Family Mediation in the Province of Alberta.
Call for Nominations 2013
In recognition of the late Dr. John Haynes, who taught and trained many people in Family Mediation, the Alberta family Mediation Society, in 2001, established an annual Award to be presented to one (or more) persons, an Albertan who has contributed significantly to the field of Family Mediation in the Province of Alberta.
The board of Directors have established a policy and some criteria for the selection process:
1. The person(s) must have made a significant contribution to the field of Family mediation in the Province of Alberta.
2. The person(s) shall be an Albertan.
3. The Award may be presented to one or more persons in a given year or if no candidates are considered to be worthy of the award by the selection committee, no award may be given in any year.
4. No member of the Board of Directors shall be eligible for the Award whilst serving as a director.
5. Any member of the Board of Directors and any other member of AFMS in good standing shall be eligible to nominate a candidate for the Award.
The committee is now seeking nominations of candidates for this Award for 2013. Please note that as per the above criteria, nominations may not be made with respect to any serving member of our Board of Directors. Also, as per the Awards Procedures: “Unsuccessful nominees remain on the slate of nominees for the following year without having to be re-nominated and the nominees will be notified of this process before the final selection is made.”
Also, please note that nominations must be accompanied by the consent of the person being nominated, a brief resume and a brief submission in support of the nomination.
Nominations should be forwarded to the Chair of the committee, Alasdair MacKinnon, Past President, or Sue Bedier, Executive Assistant to the Board, no later than April 5, 2013.
The recipient(s) will be announced and honoured at the AFMS conference on May 2nd, 2013 in Calgary at the Hotel Arts.
2000: Dr. Larry Fong
2001: Louis Faber
2002: Judge Nancy Flatters
2003: Madam Justice M.J. Trussler
2004: Dr. Kent Taylor
2005: Diane Shearer
2006: Patricia Blocksom and Mary Jane Klein
2007: Alberta Justice
2008: Janis Pritchard
2009: Judge Michael Porter, Ret’d
2010: Lorri Yasenik & DRO Project (The Honourable Madam Justice Colleen Kenny, The Honourable Judge Victor Tousignant, Lonny Balbi, QC, Douglas Moe, QC and Blair Laven)
2011: no recipient
2012: Geeta Bharadia, QC
3) ATTENTION: ALL MEMBERS AFMS
NOTICE OF ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING AND CALL FOR NOMINATIONS FOR POSITIONS FOR THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS 2013/14
The Alberta Family Mediation Society will hold the Annual General meeting at the Annual Conference on May 3, 2013.
Where? Hotel Arts
119 – 12th Avenue SW, Calgary, AB T5J 3N8
When? Friday, May 3, 2013 8:00-8:30am
All AFMS members and mediators are encouraged to attend! The new Board of Directors will be voted upon at the AGM.
The Alberta family Mediation Society is managed by a Board of Directors consisting of a maximum of 15 members of the Society. A new Board of Directors is elected each year at the Annual General Meeting (AGM). The AFMS Board of Directors usually meets once each month (10 times per year) by teleconference for 1 hour. Additionally, the Board meets face-to-face up to two times per year. This year, the first face-to-face meeting will be a Board Retreat after the Conference in Calgary on Saturday, May 4, 2013.
All members are welcome to put their names forward or nominate someone they feel would be interested in being a part of this progressive organization. AFMS welcomes representatives from all parts of the Province of Alberta.
Any member may submit a nomination. All nominations should be sent by email or fax by April 26, 2013 to email@example.com or fax: (403) 532-0988
It’s Going to be WONDERFUL!
Posted February 22, 2013 12:58PM
“The Making of a Mediator and the Making of a Parenting Coordinator”
This year will be one of the most amazing Conferences that AFMS has hosted.
We are offering:
• Two experts in the field of mediation as guests
• Three more facilitators for additional workshops
• A wine and cheese reception for all participants to enjoy
• Special resources brought to you by organizations who support our values
• A beautiful setting at the Hotel Arts in the heart of Calgary
• Lots of fun!
• And a few surprises.
I am really looking forward to seeing you on May 2nd and 3rd.
Make sure that you take advantage of the Early Bird (March 1st) discounted registration opportunity!
Dr. Linda Hancock
PEACE ON EARTH, GOOD WILL TOWARDS MEN! (oh, and SAVE THE DATE!)
Posted December 12, 2012 3:45PM
The theme of Christmas runs parallel to the practice of mediation in that, as professionals, we are always striving to introduce peace to clients who are living with strife and chaos. Our hope is that they can learn to show respect and decency to others as they create healthy options in a spirit of good will. That isn’t easy to accomplish, especially when relationship problems have become deeply ingrained - sometimes even involving family members from various multi-generational levels.
For some, the Christmas season can be a battleground period involving custody or access issues, hurt and bitterness. On a daily basis, we hear about a variety of societal groups who are fighting because they cannot find common ground to resolve their issues. Several countries in the world are at war – many have been in that state for decades. And Christmas may not offer any of the people involved any respite from their troubles.
For others, Christmas is a beautiful time when people can enjoy healthy relationships and give thanks for blessings.
My hope is that during the holidays this year, you will take some time to consider the important role that you have as a mediator. Will you incorporate the Christmas theme of peace on earth and good will towards men into your 2013 practice?
I am so excited about our upcoming spring conference as it will help with that goal. It has been especially designed to help each of us learn and network so that we will be better at the work we are called to do as mediators.
I am also extremely thankful that we have an amazing and active Board of Directors who each invests expertise and time so that each year hundreds people in Alberta have opportunities to live in peace and good will instead of in strife and chaos.
Very best wishes for a sparkling Christmas season and a hope-filled new year.
Linda Hancock, Chair
Please SAVE THE DATE for the AFMS Annual Conference 2013, THE MAKING OF A MEDIATOR and PARENTING COORDINATOR. On Thursday, May 2 and Friday, May 3, 2013 the Conference for 2013 will be at the Hotel Arts in CALGARY with main speakers: Michael D. Lang and Dr. Barbara Jo Fidler. There will also be a choice of some key and interesting workshops for part of the afternoon on day two. Watch for brochures in the mail in early 2013.
Michael D. Lang received the John Haynes Distinguished Mediator Award at the 2012 ACR Annual Conference Presidential Luncheon in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the field of mediation. Michael Lang has been mediating family, commercial, public policy and organizational disputes since 1978. He is the founding director of the Master of Arts Program in Conflict Resolution, a former President and Board member of the Academy of Family Mediators. As an author and editor, Michael served as Editor-in-Chief of Mediation Quarterly (now Conflict Resolution Quarterly) from 1995-2001, and as a member of its editorial board from 1988-2007. Michael has authored a number of articles on mediation practice and is co-author of The Making of a Mediator: Developing Artistry in Practice, published in 2000 by Jossey Bass Publishers.
Dr. Barbara Jo Fidler has been a registered clinical developmental psychologist since 1987. She is an accredited mediator practicing in Ontario, Canada. She maintains a private practice and is a founding member of Family Solutions, a team devoted to working with separated and divorced families. Dr. Fidler provides mediation, arbitration, parenting coordination, case consultation to child protection agencies and other professionals, and expert court testimony. Her practice also includes child, individual, marital and family therapy and reunification interventions with families experiencing parental alienation and other parent-child contact problems. Dr. Fidler provides training workshops in various topics related to child custody disputes. She has been actively involved in the development and training of parenting coordination services and was appointed to the AFCC Task Force charged with developing guidelines and standards of practice.
SAVE THE DATE!
Posted May 25, 2012 12:27PM
Our annual Conference, which was held in April, was an exciting time for members and participants!
Besides having wonderful speakers and a time to network together, we also welcomed a dynamic Board of Directors which consists of a balance of the newly-elected and the “seasoned”.
I invite you to visit our new Meet the Board page (http://afms.ca/index.php?pid=46 ) on this website so that you will be familiar with those who are leading your organization and eager to make this a membership which you will highly value.
The day after our Conference, the Board of Directors met and began creating some exciting plans for the next year. Make sure that you return to the website frequently so that you can watch things unfold.
I strongly believe that this is going to be a wonderful year for Alberta Family Mediation Society which will be made even better when you share your ideas and energy.
Dr. Linda Hancock
Chair of the Board