Other Situations

Mediation in Other Situations

Mediation can be used in any situation where people are upset with each other, where communication has broken down or where people don’t understand each other.

You can mediate at school or at work; in your neighborhood or family; in your synagogue, church or mosque; or in a court case. You can mediate after an accident, or when a repair isn’t done right, or when a debt hasn’t been paid.

Mediation is simply an opportunity to sit down and talk things out with a mediator, someone who is trained to help people have potentially difficult conversations. Someone who is impartial, won’t take sides, and will keep what you said confidential.

In mediation:

  • You can be heard.
  • You can ask questions, and hear their response.
  • You can tell them what is important about this, from your point of view.
  • You can listen.
  • You can tell them how this situation has affected you.

Even in situations when people think mediation won’t work, it often does.

Why does mediation work?

  • People are curious. They want to ask questions. They want to see what will happen.
  • People want to be heard.
  • They want a say in what will happen.
  • They want things resolved.

Child Welfare Cases

When a child has been removed from his or her family, the people involved can be part of a Child Welfare Mediation or a Family Team Meeting. A mediator, or facilitator, brings people together to talk about the situation, the strengths of the parent(s), the family’s needs, and concerns about the family. They work together to develop a plan for the child that everyone can support.
Who is involved? Any of the following people can be involved: the parent(s), other family members, the foster parents, the DHS caseworker, attorneys for the parent(s) and child, other caseworkers with the parent(s) or child, perhaps therapist, minister/rabbi/imam, and friends or neighbors.

For more information, call Southwest Iowa Mediation Center at 712-310-2843.

Mediation in Civil Cases

You can mediate in any situation.

Many civil cases are mediated with the people who disagree in separate rooms, with the mediator going back and forth between them. The people do not talk directly with each other – the mediator goes back and forth, carrying messages. This is called a caucus or shuttle mediation.

However, maybe you have something you want to say to the other person. Maybe you have some questions for him or her. Maybe you would like to try and talk with them directly.

If you do want to talk with the other person/people in mediation, find a mediator who knows how to help people talk directly to each other.

Get an attorney who is supportive of this choice and who has been involved in this kind of mediation before.

When you are choosing an attorney or your mediator, be sure to ask them what kind of mediation they usually recommend so you know whether they will be able to provide you with the kind of process you want.

Read more about mediation in this web site.

For help finding a mediator, call Southwest Iowa Mediation Center at 712-310-2843.


Too often, there is tension between neighbors. Sometimes it escalates to hostility. Sometimes it affects the entire family or expands to include other neighbors, too. Whether it’s a barking dog, a disputed property line, a fallen limb, or children who don’t get along, difficulties between neighbors are common, unfortunately.

With a mediator, you can sit down, be heard, ask questions, and hear their perspective. You can tell them how the situation is affecting you and your family. You can see what you can do to resolve the difficulties and reduce the tension.

You may think, “If we were going to be able to talk it out, we would have done that already. Communication is worse than ever. Things seem to be getting worse. How will talking make any difference?”

Even if you think that, you may be surprised at what can happen in mediation.

For help finding a mediator, call Southwest Iowa Mediation Center at 712-310-2843.


Is your child being bullied? Are the cliques at the school getting out-of-hand? Has your child been expelled and you don’t know who you can really talk to at her school?

Many schools have peer mediation programs, where students learn how to mediate the problems that arise between the students. Often the teachers and staff have gotten some mediation training, too.

Check the Dealing with Conflict section of this web site for tips on dealing with conflict directly.

If you want to bring a neutral mediator to your school, call Southwest Iowa Mediation Center at 712-310-2843 for a referral.

Conflicts at Work

Are you having problems at work? An unreasonable supervisor? Mean-spirited coworkers? An unreliable assistant?

See Dealing with Conflict for tips on how to handle your situation.

Call Southwest Iowa Mediation Center at 712-310-2843 if you are interested in finding a mediator to help you talk it out.

Or ask your supervisor or manager about your office sponsoring a training on communication and conflict resolution skills for all your co-workers.

You’ve got options.

Mediation: It’s your solution.