Job Description for Volunteer Mediator

The Conflict Solutions Center (CSC) volunteer is responsible for the quality of community mediation service-delivery to members of the Santa Barbara county community. CSC volunteers are also responsible for several other functions that are needed to help make the program and the service a success in the community. These include, but are not limited to: PR and outreach activities, appropriate record-keeping duties, and continuing education.

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General Qualifications

General Qualifications include a commitment to:

  • delivering the best mediation service to the community
  • remaining open, impartial and non-judgmental to differences
  • remembering the positive value of conflict

Candidates must demonstrate an understanding of the mediation process including concepts of neutrality and confidentiality, and facilitative tools such as reframing, summarizing, and clarifying and empathizing. Ideal candidates will be reflective practitioners with a professional presence who actively seek to improve their skills and who consistently model teamwork and reliability. Prospective mediators will interview with staff to determine if their skills, motivation, and availability are a fit with the organizational needs of Conflict Solutions Center.

Individual and professional development opportunities within CSC

CSC offers a program of personal and professional development for volunteers. Volunteers can work to become mediators, supervising mediators, and managing mediators. The following expectations generally outline the opportunities available:

Upon completion of 32-40 hours of mediation skills training, one can apply for an Internship with Conflict Solutions Center. A volunteer is considered an intern mediator until qualifications to become a mediator are met (see below). If training was completed outside of CSC, the candidate can submit certificate of Basic Mediation Training, resume, and record of advanced related trainings with Volunteer Application.

To qualify to become a mediator, interns shall complete the following assignments:

Minimum 4 hours simulated (role-play) practical experience.
Minimum 3 cases as an observer during a mediation.
Minimum 6 hours of co-mediation in one of the mediation tracks listed below, teamed up with a Supervising Mediator and/or staff. During your internship, on-going Interactive Review and Support Consultations by a Managing Mediator and/or staff will help us determine your readiness to become a Mediator.

Mediator Specific Duties:

  • Choose a track indicating your main focus:
    • Restorative Justice - 9-12 hrs. additional training
    • Parent/Teen mediation - 7 hrs. additional training
    • Small Claims mediation - 3 hrs. additional training/orientation
  • Be available to mediate at least 12 hours per quarter for your track.
  • Fill out appropriate record-keeping forms and submit to CSC office within 5 days of completion of your involvement in the case.
  • Complete personal self-assessments to review with Managing Mediator.
  • Attend at least 2 CSC circle meetings or continuing education forums per year.
  • Participate in community outreach activities as available.

Supervising Mediator Specific Duties:

  • Continued activity outlined in Mediator Specific Duties.
  • Be available to mediate the more complex disputes.
  • Be available to mediate on a regular basis so that we can team our Intern mediators with your expertise.
  • Coach Mediators and Intern Mediators in lead mediator role.
  • Participate and/or conduct Interactive Review and Support Consultations with Interns and Mediators.

To qualify to become a Supervising Mediator:

  • Satisfactory performance of Mediator Specific Duties.
  • Mediate a minimum of 40 hours per track.
  • Complete 12 hours of CSC-offered continuing education studies per year and make at least one presentation about a mediation topic at a Quarterly Meeting or via writing to share with other volunteers and staff.
  • Act as Lead Mediator at least 50% of volunteer mediation time. (Lead Mediator takes responsibility for coordinating co-mediators; getting in and locking up mediation site; filling out appropriate paperwork and submitting to staff.)
  • On-going Interactive Review and Support Consultation by staff.

Advancement to a level of Managing Mediator is another opportunity. Certificates of completion are available at each level of advancement outlined above.

As a CSC Volunteer, I Commit to the Following:

Honesty/Integrity: I will be honest with myself and others about my ability to be impartial. I will assess my biases to determine if they are likely to impair my ability to remain neutral. I realize that it is important to "walk our talk" in order to maintain a high integrity service that truly values all of our differences and contributes to cooperative relationships and peace in our community. I will make efforts to raise my issues with my co-mediators and talk about conflicts that arise in the context of CSC work. I will do my best to be constructive.

Humility: I will remember that the mediation process is not about me. I will do my best to be present for the parties with whom I am working in an honest and empathic way. I will be willing to question my underlying assumptions and attitudes in my role as a neutral.

Accountability: When asked to be a mediator, I will make an honest assessment about whether I can get started right away and follow through on the case in the requested time-frame.

Respect: I will treat each person I work with and the CSC clients I meet with respect. I will not take sides or give advice as a mediator. I will make every effort to acknowledge and set aside biases regarding cultural differences, including areas of race, gender, age, social or economic class, sexual preference, and disability.

Reflection: I commit to on-going learning and acknowledge the evolving nature of mediation work in assessing my contribution to the program.

Confidentiality: I will remember the importance of confidentiality of the mediation process to the integrity of our service and maintain that confidentiality at all times.