Kansas Family Mediation Services Program Celebrates 25 Years
2012 marks the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Kansas Children's Service League (KCSL) Family Mediation Program. Founded in 1987, the program offers family mediation services to help families of adolescent young adults to deal with school performance and attendance problems.
What Problems to Family Mediation Services Help to Resolve?
While the end goals of the program are to ultimately keep teens in school and help them deal with school in an effective manner, the path to this ultimate end often involves other, more family-oriented goals.
It's long been known by child advocates that stress in the home raises the risk for teenage drug use, gang activity, and other forms of juvenile delinquency. The KCSL's program works to help both parents and teens to communicate more effectively (and less stressfully).
The volunteer mediators—who must complete 30 hours of Kansas Supreme Court Mediation Training—help families to communicate clearly with each other, define the issues brought up in conflict, provide a safe middle ground for both parents and teens, and help guide solutions.
But Does Mediation Really Help Families?
Family mediation services have been shown to help families when it comes to resolving conflict. When the family is willing, this resolution doesn't just involve a single incident or string of incidents.
Instead, proper mediation can help families learn how to more effectively communicate with each other. This often erases the stress that drives teens into troubled behavior in the first place.