The journey to becoming a certified family mediator can be a cumbersome process. A main obstacle that aspiring family mediators come across is securing an internship to complete the required 100 hours of practical experience. With the growth of the family mediation profession, there is increased demand for aspiring Mediator-In-Training (MIT) supervisors. While there are organizations that offer internships to MITs, the waitlists can be long and it can take over a year to start the process. We want to help reduce this limbo period by encouraging family mediator professionals to offer supervision to MITs and help them complete their internship and get their accreditation.

The first question to answer is who can be a supervisor to an MIT?

I.          The supervisor should hold a valid FDRP Med with FDRIO.

II.        Where a supervisor does not hold an FDRP Med:

1.     The supervisor should be certified by another certifying body; or

2.     The supervisor is a family law professional and has at least 5 years experience in family law mediation and a minimum of 10 cases per year.

What will a supervisor be required to do to help support their MIT?

I.          The supervisor and MIT will enter into a contract that outlines the expectations of the practical experience. The contract will detail whether any fees are expected to be paid by the MIT.

II.          The MIT may use their own files for the practical experience, provided the MIT has consulted with the supervisor at each stage and the supervisor reviews all drafted documents.

III.          The Agreements to Mediate for mediations involving an MIT, in any capacity, must be signed by the MIT as a participant, who is bound by confidentiality.

While FDRIO encourages supervisors to mentor on a pro bono basis, what guidelines should supervisors follow if they wish to charge a fee?

IV.          The contract between the MIT and Supervisor will set out the circumstances and any requirements for fees to be paid.

V.          The practical experience plan must comply with the Ontario Employment Standards Act (ESA), meaning supervisors cannot require payment for services or work by the MIT that could be considered as work under the ESA, including but not limited to co-mediating and mediating cases.

VI.          An MIT may be asked for payment for the opportunity to observe, debrief and discuss files, either file of the supervisor or their own.

At FDRIO, we want to bridge the gap of MITs not having access to internships. By becoming a supervisor for the practical portion of an MIT’s journey to becoming a family mediator, it is an opportunity to pass on the knowledge and skills built from years of working in the field to an up-and-coming professional.

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