Have questions about becoming a mediator?
Many people want to give back to their communities and wonder if becoming a mediator through Early Settlement would be a good "fit" for them.
Answers to Commonly Asked Questions
Q: How do I become a volunteer mediator with Early Settlement?
A: The first step in becoming a volunteer mediator is to complete the application form (see Forms page on this site for an application.) Upon acceptance into the program the prospective volunteer must complete a twenty hour basic training through Early Settlement. Following completion of basic training the volunteer will continue under supervision with the program director until certification is complete. The length of this supervision is dependent on the skill level of the trainee.
Q: What is the cost of training?
A: There is no cost for training as a volunteer mediator through Early Settlement. The volunteer is expected to make a commitment of completing a minimum of twenty clock hours to the program within two years. We certainly hope our volunteers will enjoy and find fulfillment in mediating and will choose to make mediating with Early Settlement a part of their lives.
Q: When and where are the trainings held?
A: The program director determines where and when trainings are held each year. Trainings for Cleveland County are held several times a year and generally take place at OU Law School. Volunteers will have the option of attending additional trainings in family and divorce mediation and permanency mediation with agreement of the program director.
Trainings are generally two or three days long. While all materials are provided for the trainee, each person must cover the cost of their own transportation and meals. Individuals driving in for the training from other counties may be reimbursed for transportation costs.
Q: How long is my commitment to the Early Settlement Program?
A: We are investing in our mediators through providing outstanding training in the classroom, in coaching sessions, and through continued supervision after training ends. In return for our investment in our mediators we hope they will decide to give back to both Early Setllement and the community for years to come. Volunteers commit to giving a minimum of twenty hours within two years to the program in exchange for the training. Many volunteers find mediation to be personally rewarding and have continued mediating with the program for many years!
Q: What if I've previously trained as a mediator, but not through Early Settlement?
A: While previous training in mediation can be very helpful, people who are interested in volunteer mediating through Early Settlement must complete their basic training through Early Settlement. Since there are various forms of mediation it is necessary to complete the Ealy Settlement training to produce consistency and quality throughout the program.
Q: Am I protected from legal action against me as a volunteer mediator?
A: Volunteers who operate under the Dispute Resolution Act and act in a manner consistent with program guidelines are protected. Certification and protection does not apply if a person is not mediating through the Early Settlement Program.
Q: Will completing training with Early Settlement allow me to start my own mediation business?
A: Certification through Early Settlement only covers the mediator while they are volunteering for Early Settlement. The certification does not cover a mediator who chooses to mediate outside of the program.
Other Questions? Contact the Early Settlement office formore information.