Benton Franklin Dispute Resolution Center

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[edit] General Information

  • Official name: Benton Franklin Dispute Resolution Center
  • Country: USA
  • City: Kennewick
  • Type of organization: Non-profit organization
  • Date of creation: 1998
  • Interests: Mediation - Training
  • Fields of expertise: Community, Family, Workplaces (…) Disputes

[edit] Description

The Benton Franklin Dispute Resolution Center is a community-based and court-approved mediation, dispute resolution and training services provider for Benton and Franklin counties in southeastern Washington State.

[edit] Mission

The Benton Franklin Dispute Resolution Center offers mediation, facilitation and conciliation services assisting those in conflict to reach mutually acceptable agreements. The Benton Franklin Dispute Resolution Center provides education and training to individuals, businesses, and organizations to enhance the skills necessary for managing and resolving conflict.

BFDRC was created in 1998 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit and tax-exempt corporation, located in Kennewick, Washington. The Center provides low cost mediation, dispute resolution and training services to the people and organizations of Benton and Franklin counties. The Center is governed by a nine member Board of Directors from throughout the community. As the Superior Court designated mediation provider, The Benton Franklin Dispute Resolution Center is funded through court filing fees, fees for services and contributions.

Mediation is rapidly becoming an integral part of their court system. Its purpose is to assist litigants and others in conflict to reach a mutually satisfactory resolution of their issues either without using the court system, or prior to a trial. The Center’s purpose is to provide high quality, low cost professional mediation and training services to the community.

Each of its mediators has completed a minimum of 40 hours of formal, classroom training, and a comprehensive written examination. New mediators always work under the guidance and supervision of experienced, certified mediators. In addition, those conducting family mediations have completed another 20 hours of Family Law instruction.

The Benton Franklin Dispute Resolution Center successfully mediates over 150 cases per year, with more than 80% of the people involved finding a satisfactory solution to the dispute. Most cases reached settlement in only one session, and almost all in just two sessions.

The Benton Franklin Dispute Resolution Center is simply a group of people who came together as area residents believing that there was a better way of resolving disputes than court or arbitration. Together they created a vision for what ought to be instead of what is, and theycontinue to work to create a vision of a community where disputes are settled in ways that leave everyone feeling that they have been heard and respected.

The Center’s mediators come from diverse backgrounds and reflect the makeup of the community. They are engineers, scientists, lawyers, teachers, counselors, ministers, students, professionals, homemakers, consultants, legal assistants, and so on.

Since BFDRC opened its doors in 1999, they have mediated in thousands of different situations with a voluntary settlement rate of approximately 80%. They have also made hundreds of presentations to community groups about ways to settle conflicts short of going to court.

Mediation is simply a non-adversarial conflict resolution process that is facilitated by neutral "mediators". The mediators are highly trained and experienced in dealing with conflict from the inside and usually are able to assist the participants in seeing each other in new ways and in finding long-lasting, mutually acceptable ways of settling the disagreement.

The mediators strive to create a "safe place" where the participants are both heard and respected by everyone and where it becomes safe to say what they truly need as opposed to the positions they have previously taken. The mediators are in essence experienced guides who know how conflict works and who can assist participants in lowering the barriers they have raised between each other to talk face to face in an effort to find common ground.

The mediators are neutral - they do not take sides in the dispute. Rather, they assist the participants to each express what they need to say, and to truly hear each other on a deeper level than has been the case during the heat of conflict. This allows the participants to repair damaged relationships at least to the point where they can work together for mutual goals.

There are many types of mediation. Their preferred type of mediation gets everyone who is part of the dispute into the same room. They find that the process makes it possible for people who have not been able to communicate to begin communicating very effectively, first through statements to the mediators and finally talking face to face with their "adversaries". The mediators guide each step of the process to assure that no one dominates or is left out of the discussions. They have found that the vast majority of their clients leave with not only a lasting agreement that they created, but feeling heard, respected, and satisfied with the process and the mediators.

[edit] What Mediation Is Not

  • Mediation is not arbitration where a neutral third party listens to the arguments of all and makes a final and binding ruling.
  • Mediation is not therapy or intended as therapy.
  • Mediation is not an involuntary process - no one can make you agree to anything and you can leave at any time.
  • Mediation is not fact-finding. While the mediators listen to the facts and consider your arguments, they do not then make recommendations to the parties. Any settlement you reach is by you and for you based on your needs.
  • Mediation is not an extension of the Court system. The mediators do not make recommendations to the Courts if you do not reach a voluntary settlement.

[edit] Contact

5219 W. Clearwater – Suite 11, Kennewick, WA 99336- USA

Phone: (509) 783-3325

Fax (509) 783-3449


Official Website

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