Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center

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[edit] General Information

  • Official name: Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center
  • Country: USA
  • City: Bellingham
  • Type of organization: Non-profit organization
  • Date of creation: 1992
  • Interests: Conflict prevention - Mediation - Training
  • Fields of expertise: All types of Disputes

[edit] Description

[edit] Origin

The Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center (WDRC), a non-profit organization, has been serving Whatcom County since 1992.

[edit] Overview of Services

The WDRC offers conflict prevention and intervention services for businesses, organizations, individuals, and families. On a prevention level, the WDRC seeks to build the capacity of community members to better manage conflict as it arises, and to learn ways to minimize the possibility of it occuring. To this end, the WDRC offers trainings for young people and adults, all in an effort to build skills and reduce unproductive conflict.

Recognizing that conflict is a normal and natural part of life, and sometimes people and organizations need non-adversarial assistance, the WDRC also provides mediation, facilitation, and consultation services to those in need of some type of intervention.

[edit] Mission

The mission of the WDRC is to promote understanding, tolerance, and healing in our community by helping people transform conflict into creative and harmonious outcomes. To this end, the center will educate and train people in peaceful conflict resolution and provide competent and neutral third parties to mediate or otherwise empower disputants to resolve conflicts in equitable and cooperative ways.

[edit] Vision

For Whatcom County to be a community in which people deal with conflict in creative and healthy ways.

[edit] Type of Disputes that WDRC Mediates

  • Family
  • Neighborhood / Community Justice
  • Divorce / Property Settlement
  • Parenting Plans / Post Decree Modification
  • Commercial Claims
  • Intercultural
  • End of Life Issues
  • Youth
  • Small Claims Court Issues
  • Non-Marital Separation Issues
  • Anti-Harassment
  • Co-worker
  • ...and many other issues as well

[edit] Type of Mediation that the Dispute Resolution Use

  • The Dispute Resolution Center practices Interest-Based Mediation. This approach means that the mediators will assist parties in identifying all relevant issues and interests, and will work diligently to ensure that the process is equitable and satisfying. Agreements reached using this model are often durable and long lasting as the needs that all parties have in relation to the dispute are addressed as thoroughly as possible.
  • In addition, there are three primary mediation styles: facilitative, transformative, and evaluative. Facilitative and Transformative mediators typically have parties meet in the same room together, unless they specifically request separate rooms. Facilitative mediators' primary intention is to help the disputing parties communicate effectively with

one another and encourage the parties to develop their own resolutions. Transformative mediators pay particular attention to the relationship of the parties, and create opportunities for parties to change the way in which they interact with one another. Evaluative mediators almost never have parties meet together in the same room, and typically are more directive as they assist parties in negotiating. Evaluative mediators will often make recommendations to the parties about their agreements, and assess how those agreements might be perceived in a court of law (these assessments can impact the sense of neutrality).

  • Although each mediator has his/her own personality and uses many different techniques in any given mediation session, all of our mediators predominately practice the facilitative approach. The Dispute Resolution Center strongly believes, and research has shown, that the most durable and satisfactory agreements are ones that parties have collaboratively created themselves.

[edit] Training

The Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center offers a variety of conflict resolution and communication trainings. WDRC has regularly scheduled community trainings open to anyone that is interested. WDRC also offers trainings to businesses and organizations, as requested, and can customize their training to best meet their client’s needs.

[edit] Mediation Certification

The Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center offers a practicum for people interested in becoming certified mediators.

The WDRC upholds stringent standards for mediators-in-training, in order to ensure that the service our clients receive is high caliber and professional. The majority of their mediation services are offered by volunteers. All of their mediators have undertaken extensive training, been evaluated numerous times, and certified according to the standards set forth by the statewide Resolution Washington (association of dispute resolution centers) and the Washington Mediation Association (WMA). Their practicum is an approved WMA Practicum Program.

Students must apply to become part of the practicum program, and once admitted complete a series of observations of actual cases with certified mediators, co-mediations with certified mediators, and a certifying mock mediation which is evaluated by the Center's director and practicum supervisor. Their Family mediators have taken at least 24 additional hours of advanced training, and completed an additional practicum program. Many of their mediators also have backgrounds and experience in human resources, healthcare, education, and community planning, which enhance their skill sets and sensitivity to a variety of different types of disputes.

[edit] Contact

13 Prospect St., Ste. 201, Bellingham, WA 98225 - USA

Phone: (360) 676-0122

Fax: (360) 676-0783

Email: wdrc@whatcomedrc.org

Official Website

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