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Research supports family mediation services.



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JOINT NEWS RELEASE

 

ATTORNEY-GENERAL

THE HON. DARYL WILLIAMS AM QC MP

 

MINISTER FOR FAMILY AND COMMUNITY SERVICES

SENATOR THE HON. JOCELYN NEWMAN

 

4 March, 1999

Research supports family mediation services

 

A high level of interest in community-based medi ation services has been identified in a series of reports released jointly today by Attorney General Daryl Williams and Family and Community Services Minister, Senator Jocelyn Newman.

 

The reports were commissioned by the Attorney General’s Department and are now the portfolio responsibility of Senator Newman under the expanded Department of Family and Community Services.

 

The reports show that although public awareness of community-based mediation services is low, interest is high in learning more about the services available.

 

“Recognising that mediation is less costly, less traumatic and often a very effective way to resolve disputes, the Government is committed to diverting people away from litigation and towards mediation, where it is appropriate,” said Mr Williams.

 

Senator Newman agreed that prevention of relationship breakdown was greatly preferable to responding to the resulting damage.

 

“This Government is committed to keeping relationships and families together and this research reinforces the importance of that goal,” said Senator Newman.

 

The reports released today are:

 

·   Family and Child Mediation Survey (A C Nielsen)

 

·   Use of and Attitudes to Mediation (Dennis Muller and Associates)

 

·   Child Inclusive Practice in Family and Child Counselling and Mediation (Strategic Partners)

 

One of the reports shows that people who were not aware of mediation services at the time of their separation or divorce felt that they might have been better off, in terms of cost, fairness of outcomes and access to info rmation, had they used family and child mediation to resolve their issues.

 

Another showed that parents whose children were directly involved in “child-inclusive mediation” reported that their children were happier, and there was less conflict over arrangements for their children.

 

The reports are available on the Department of Family and Community Services website at www.facs.gov.au or in hard copy by phoning Ms Lee Emerson (02) 6250 5565.

 

Media contact: Nicholas Harford (02) 6277 7300 Richard Wilson (02) 6277 7560

 

 

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