Mediation and advocacy have different meanings

26th September 2008 at 01:00

Regarding your news item on September 5, "Cash injection could add fuel to mediation fire", we would like to clarify that the piece was about "advocacy" services receiving funding. It was misleading to use the word "mediation" in the headline, as the two are very distinct and different processes.

A parental advocate is someone who supports, acts and intercedes on behalf of parents. A mediator works impartially with both sides in a dispute, in an attempt to help them reach an agreement.

It is important that anyone who needs advocacy or independent mediation understands these differences so they can decide, and then access, the appropriate route for their situation.

Both processes can have huge benefits when used appropriately and at the relevant time for anyone in a difficult situation.

As parents now have a right to both mediation and advocacy, it is imperative that they have accurate information which allows them to make informed choices. For further information T 0845 123 2303

Sandra Mitchell, mediation manager, RESOLVE: ASL Mediation Services

Morag Steven director, Common Ground Mediation.

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