Professional Family Mediation Organisation launched in US

Practitioners of the Family Mediation field in the US have recently come together to form a new national professional membership organisation – the Academy of Professional Family Mediators.

The founding board members of APFM have released the following letter of invitation to all practising family mediators:

Academy of Professional Family Mediators

Academy of Professional Family Mediators
3600 American Blvd West, Suite 105
Minneapolis, MN 55431

March 13, 2012

Dear Professional Family Mediation Colleagues,

Returning to our roots, Family Mediators have come together and have chosen to form a new organization of our own, the Academy of Professional Family Mediators.

As a national organization, APFM will be in an excellent position to cast wide-reaching and aggressive marketing strategies designed to enhance our members’ mediation practices and client bases.  No longer will Family Mediation be the best kept secret in the world!  APFM will embrace current media marketing methods that include effective social media strategies, actively utilizing radio, internet and focused television advertising opportunities and seeking NPR underwriting to encourage those involved in family conflict to choose mediation. Additional resources will be provided for disseminating pertinent information to referral sources and potential mediation clients.

Our vision extends far beyond the initial arena of divorce mediation. This includes the mediation of a range of conflicts within intact families, involving all levels of intergenerational conflicts, such as elder-care and family business disputes. It also included other types of family disputes, such as those in real estate transactions, home renovation and construction, and conflicts involving non-traditional families, such as same sex couples and grandparent adoptions. At the time of merger, our journey toward creating a recognized and respected profession of mediation was well on its way.

In the spirit of our continued passion for the field and with the credibility of our leadership positions, we intend to promote a professional venue where efficiency and support operate at the highest of standards. Ours is a new and different organization with a very different purpose; we are focused entirely on the practice of Family Mediation as a profession. While we will continue to support the broader field of conflict resolution and cooperate with those practitioners in other arenas  by both contributing to and learning from the many professionals now active in the field, we cannot give up our own pursuit for a common goal— to create a recognized and respected profession of Family Mediation.

The Academy of Professional Family Mediators is formed as a professional membership organization of practicing family and divorce mediators. The membership brings together the collective wisdom of advanced mediation practitioners, researchers and educators. There will be various levels of membership, ranging from levels for new mediators to levels for those who have practiced for twenty-five years or more, and we are developing a competency-based certification process for Family Mediators that will guide a member from entry into the field through certification.

To achieve wide-ranging credibility and respect, we will establish a premier family and divorce mediation education program that will fulfill the criteria for an accreditation designation. This program will include a full curriculum, along with a practicum series for family and divorce mediation practice, and will delineate the experience and continuing education requirements and ethical standards needed for accreditation.  While the old Academy of Family Mediators’ designation of “Advanced Practitioner” will be continued under a slightly modified “Professional Mediator” designation, our current vision is to establish a more advanced level of accreditation which will require meeting the criteria for more comprehensive education and experience, based on core required competencies (with credit for substantial alternate education, training, and experience).

To lead the field as an educational organization, the Academy of Professional Family Mediators (APFM) will serve as a repository and source for a complete mediation education curriculum, including a professional quality newsletter, a professional journal developed in partnership with a college or university, a digital library of in