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Mediation Organizations Collaborate - News Details

Date: January 12, 2012

The Ontario Association for Family Mediation, “OAFM,” was established in 1982 as a not-for-profit association promoting mediation as a dispute resolution process in the resolution of family disputes. OAFM designates members who have met their education and experience criteria as Accredited Family Mediators, “AccFM.” Information about OAFM can be obtained on its website,

Richard W. Shields LL.B., M.A., LL.M., Ph.D., “Rick,” is a collaborative lawyer, family mediator, family arbitrator, and an ADR and Collaborative Practice trainer, whose practice is based in Hamilton, Ontario. He is the current president of OAFM.

The Ontario Collaborative Law Federation “OCLF” ( was established in 2001. It currently represents 18 groups of collaboratively-trained legal, family and financial professionals who support couples during separation and divorce without going to court.  The OCLF provides training and professional development opportunities for members, educates the public about the collaborative process, supports the formation of collaborative groups in Ontario, develops and promotes professional standards of practice, and represents collaborative practice and the 18 member groups to government and other organizations.
John Ferris, the president of Ontario Collaborative Family Law Federation  practises law in Creemore, Flesherton and Dundalk, Ontario in the areas of Collaborative Family Law, Mediation & Arbitration, Real Estate, and Wills and Estates. He has completed a Certificate in Dispute Resolution (York, 2002) and LL.M. (ADR) (Osgoode 2004) and is a qualified Collaborative Family Law Trainer and a Chartered Mediator. John has facilitated ADR and conflict resolution seminars and workshops in Ontario, Ethiopia, Thailand, India, Tanzania and Nigeria.  John is an active member and former president of the Collaborative Family Law Group of Grey-Bruce and a member of Collaborative Practice Simcoe County.

AFCC is the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts - an interdisciplinary and international association of more than 4000 members, including family law judges, lawyers, mental health professionals, social workers, mediators, court administrators and other professionals in the family justice system dedicated to the resolution of family conflict. The Ontario Chapter (AFCC-O) established about three years ago, is the first Canadian Chapter with more than 275 members. We share a strong commitment to education, innovation and collaboration to benefit communities, empower families and promote a healthy future for children. Please visit our website to learn more about us and see what we offer

Barbara Jo Fidler, Ph.D., C.Psych. Acc.FM. is a registered psychologist who has worked with separating and divorcing families for more than 28 years. She provides mediation, parenting coordination, consultation, expert testimony and therapy in Toronto. She is an author and provides professional training. She is the current president of AFCC-O. 

The ADR Institute of Ontario is a professional association of mediators and arbitrators with 850 members and four full-time staff. Established 25 years ago, the Institute accredits mediators and arbitrators, maintains Rules and a Code of Practice, markets the use of ADR and advocates for new mediation opportunities. We recently led a family law process reform project with the result that the Attorney General installed family information and mediations services in every family court in Ontario. Link:

Joyce M. Young, M.Sc., C. Med., Acc. F.M has been in private practice as a mediator, consultant, and trainer in conflict resolution for 25 years, and is the current President of the ADR Institute of Ontario. Joyce holds an Advanced Degree in Family Mediation from the University of Waterloo, and a Masters in Applied Behavioural Science. She is an Accredited Family Mediator with the (OAFM) and a Child Protection Roster Mediator. She is also a mediator at the Superior Court of Justice.

Family Mediation Canada/Médiation Familiale Canada (FMC) is the national association for conflict resolution and family mediation established in 1985. FMC is dedicated to the promotion of mediation while assisting families experiencing the stress of separation and divorce with conflict resolution. FMC members are an interdisciplinary group of professionals trained in family mediation - as neutral facilitators helping parties reach mutually acceptable agreements and facilitating communication between family members.  FMC members work collaboratively to create co-operative conflict resolution for the many issues related to separation and divorce such as; adoption, child welfare, military and diplomatic divorces, elder mediation, wills and estates, parent/teen, international family disputes, child abduction mediation and child protection issues.  Additionally, FMC supports the ongoing development of excellence and professionalism within its organization and in the practice of mediation.  FMC’s certification standards for family mediators are amongst Canada’s most stringent. 
Mary Damianakis is an FMC comprehensive certified family mediator specializing in cross border and child abduction mediation. Mary’s experience with Hague Convention work began in Europe and now continues in Canada. She is a PHD candidate interested in both cultural aspects with Hague Convention cases along with jurisdictional challenges that can be present in this growing and challenging area of family mediation.  Mary brings 25 years of experience in this field and is also IMI certified and a founding member of MBB.

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