TOPEKA (FROM KCSL) -- The Kansas Children’s Service League (KCSL) Family Mediation Program is celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year. The program was developed to assist families with adolescents who were having school attendance or performance problems or were in conflict with their families.
Volunteer mediators, who have a minimum of 30 hours of Kansas Supreme Court Approved Mediation Training, have continuously offered this service to Topeka families since 1987. In 201,1 more than 85 families came to KCSL for mediation, either parent adolescent or parenting plan mediation.
Parent Adolescent Mediation is a solution based process that offers teens (ages 10-18) and their families a safe ground in order to learn better communication skills to reduce conflict in the home. By reducing conflict behaviors within the family, teens are often less apt to participate in truant behaviors or be influenced to use drugs, steal or become members of gangs. Resolving conflict often relieves stress for the parents as well, and allows them to perform more effectively at their job and at home.
One of the greatest benefits of the program is that the families make the decision on how to resolve the conflict so they aren’t left with a decision to make. The volunteer mediator guides the parties into reaching a decision by encouraging good communication, defining issues and guiding the possible solutions.
Coordinator Linda Laird has supervised the Family Mediation Program since 2003, and since then 400 families in the Topeka metro area have received services. “It is exciting to see the success of the program since I joined nearly 10 years ago. It’s a tremendous blessing to see all the lives touched by the work of the volunteers.”
As part of the Anniversary Celebration, KCSL would like to get in touch with the volunteers, coordinators and families that have participated in the program over the past 25 years. “We would truly enjoy hearing the stories of the families who have been through the process,” said Laird. All those who have participated in the program are encouraged to contact Linda Laird at (785) 215-6439.
The Anniversary celebration will take place on August 27th from 5:00-7:00pm, and feature the stories of volunteers and the lives they have touched. It will be held at the KCSL office, located at 3545 SW 5th Street, Topeka, KS. For more information about the Family Mediation Program contact the KCSL office at 274-3100 in Topeka.