FAMILY SERVICES

Our Family Services Division is comprised of three distinct programs that stabilize families, keep them together and focus on the wellbeing of the children. The three programs are: The Family Empowerment Program, Multidimensional Family Therapy and the General Preventive Program. All three programs provide individual and family counseling, home visits as well as groups and workshops. We believe each family is unique and that each family member has strengths they can build upon to achieve their goals. Once families have been given the tools and knowledge they need to navigate through life, they will become self-sufficient.

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The Family Empowerment Program (FEP)

The Family Empowerment Program (FEP) cases are diverted from Queens Family Court and involve mediating issues regarding truancy, disrespectful behavior, experimental use of substances, and caregiver / child conflict. 

While participating in FEP, adolescents attend weekly group sessions that help to enhance their problem solving abilities and equips them to collaborate effectively with others during this three month, crisis intervention counseling program.

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Multi Dimensional Family Therapy (MDFT)

Multidimensional Family Therapy (MDFT) cases are diverted from Queens Family Court and include the following presenting problems truancy, disrespectful behavior, substance use, late hours, whereabouts unknown, aggressive behaviors, and gang involvement.

While participating in MDFT, an evidence based program, therapists provide a variety of home, office, and community based services to families within the 3-5 months’ length of service. Therapists also conduct random drug screens to the adolescent participants and utilize results in a therapeutic manner to decrease or eliminate drug use. MDFT focuses on behavioral changes not only with the adolescent, but also amongst the caregivers.

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General Preventive Program

General Preventive Program can include all of the above and the following presenting problems: child welfare involved cases (past or present) which may include abuse, neglect, inadequate supervision and/or discipline or households with needs for caregivers and children which may include housing, entitlements, homemaking and daycare. The General Preventive Program accepts referrals from a variety of sources, extends up to 12 months and works with families with children under the age of 18. The focus of this program can either be the caretaker’s behavior or child driven behaviors.

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YOUTH DEVELOPMENT

Our youth development services are based upon the core belief that positive development begins with both respect for others and empowerment of self. Each program empowers youth to reflect on themselves and their circumstances and to identify goals and strategies that will enable them to succeed. Our Youth Development services include numerous school based programs that allow those involved to acquire educational gains not obtained in classroom settings.

 

Working within the community and various NYC public schools, we provide support for students of all ages. With an eye toward the future our academic programs fully integrate the concept of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) activities. Our arts enrichment services have included the following activities: music, art, photography, dance, theatre, fashion design, martial arts etc. This focus provides students with learning opportunities that may not be accessible in their regular school curriculum.

 

Our academic activities help to improve students grades by supplementing what they are learning during the day as well as exposing them to new concepts. In addition to educational and arts activities, our catalog of programs include counseling, peer mediation, attendance improvement and dropout prevention, peer mentoring, restorative practices and youth leadership initiatives.

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YOUTH JUSTICE

Our Youth Justice programs are designed as an Alternative to Incarceration for young people between the ages of 13-24. Working with the juvenile and criminal justice systems, our programs are geared to provide intensive levels of support and skills building while keeping youth out of institutions. Our programs address five domain areas: education, goal setting, advocacy, family stability, job readiness and employment skills.

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Next STEPS

The Next STEPS Program serves young adults between the ages of 16 and 24 who reside in Queensbridge Housing Development in Long Island City, NY. This program offers one-on-one and group mentoring to disconnected high-risk youth. The Next STEPS program provides a forum for youth to identify changes they need to re-engage in educational initiatives and find meaningful employment that prepares them for their career interests.

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ARCHES

The Arches Transformative Mentoring Program helps young adults ages 16 to 24 transform their attitudes and behaviors that led to being placed on probation. Through group sessions, individual counseling and various other activities, youth involved in the Arches program are motivated to succeed and become productive citizens.

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Advocate Intervene Mentor (AIM) Program

The AIM Program provides intensive mentoring services, structure and support to youth and families residing in Southeast Queens. Participants are referred by a Family Court judge based on recommendations by the Department of Probation. Through individual and group activities, advocacy and community connections, this program helps to reduce crime and promote lifelong gains for youth involved in the justice system and their families. 

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MEDIATION SERVICES

Community Mediation Services, a leader in the field of conflict resolution, offers a number of specialized mediation programs and training courses. Services have been designed and tailored to fit each unique situation. The programs and services are available to Queens residents, businesses and institutions.

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Community Dispute Services (CDS)

CDS provides mediation services, free of charge, for Queens County residents. Disputes resolved through mediation include: family, neighbor, interpersonal elder care, civil court, community, housing, landlord-tenant, roommate, special education, juvenile delinquency, lemon law.

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Divorce Mediation

Divorce Mediation is a cost-effective way for litigants in the Supreme Court to resolve matrimonial disputes. The divorce mediator guides the parties in the process, addressing various ways to successfully dissolve a marriage and divide property in the State of New York. The complex nature of these cases requires the charge of an hourly rate determined by the combined income of the participants.

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Victim/Offender Youth Mediation Project

This program is based on the understanding that justice does not always adequately address the needs of victims, who may be left with emotional trauma that punishing offenders does not always alleviate. Conversely, arrests do not address the reasons why individuals commit offenses. Through victim/offender mediation, victims have the opportunity to face their offenders and state their feelings; the offenders have an opportunity to offer an apology and accept responsibility for their behavior.

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School-based Mediation & Restorative Justice

CMS mediation training for schools includes theoretical and practical aspects of the CMS Basic Mediation Training, tailored to the school experience and ages of the students. Participants who benefit from this training include staff, teachers, administrators, students, and parents. The training can be adjusted to train the various participants together or in groups, (e.g., students and teaching staff/administration). We also provide long term development programs for students.

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Peer Mediation

Peer mediation trains and supports students to serve as conflict resolvers and peace ambassadors within their own school communities. Peer mediators are often identified as leaders in the school and come from a variety of social and academic backgrounds. Often the most effective peer mediators are those students who have previously experienced conflict with teachers or other students.

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Restorative Justice/Circle Process

Restorative practices emphasize the significance of maintaining and cultivating community centered relationships through a shift in a community’s culture. The Circle Process is one such practice that brings together all parties involved in a conflict. Relationship and values are emphasized by the individual participants in repairing harm and bringing harmony back to the community.

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Assisting Children Through Transition (A.C.T.)

The A.C.T program educates divorcing or separating parents about the effect their separation has on their children. The program’s primary goal is to teach parents how to reduce stress resulting from relationship changes while protecting their children from the negative effects of parental conflict.

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SPECIALIZED EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS

SEP was originally created as an initiative to combat domestic violence. Our Batterer’s Intervention Program was designed with three goals in mind: hold batterers accountable for their actions, provide a vehicle for them to understand the impact of their actions and find healthy ways of managing conflict and emotional distress, and break the cycle of domestic violence.

Following the Duluth model, facilitators lead participants through a series of groups that delve into the ideology of power and control and teach strategies for effectively communicating with their relationship partner. Additional programs offered through SEP include Anger Management, Positive Parenting, Program Accountability, and Personal Choice.

Through these various educational programs, participants learn to recognize personal triggers and develop effective methods to manage conflict and emotional stress. All of the SEP programs utilize a group process with open enrollment. SEP is court approved and is recognized by the Queens District Attorney’s Office as a designated diversion and educational program. Groups are offered Monday-Saturday with classes scheduled during the day and evening. Enrollment is open to adults 18 and over. Programs are available in English and Spanish. *This is a fee for service program. A sliding scale is available for applicable participants.

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TRAINING INSTITUTE

Community Mediation Services has a long history of providing quality service within the education, youth development, conflict resolution and child welfare systems. We have court certified trainers in mediation and over 30 years of experience training with individuals and organizations throughout the state as well as internationally. Specific areas of training include: mediation, conflict resolution, peer mediation, restorative justice/circle process, effective communication, developing effective mentoring programs, violence intervention, prevention school-based programming, cognitive behavior interventions building a collaborative culture, and enhancing the customer experience.

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BASIC MEDIATION TRAINING

What is mediation?

Mediation is a process of facilitated conversation in which an impartial third party (the mediator) helps people in a dispute talk over their concerns and needs, brainstorm for solutions, and work towards a resolution that will work best for everyone concerned.  Mediation can help build the bonds of trust lost in the dynamics of conflict.

Who can be a mediator?

Mediators come from a variety of backgrounds. Your profession or education does not determine effectiveness as a skilled mediator… solid training, the right attitude, and lots of practice do! Our mediation training provides you with the building blocks you need to become a successful mediator.

How can you become a mediator?

Enroll in basic training basic mediation training, the five-day training is certified by the Office of Court Administration. Completion of the Basic Training and the Apprenticeship program is required to become a mediator for the Queens Mediation Network of Community Mediation Services. Basic Mediation Apprenticeship Upon completion of the basic mediation training, trainees will be eligible to apply to participate in a 13-week apprenticeship. Based upon individual schedules, apprentices will be offered the opportunity to develop their mediation skills in weekly 2 -3 hour mediations with a trained and experienced mediator/mentor. Participants will observe, co-mediate and mediate cases which are referred to the CMS center followed by a thorough feedback and debriefing. Apprentices will also be invited to attend the monthly in-services provided for all CMS mediators.

CMS is certified by the NYS Unified Court System’s Community Dispute Resolution Centers Program.

 

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CUSTODY - VISITATION MEDIATION TRAINING

Community Mediation Services Training Institute (CMSTI), a renowned training entity with more than 30 years of experience in the field of community and family mediation, announces its custody-visitation mediation training seminar. The Custody and Visitation Training is a specialized, two-day training. This course deals with mediating parental disputes by focusing on the needs of the children and the value and importance of the family.  Completion of the basic mediation training is required before taking this training.

Upon completion of basic mediation training, trainees will be eligible to apply to participate in a 13-week apprenticeship. Based upon individual schedules, apprentices will be offered the opportunity to develop their mediation skills in weekly 2-3 hour mediations with a trained and experienced mediator/mentor. Participants will observe, co-mediate and mediate cases which are referred to the CMS center followed by a thorough feedback and debriefing. Apprentices will also be invited to attend the monthly in-services provided for all CMS mediators.

This training has been approved by the New York State Continuing Legal Education Board for 16 CLE credits: Skills – 15; Ethics – 1.

CMS is certified by the NYS Unified Court System’s Community Dispute Resolution Centers Program.

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Divorce Mediation Training

This advanced training requires that participants have completed the 40-hour basic mediation training. The divorce mediation training consists of a sixteen hour training designed to teach mediators the areas required to mediate divorce disputes, including understanding applicable law, parenting plans, support issues, asset division, taxes and writing memorandums of understanding. This interactive training offers exercises and role plays to enhance existing skills and exposure to the material provided in the training modules.

CMS is certified by the NYS Unified Court System’s Community Dispute Resolution Centers Program.

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Mediation Apprenticeship Program

Upon completion of the Basic Mediation Training, trainees are offered the opportunity to participate in a structured mediation practicum under the tutelage of an experienced mentor. Successful completion of this program is a prerequisite to becoming a volunteer mediator at Community Mediation Services, Inc.

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