Frequently Asked Questions
What is mediation?
Mediation is voluntary and confidential process that provides the opportunity to have difficult conversations. Neutral mediators assist parties in finding lasting win-win solutions. In the mediation process, people speak for themselves and make their own decisions. For more information, check out Our Work and About Us.
How much does mediation cost?
Mediations through Baltimore Community Mediation Center are provided at no cost to participants.
Is Baltimore Community Mediation Center a government agency?
No. BCMC is a non-government 501(c3) non-profit organization.
What is Baltimore Community Mediation Center's relationship with Community Mediation Maryland?
BCMC, along with over a dozen other community mediation centers around the state, is a member of Community Mediation Maryland (CMM). CMM is a separate 501(c)3 non-profit organization that provides support services to member organizations. There is no hierarchical relationship between BCMC and CMM. See more information about CMM on the organization's website.
Is legal advice provided?
No. BCMC mediators are completely neutral and non-judgmental. They do not provide any legal advice or suggestions during the mediation process. Their job is to ensure that participants feel heard and to facilitate a resolution process.
What are mediators' qualifications?
BCMC mediators must complete over 45 hours of inclusive-model classroom instruction before being allowed to mediate cases. Each mediator must also complete an apprenticeship process, with a goal of being a certified mediator, in addition to attending continuing education (CE) in-services.
What mediation model is used?
BCMC practices the Inclusive Mediation Model.
How can I refer someone to mediation?
Please take advantage of our online mediation request form here. You can also call or visit BCMC anytime from 9am-5pm Monday through Friday and speak to a staff member to begin the process of setting up the mediation. It is helpful to notify the individual that you will be referring them to BCMC, but it is not required.
Who are your partners?
Our partners include government agencies, the Office of the State's Attorney, non-profit organizations, private practitioners, individual community members, community / neighborhood organizations, Baltimore City Public Schools, faith-based organizations, Baltimore Police Department, the Civilian Review Board, Maryland Home Improvement Commission, and correctional facilities. A full list of partners will be loaded onto the website soon.
What is the role of the mediators?
Our mediators believe in and adhere to the MD Standards of Conduct for Mediators and Community Mediations's 10-Point Model. Both are rooted in principles of neutrality, confidentiality, and self-determination during the process. Our mediators listen as you explain the issues of the conflict, ask questions to help you and the other person clarify and understand the issues, guide you through a process to develop solutions, and assist you in writing up an agreement that works for everyone involved.
How is appropriateness for mediation determined?
Prior to the mediation being scheduled, mediation coordinators conduct intake with mediation participants. During these initial intake conversations, coordinators will complete a safety screening. During this safety screening, they ask a variety of questions to ensure that participants can speak freely for themselves during the mediation without any fear of retaliation from the other participant(s). If there is any fear of retaliation, danger, or harm, the mediation coordinators would consider the situation inappropriate for services.
How are you funded?
BCMC is funded by grantors, private donors, fundraising, and trainings. Our largest grantor is the Maryland Judiciary's Mediation and Conflict Resolution Office (MACRO). If you're interested in becoming a funder or donor, refer to our How You Can Help page.
What services do you provide?
BCMC provides no-cost mediation and facilitation services to the community. Staff members also provide free presentations to educate the community on our services.
Additionally, we BCMC provides large group facilitation and conflict resolution trainings to organizations and businesses at a cost. Stay on the lookout for Our Services page for more information.
If you’re interested in requesting a mediation, use the Mediation Request Form. If you’re interested in a presentation, training, or large group facilitation, call the office at 410-467-9165 or contact us here.
What does your programming look like?
BCMC's programming includes the General Community Mediation, Criminal Justice Mediation (Re-Entry Mediation, Police Community Mediation, the Office of the States Attorney Mediation) and Schools Mediation. For more information on these programs, refer to the Our Programs page.
How long does it take to get a mediation scheduled?
Typically, mediations are scheduled within 7-10 business days after speaking to the last participant in the mediation.
How do I schedule a mediation?
To schedule a mediation, you can utilize the online mediation request form here. You can also call, or visit BCMC anytime from 9am-5pm Monday through Friday and speak to a staff member to begin the process of setting up the mediation.
What types of mediations are offered?
We mediate anything! As long as participants have no fear of retaliation and there are no recent incidents of domestic violence involved between participants. Please refer to Our Programs page for more examples of situations appropriate for mediation.
How do I become a mediator?
Refer to the Volunteer Your Time page for next steps towards becoming a volunteer mediator.
When is your training?
We conduct at least one in-service training per month, at least five speciality trainings annually and our Basic Mediation Training is offered as needed.
How can I/my organization partner with Baltimore Community Mediation Center?
We would love to partner with you! Please go to the Partner with Us page to notify us if you are interested in a partnership. Our Community Intake Coordinator will reach out to you to discuss partnership options.
Where do mediations happen?
We believe that conflicts should be resolved in the neighborhoods where they happen so accessibility is as important to us as it is to you. We schedule mediations in neighborhoods where disputes occur. We also work with participants to find a place that is convenient for them to hold the mediation session.
What time can I have a mediation?
We conduct non-school mediations every day of the week between 9am until 7pm. School mediations occur during the academic year as early as 8:30 a.m.
Is your space open for use?
BCMC prides itself in being a grassroots organization and a hub for meetings, resources and other community-led efforts. We provide space utilization for community events to individuals and organizations for a nominal fee. Contact the center at 410-467-9165 for more details.