Dispute mediators honored at annual dinner

NORWICH – The Dispute Resolution Center’s annual volunteer appreciation dinner was held in Oneonta last week.

“Tonight is an evening to say thank you to all of you,” said Jennifer Morris, director of the Dispute Resolution Centers of Chenango, Delaware and Otsego counties.

There are two types of volunteers involved with the Dispute Resolution Center – mediators and court-appointed special assistants, also called CASAs. Mediators officiate an informal meetings between disputing parties. The mediator acts as a guide to help the parties come to a conclusion they agree upon. The mediator does not decide the outcome – the parties involved decide the solution. Those designated as CASAs are volunteers “specially trained to accept assignments as neutral parties by the county family court judges. Their role is to monitor court orders and report to the judge on the progress of the child.” These designees have a greater formality to their disputes and the results are made into court orders.

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