When an extended family, trying to raise a high-needs child runs into disagreements, mediators at a local DRC step in to help them resolve their conflicts. Here’s their story.


A recipe for disaster

Take one 10-year-old child with health and behavioral issues. Mix with several recent changes of residence. Add two parents attempting to raise the child from separate households, and four grandparents who are all equally concerned about the child’s success. As you might imagine, you end up with a contentious situation.

Mediation sessions open the lines of communication

One of the adults heard about using mediation to work through conflicts and contacted their local Dispute Resolution Center (DRC). The family agreed to meet together with a pair of trained volunteer mediators to discuss their situation. After two mediation sessions, the grandparents and parents cleared up many misunderstandings. They agreed that it would be in the best interests of the child for him to live with one set of grandparents, who were best able to provide needed stability.

Long-term success achieved

Mediators don’t usually know the long-term results of the agreements they help clients make, but in this case, one of the adults wrote a thank you letter to the DRC a year later. The letter shared that the child was thriving in his new living situation.

Mediation resolves many types of conflicts

Whether you’re coping with family issues, landlord/tenant conflicts, workplace or neighborhood disagreements or more, mediation can guide you through a process to reach a positive result. Check out Resolution Washington’s DRC directory to locate the center nearest you.