The Place of Family Mediation as a Form of Support and Protection of Children’s Rights in Social Assistance Activities

Joanna Rajewska de Mezer

OBJECTIVES: The purpose of the work is to show the importance of mediation, which is a form of conflict resolution, as a tool of social work with the beneficiary in the case of divorce and the need to protect children’s wellbeing.
THEORETICAL BASE: Mediation is a form of extrajudicial conflict resolution allowing the participants to present arguments, work out a satisfying solution (in case of divorce) and protect and stabilise a child’s situation.
METHODS: Publications, statistical data, and legal acts regulating the conditions for providing assistance in regulating the legal situation of a child to divorcing families and the possibility of using mediation in social work with families were examined.
OUTCOMES: Mediation proceedings are often taken up in the context of social assistance and are proposed as a form of extrajudicial dispute resolution in family cases. Institutions of the social assistance in Poland offer clients a free-of-charge mediation proceedings that can be used by clients dealing with family problems.
SOCIAL WORK IMPLICATIONS: The interpersonal dimension of mediation is important for community social work as it makes it possible to find alternative ways of conflict resolution between family members. Mediation allows support based on activating people for self-help (subsidiarity principles).

family mediation, mediation in social assistance, child’s good, family conflict, conflict resolution