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Framingham Court Mediation (MetroWest Mediation Services)

 600 Concord Street
 Framingham, MA 01702
[P] (508) 872-9495
[F] (508) 872-9764
www.metrowestmediationservices.org
[email protected]
Tal Lieber
INCORPORATED: 1981
 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 04-2710084

LAST UPDATED: 01/30/2015
Organization DBA Framingham Court Mediation Services, Inc.
Former Names Framingham Court Mediation Services, Inc. (1979)
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No

Summary

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Mission StatementMORE »

 The mission of MetroWest Mediation Services is to provide mediation and conflict resolution education as early intervention methods for resolving disputes, reducing violence and increasing the safety and well-being of MetroWest residents.

Mission Statement

 The mission of MetroWest Mediation Services is to provide mediation and conflict resolution education as early intervention methods for resolving disputes, reducing violence and increasing the safety and well-being of MetroWest residents.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year July 01, 2011 to June 30, 2012
Projected Income $80,000.00
Projected Expense $84,597.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Community Mediations
  • Conflict Resolution & Mediation Training
  • District Court Mediations
  • Family & Divorce Mediations

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2011 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2010 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2009 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Overview

Mission Statement

 The mission of MetroWest Mediation Services is to provide mediation and conflict resolution education as early intervention methods for resolving disputes, reducing violence and increasing the safety and well-being of MetroWest residents.

Background Statement

MWMS was founded in 1979 with a grant from the Justice Foundation and incorporated in 1981. The goal of the founders was to provide residents of MetroWest with an alternative to the courts—a place where they could resolve difficult issues in an effective and respectful way with the help of specially trained community members. Today, MWMS recruits, trains, mentors and supervises community volunteers who provide free mediation services for all persons appearing for small claims (civil cases up to $7,000), minor criminal and summary process (housing & eviction) cases in the Natick, Framingham, Marlboro and Concord District Courts. Volunteer mediators with 20-40 additional hours of specialized training provide low-cost divorce mediations and up to 6 hours of free mediation for custody, parenting and visitation issues through the Parent Mediation Program of the Massachusetts Office of Public Collaboration (formerly MODR). From the beginning, it has been the policy of MWMS that no one is ever turned away from services for inability to pay.


Impact Statement

In FY 2011, MWMS staff and volunteers offered free mediation services  to all persons appearing at 290 small claims & summary process (eviction) sessions in the Framingham, Concord, Marlboro & Natick District Courts.
Volunteers and staff completed 255 court mediations; 7 community mediations (disputes among neighbors/friends) and 29 family/custody mediations including referrals from the Middlesex Juvenile Court & the Middlesex Probate Court.
Volunteers and staff served 821 MetroWest residents of whom 38% had family incomes less than $41,795. Twenty-seven percent were persons of color.
MWMS participated in the Parent Mediation Program of the Mass. Office of Dispute Resolution (MODR) offering six hours of free mediation services to MetroWest parents facing custody/visitation or parenting issues.
No one was ever turned away from MWMS for inability to pay.
MWMS staff recruited, trained, mentored and supervised 30 community mediation volunteers.
This year, MWMS will offer services at 290-300 court sessions, complete 290 mediations serving 800-900 MetroWest residents.
MWMS will recruit and train 10 new community mediation volunteers.
MWMS will continue to be an integral part of the Attorney General's Face to Face Mediation Program and the Parent Mediation Program.
 

Needs Statement

1. Until October 2008, MWMS received half its funding from the Massachusetts Trial Court. That year the Trial Court was forced to withdraw all funding state-wide from community mediation because of budget cuts. MWMS must raise $35,000 in addition to grants from the Attorney General's Office and the Mass. Bar Foundation in order to balance its budget.
2. MWMS needs another $10,000 above the current budget to restore the Executive Director to full-time and to add a fourth day for the Case Coordinator.
3. MWMS needs $10,000 to hire a part-time staff person to do outreach in the community to increase the number of paying cases. Ninety-seven percent of MWMS cases must be offered free of charge under grant and court rules. Increasing the number of paying cases would help the MWMS bottom line even though all paying cases are on a sliding scale according to the parties' income.
4. MWMS needs $5000 to rent training space and pay for advertising for fee producing mediation training cases.

CEO Statement

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Board Chair Statement

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Geographic Area Served

METROWEST REGION, MA

MWMS serves the following municipalities: Acton, Ashland, Bedford, Carlisle, Concord, Framingham, Holliston, Hopkinton, Hudson, Lexington, Lincoln, Marlboro, Maynard, Natick, Sherborn, Stow, Sudbury and Wayland

Organization Categories

  1. Human Services -
  2. -
  3. -

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)

Yes

Programs

Community Mediations

MWMS offers mediation to members of the community as an alternative to going to court. Specially trained volunteer mediators are available for mediating issues involving elder care, neighborhood disputes, girlfriend-boyfriend, business, parent-teen and consumer disputes. No one is ever turned away from MWMS for inability to pay. In fact 97% of all MWMS mediations are offered free of charge.
Budget  10,000
Category  Human Services, General/Other
Population Served Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens Adults Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Program Short-Term Success 
Almost all of the community cases settle to the satisfaction of the parties at a fraction of the cost of a litigated result. Parties feel empowered by their ability to resolve their own disputes without outside authority.
Program Long-Term Success 
MWMS offers mediation as an early intervention method for resolving disputes, reducing violence and increasing the safety and well-being of MetroWest residents. Parties in mediation learn new techniques for peaceful and effective problem-solving.
Program Success Monitored By 
Parties are asked to complete an evaluation of the mediation process and the work of the mediators at the end of each session. Ninety-five percent of all respondents to the evaluation report satisfaction with the process and the respectfulness and neutrality of the mediators. MWMS collects demographic information on the parties, the outcome of the mediations and follow-up data when available on fulfillment of the agreement terms.
Examples of Program Success 
Adult siblings living in several states met at MWMS to mediate issues concerning the care of their aged father. The calm and respectful actions of the mediators helped the parties lay aside long-standing issues among the siblings and focus on the best interests of their father. After several hours, the siblings had an effective plan for necessary immediate care and an agreement on how to research and choose a long-term solution for the care of their Dad.
Neighbors in a large condominium complex had been calling the management and the police to complain about noise coming from a particular apartment. The volunteer mediators were able to help all the parties, including the management team,  forge an agreement about hours and types of noises and a safe and effective procedure for registering complaints directly with the "noisy" neighbor.

Conflict Resolution & Mediation Training

MWMS' Basic Training in Mediation & Conflict Resolution is a 36-hour training program which is conducted by a highly qualified and experienced team of trainers who are also mediation practitioners. Through MWMS, students are trained pursuant to the Massachusetts SJC Uniform Rules of Dispute Resolution.
Skills developed include: creating a positive climate for settlement; mediator behavior/neutrality; ethical issues; confidentiality; listening, fact finding & observing behavior; stage of the mediation process; phrasing remarks; exploring options; transfer of information; settlement strategies & writing agreements.
MWMS staff is also available to design and lead conflict resolution skills trainings for businesses, schools and social services.
MWMS is a leader in peer mediation training for middle and high schools.
Budget  5,000
Category  Education, General/Other
Population Served Adults College Aged (18-26 years) Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Program Short-Term Success 
Graduates of the 36 hour Basic Mediation course fulfill the requirements of MGL chapeter 233, section 23c (Confidentiality of Communications Statute) which protects the confidentiality of mediations. They can also earn CEUs and Education PDPS and may be eligible to volunteer for MWMS.
Program Long-Term Success 
Participants in the Basic Mediation course report changes in the way they interact with their families, friends and work colleagues. They learn new ways of listening to others. They also learn the value of helping others work through their problems rather than giving them advice. Participants in conflict resolution presentations take home specific skills and techniques to improve communication and problem-solving.
Program Success Monitored By 
Participants in training courses and skills workshops are asked to complete evaluations at the end of the courses. Throughout the course, the trainers  evaluate the students' performances and then prepare final written evaluations.
Examples of Program Success 
Participant comments: "The course exceeded my expectations. The design and delivery are top notch, and I have a new level of skill as a listener, coach, and facilitator."
"The team teaching environment kept the sessions exciting and fast paced."
"The training staff could not be better..."
"The course was well designed and helped me understand much more about myself and the process."
"You did a great job--I enjoyed it! I'm a better person for it."

District Court Mediations

Free mediations for all persons appearing in the Concord, Natick, Marlboro & Framingham District Courts for small claims (civil cases up to $7,000) and summary process (eviction) cases. Parties are offered medation as an alternative to trial. Mediations are voluntary and confidential. The specially trained volunteer mediators are neutral third parties who manage a structured process that helps parties vent their frustrations and brainstorm solutions. If parties reach agreement, the mediators write up the agreement which is then approved by the court.

 
Budget  $60,000.00
Category  Human Services, General/Other
Population Served Adults Elderly and/or Disabled College Aged (18-26 years)
Program Short-Term Success 
Parties in mediation reach agreement in 60% of mediated cases. Mediated agreements have a higher rate of fulfillment than court imposed solutions.
Program Long-Term Success 
The District Court Mediation program reduces court dockets by reducing the number to trials. Mediation helps residents resolve their problems in a safe and effective manner and models appropriate problem-solving methods improving the safety and well-being of MetroWest residents.
Program Success Monitored By 
MWMS keeps data on cases referred, cases mediated, number of agreements, agreements kept, and party demographics. Parties are offered an evaluation form at the end of the mediation which asks about their satisfaction with the process and with the mediators' work. The mediators also evaluate their performance after each mediation.
Examples of Program Success 
Ninety-five percent of all parties completing evaluations report satisfaction with the mediation process. Sample cases include: immigrant workers seeking back pay from a contractor who wasn't paid for the job reached an agreement for payment of wages over time; a mother, the victim of domestic abuse, was able to avoid eviction through an agreement with her landlord; a homeowner and a landscaper reached an agreement on payment for services rendered.
Party comments: "It's a civilized way of straightening out misunderstandings..."
"The lines of communication were better. I think we both understood each other's point of view better. The mediators were very professional and took no sides." "Saved time for all parties and was a much nicer environment than the courthous. It was an overall great experience."

Family & Divorce Mediations

Specially trained volunteer mediators offer divorce mediations on a sliding scale according to the parties' income. No one is ever turned away for inability to pay. Through the Parent Mediation Program, MWMS mediators can offer up to six hours of free mediation for custody, visitation and parenting issues to Massachusetts residents with no income guidelines. MWMS also is approved to receive referrals from the Middlesex Probate & Family Court and the Middlesex Juvenile Court.
 
Divorce mediation offers parties an opportunity to sit down with specially trained neutral third parties who guide them through all the financial, emotional and child-oriented issues necessary to get a divorce in Massachusetts. MWMS mediators have 20-40 hours of divorce mediation training as well as basic mediation training and experience. They do not act as attorneys to the parties but help them make agreements which can then be the basis of the formal Separation Agreement.
 
MWMS is the only agency offering divorce on a sliding scale in MetroWest.
Budget  10,000
Category  Human Services, General/Other
Population Served Adults Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens College Aged (18-26 years)
Program Short-Term Success 
A mediated divorce costs a fraction of a litigated divorce. While attorneys may be present throughout the mediation, most parties hire an attorney only to give them advice as they go through the process and to review the formal Separation Agreement. Only one party needs to hire an attorney to prepare the Separation Agreement based on the Memorandum of Understanding prepared by the mediators.
Program Long-Term Success 
Parties who mediate their divorces are increase their ability to work together in a respectful and effective manner. This is especially important for parents who will need to collaborate in raising their children after divorce. Parties in mediation have control over the pace of mediation and do not have to file in court until they have reached agreement.
Program Success Monitored By 
All parties in divorce mediation are offered an evaluation form at the end of the mediation. Those parties who use the Parent Mediation Program also receive a telephone follow-up several weeks after their last session. The mediators also complete evaluation forms after each session.
Examples of Program Success 
A couple in mediation were able to work out agreements about where their children would live while one of the parties left the state to find work. They also were able to make financial agreements for the time that parent would be away as well as for the period after the divorce. With the help of the mediators, the couple was able to focus on the best interests of their children despite a fairly dire financial situation and a disintegrating marriage. And they were able to make contingent arrangements in their agreement in case the job seeker was not successful. The parties felt empowered by being able to walk through such a complex situation without having to ask an outsider (judge) to make the decisions for them.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Management


CEO/Executive Director Susan C. Ostberg Esq.
CEO Term Start May 2008
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience
Executive Director, Susan Ostberg, is a member of the Massachusetts Bar and a graduate of Harvard Law School who has been a volunteer and/or staff member for community mediation for 21 years. Ms. Ostberg is fluent in Spanish and is an experienced divorce mediator.
Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Janice O'Keefe Case Coordinator --

Awards

Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --

Affiliations

Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? No
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
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Collaborations

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CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Foundation Comments

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Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 1
Number of Part Time Staff 1
Number of Volunteers 30
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % --

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 0
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 2
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 2
Male: 0
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers --
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Business Continuity of Operations Plan --
Organization Policies And Procedures Under Development
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes
State Registration --

Risk Management Provisions

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Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Bi-Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Bi-Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually

Governance


Board Chair Carl Solomont Esq.
Board Chair Company Affiliation Bingham, McCutcheon, LLP
Board Chair Term Oct 2008 -
Board Co-Chair Robert Smith Esq.
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation Suffolk University Law School
Board Co-Chair Term Mar 2012 -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Peter Altieri Bose Corporation Voting
Suzanne Aymes Family Services of Central Mass. Voting
Brian Blancke Phd. Vantage Partners Voting
Gerard Desilets South Middlesex Opportunity Council Voting
Alan Finkel Esq. Law Office of Alan Finkel Voting
Melinda Milberg Esq. Law Office of Melinda Milberg Voting
Charles Murphy CPA retired Voting
Scott Nathan Esq. Law Office of Scott Nathan Voting
Robert Smith Esq. Suffolk University Law School Voting
Carl Solomont Esq. Bingham McCutchen LLP Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
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Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
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Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
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Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 10
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 2
Male: 8
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths --
Board Term Limits --
Board Meeting Attendance % --
Written Board Selection Criteria Under Development
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions --
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions --
Constituency Includes Client Representation No

Standing Committees

  • --
  • Board Governance
  • Finance

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Foundation Comments

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Financials


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2011 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2010 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2009 (%)

Fiscal Year July 01, 2011 to June 30, 2012
Projected Income $80,000.00
Projected Expense $84,597.00
Form 990s

2011 990

2010 990

2009 990

Audit Documents --
IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2011 2010 2009
Total Revenue $99,123 $104,931 $119,841
Total Expenses $108,745 $102,202 $106,555

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2011 2010 2009
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$52,436 $61,736 $35,803
Government Contributions $30,000 $33,000 $78,731
    Federal -- -- --
    State $30,000 $33,000 $78,731
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $7,825 $5,580 $3,625
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $8,862 $4,615 $1,682
Investment Income, Net of Losses -- -- --
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events -- -- --
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other -- -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2011 2010 2009
Program Expense $92,433 $84,006 $87,172
Administration Expense $16,312 $18,196 $19,383
Fundraising Expense -- -- --
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 0.91 1.03 1.12
Program Expense/Total Expenses 85% 82% 82%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 0% 0% 0%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2011 2010 2009
Total Assets $74,215 $96,448 $92,327
Current Assets $74,215 $96,448 $92,327
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Current Liabilities $10,167 $22,778 $21,386
Total Net Assets $64,048 $73,670 $70,941

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2011 2010 2009
1st (Source and Amount) Mass. Bar Foundation $31,000.00
Mass. Bar Foundation $35,000.00
Massachusetts Trial Court $52,555.00
2nd (Source and Amount) Office of the Attorney General $30,000.00
Office of the Attorney General $33,000.00
Massachusetts Bar Foundation $30,000.00
3rd (Source and Amount) Sudbury Foundation $10,000.00
Local Foundations $20,000.00
Office of the Attorney General $26,176.00

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy N/A
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? --

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? --

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2011 2010 2009
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 7.30 4.23 4.32

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2011 2010 2009
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in charts and graphs are per the organization's IRS 990s. 

Documents


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.

Impact

The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.


1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?

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2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

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3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?

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4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?

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5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?

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