The Yukon Family Mediation Service, funded by the Government of Canada’s Canadian Family Justice Fund, has been granted a two-year extension.
The free service is an alternative to court that helps parents resolve child-related matters when separating or divorcing. The Yukon Family Mediation Service works closely with the nearby Family Law Information Centre to support parents who are willing to work together to make decisions about parenting arrangements and the ongoing needs of children after separation or divorce.
Since the program began in April 2018, more than 200 mediation or coaching files have been opened, representing more than 396 adults and more than 500 children. These services have helped all Yukon communities that have requested support. The new funding allows for an online mediation pilot service and more travel to rural communities, as well as for connection with the Indigenous peacemaking community so that the Yukon Family Mediation Service can attempt to integrate services to families going through conflict.
Mediation can provide a no cost, low-stress alternative to court for parents who want to preserve their co-parenting relationship, do not have financial resources, or do not want to be involved with court. Often, parents can also reach agreement on simple outstanding financial issues. The resulting document can be formalized by a court order or a signed legal separation agreement.
The Yukon Family Mediation Service has been supporting Yukoners with children going through separation or divorce since April 2018, offering free mediation and improving access to family justice. Our government is very pleased with the program extension that has been granted thanks to the Canadian Family Justice Fund.
Minister of Justice Tracy-Anne McPhee
I am thrilled to have additional mediator capacity, on-line mediation and modest administrative support included in the funding extension. Having the high numbers of parents and grandparents accessing the program means to me that Yukoners really want to have a more peaceful and less adversarial way of resolving family matters, and want to keep out of the courts when they separate or divorce, if it is possible.
Pat Bragg, Yukon Family Mediation Service
Funding for the project came from the Canada Family Justice Fund-Projects, which supports the development, implementation and evaluation of provincial and territorial innovative family justice services and programs.
The Yukon Family Mediation Service has established an advisory committee that includes the judiciary, Family and Children’s Services, Victim Services, the Council of Yukon First Nations, Women’s Legal Advocate, the Law Society, Legal Aid, the Child Development Centre and Mediation Yukon. This advisory committee has been very helpful in promoting the service and providing input and advice to Yukon Family Mediation Service. The family mediation pilot project, which includes an evaluation component, is supported by the Yukon judiciary and other stakeholders.
Clients can contact the service directly or be referred by a lawyer, the Family Law Information Centre or any agency. A formal referral is not required.