In May the CDR was pleased to provide a customized training in Family Group Decision-Making (also known as Family Group Conferencing) for child welfare professionals in Missouri.
This training, offered in Branson, MO, was sponsored by the Healthy Families Taskforce. Attendees included Children’s Division staff, Juvenile Officers, Guardian Ad Litems, CASA staff, and judges, mainly from Stone and Taney counties.
Family Group Decision-Making (FGDM) brings a family together with their relatives, friends, and other supportive people in their lives to take part in a family group conference so they can develop a plan to support an individual who is struggling and/or ensure the well-being of the children involved. Family group decision-making helps develop and strengthen a family’s support network, significantly benefiting the children and their family groups while putting the family at the center of decision-making as they create plans that fit their unique circumstances.
In April 2016 the CDR offered over 50 attendees the opportunity to learn from the renowned restorative justice practitioner and research Dr. Mark Umbreit.
Dr. Umbriet shared wisdom gained from his work in peacemaking and restorative justice efforts arory address at Missouri State’s 2016 Public Affairs Confereund the world in this intimate setting after offering a plenance.
His first session of the day focused on Restorative Justice in the Global Community, and he shared personal stories of his work in settings of violent and entrenched conflicts, including in Northern Ireland, West Africa, Ukraine, and Palestine.
His second session, Restorative Justice and Dialogue in Crimes of Violence, focused on the use of restorative practices to promote healing for victims of severe crime. Once again he shared his powerful experiences as a practitioner working in the field.
At the day’s end, Dr. Umbreit focused the discussion mindfulness and how this approach can benefit those working in the restorative justice field, as well as anyone who is struggling to manage the stresses of everyday life. He offered advice and techniques to help attendees learn to be present and mindful when dealing with strong emotions and conflicts with others.
Thank you to all who attended these sessions – we were inspired by the interest present in our community and look forward to continuing to work with you to promote justice and healing for all involved in harmful actions.
On April 14th at 3 p.m. in Plaster Student Union room 315 the CDR will present at Missouri State’s Criminology and Criminal Justice Conference. The session, titled “Restorative Justice for Youth: Hope for the Future” will focus on the programs offered by the CDR that serve at risk youth and juvenile offenders in our community.
The CDR supports several community programs that offer a restorative justice focus for youth. These include both a Victim Offender Mediation program and a Victim Impact Program for youthful offenders referred by the Greene County Juvenile Office. Additionally, the CDR provides both Circles for Girls and Guys’ Gathering Circles for youth in area middle and high schools. These educational exploratory groups are designed to help increase kids’ protective factors and help them learn communication and decision-making skills. Each of these programs rely on community volunteers, many of who are students in either the graduate or undergraduate certificate programs in conflict and dispute resolution at Missouri State University.
In March the CDR held its bi-annual 40-hour civil and family mediation training, and once again filled the training to capacity with professionals and students anxious to build their mediation skills.
This training event brought together 25 experienced mediators who offered training, guest lectures, and coaching advice to the participants in attendance over the course of the 5-day training. The CDR was also thrilled to offer over $15,000 in scholarships to support the attendance of students at this professional training event.
What did attendees think of these event? Here are a few highlights from the training evaluations:
I really appreciated the multiple and varied learning modalities – gain content from a lecture, then see it on film, then try it in role play, then discuss it in small groups.
The information given by different coaches showed different ways of mediating.
The presenters who came in were wonderful and very good at facilitating dialogue between participants and sharing experiences.
I really appreciated meeting different people from different backgrounds to provide different perspectives – especially different coaches.
I definitely feel much better prepared to go out and mediate.
I believe this training will impact me professionally because I was able to learn a new skill, but anything with conflict helps me personally as well!
This will definitely help my communication skills with clients.
In February the CDR hosted a visit by Dr. David Karp, a Professor of Sociology and Director of the Project on Restorative Justice at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York. Dr. Karp focuses on restorative justice (RJ) in community and campus settings, and while at Missouri State he led a roundtable discussion and offered a training on the use of RJ on college campuses.
Dr. Karp’s training was attended by student affairs and residence hall administrators, staff, and students from several area colleges and Universities. Dr. Karp offered an overview of RJ principles and practices and discussed both the benefits and challenges of applying RJ on college campuses. Specific contexts discussed included the use of RJ in campus misconduct cases, in residential life, and in sexual assault cases.
The CDR will continue to work to expand the use of restorative practices on the Missouri State campus in the coming months. Possibilities where such practices could be utilized include in the resolution of roommate disputes, in the case of violations of the campus code of conduct, with academic dishonesty cases, and in other selected circumstances. For more information on the use of RJ at a University level, or to get involved the CDR’s efforts at Missouri State, please contact CDR@MissouriState.edu.
The Center for Dispute Resolution is continuing its Campus Conflict Workshop series this spring with three sessions. These sessions are free for Missouri State students, faculty, and staff, and Master Advisors will receive one hour of recertification credit for participation. Save the date now and plan to attend these sessions!
Gender Differences in Conflict: Fact or Fiction? – Feb. 2, 12-1 p.m., in PSU 315
Presented by Dr. Isabelle Bauman and Dr. Jake Simmons
Is it true that men and women do conflict differently? This session will explore this question and the role gender differences may, or may not, play in conflict.
Personality Types in Conflict – March 15, 12-1 p.m., in PSU 315
Presented by Dr. Gloria Galanes
Although conflict with others is inevitable, resolving conflict is easier when you understand the impact that a person’s personality type has on their reactions and perceptions. The session investigates the implications of personality types on conflict situations.
Coaching: An Effective Tool in Conflict Management – April 20, 12-1 p.m., in PSU 315
Presented by Dr. Char Berquist and Heather Blades
This session will provide coaching strategies to help you assist others in conflict
Missouri State men – would you like to build your communication, facilitation, and conflict skills, enhance your resume, and serve as a role model and mentor for boys in our community? If so, consider becoming a Guys’ Gathering Circle facilitator!
About Guys’ Gathering Circles
Guys’ Gathering groups bring together 6-10 boys with two college-aged facilitators each week for 8 weeks for 1-2 hours. These meetings provide an action-oriented context where participants can explore the positive and not-so-positive definitions of masculinity and how these expectations impact their own diverse identities. Each Gathering group meeting follows the same format, which includes a warm up activity, a check-in with each participant, a focused activity exploring the weekly topic, and a reflection and group dialogue component. Topics explored include:
Ask yourself these questions as you plan your spring semester…
Are you interested in building your communication, facilitation, and conflict skills?
Do you have a passion for helping youth, particularly girls and young women?
Would you like a meaningful volunteer opportunity?
Would you enjoy connecting with other college-aged women with similar interests?
Would you benefit from an outstanding resume-building experience?
If you answered YES, consider taking part in Circles for Girls Facilitator Training and volunteering with this program!
On Saturday, January 30th (8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.) the Center for Dispute Resolution will offer a free training for women who wish to learn more about and/or volunteer to co-facilitate Circles for Girls.
Circles for Girls is an 8-10 week structured educational group for girls and young women. It brings together a group of 4-10 girls with trained facilitators to explore topics relating to social, emotional, and physical well-being. Some groups are conducted within area middle schools, while others bring girls together in the evening at the offices of the Center for Dispute Resolution at Missouri State University.
The program is designed focus on the development of effective conflict management and communication skills and to help girls realize their strengths, withstand social pressures, and maintain healthy relationships.
The Center for Dispute Resolution is coordinating a peer mediation training for college students on Saturday, January 23rd (8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.).
This training will cover a variety of topics, including the causes and dynamics of conflict, listening skills, negotiation theory, interests vs. positions, getting at the real goals in a conflict, how diversity and power impact conflict, mediation techniques and much more!
This training is free for students who wish to learn more about and/or volunteer with the Center’s Peer Mediation Program in area schools. This program provides an exciting opportunity for trained college students to mentor budding “peer mediators” in these schools. As a volunteer you’ll have the opportunity to mediate selected cases in these schools and to coach and support high-school and middle-school peer mediators.
Have you ever wanted to help people deal with conflict? Join Missouri State’s Center for Dispute Resolution to find out more about peer mediation, becoming a mediator, and joining our training in the spring semester!
For more information contact the CDR at 417-836-8831 or CDR@MissouriState.edu, or just drop in on Thursday to visit with us!