24 February, 2022
Early intervention is key to tackling Anti-Social Behaviour. As practitioners, it is important that we explore and have access to the full range of options before considering legal enforcement action. Mediation is undoubtedly one of these options however, the timing of referrals is critical to achieving positive outcomes as part of a consistent approach.
Getting both parties to engage with each other when a dispute or disagreement is in its infancy can make all the difference in terms of addressing community tensions, avoiding legal costs and freeing up staff resources. Mediation can still on occasions, be something of an afterthought therefore, it is often too late to bring about appropriate resolution by the time the referral has been made. With this mind, the way that we choose to communicate the benefits of mediation is a hugely influential factor.
The parties involved need to be clear from the outset about what mediation can do for them and how it can contribute towards tackling negative situations. If tokenistic, half-hearted referrals are made, they are unlikely to facilitate any form of change and simply prolong the case with a likelihood that it could ultimately result in legal proceedings.
On Thursday 10th February, Darren Burton was invited to take part in a webinar hosted by ADR Mediation & Training along with Stockport Homes and "We Restore Calm" Conflict Coaching. The aim of the discussion-based event was to share awareness of the benefits of mediation and conflict coaching, not only for housing practitioners but their wider organisations and other relevant partner agencies.
The presenters spoke about mediation not being a stand-alone option, so it needs to be underpinned by local support provision in relation to the tenancy, the individual or family. In order to establish a workable and co-ordinated action plan, we need to know "what's out there" in terms of these support options. This can include an awareness of any waiting lists, funding issues or referral criteria restrictions. Equality Act assessments, safeguarding audits and detailed customer profiling all have a role to play within this process, particularly when potential Mental Health issues have been identified.
Kim Logan (Director - ADR Mediation & Training) stated "We work closely with a number of Registered Housing Providers throughout the UK and have seen at first hand the impact of effective independent mediation can have on their customers who have endured various types of ASB. This webinar offers a useful opportunity for practitioners to reflect upon an historic case where mediation could have potentially been explored. It will also enable us to share learning and best practice, highlight innovation and promote consistency across the Housing Sector".
For more information contact Darren Burton in our Housing & Regeneration department via email or phone on 01257 240827. Alternatively send any question through to Forbes Solicitors via our online Contact Form.
Learn more about our Housing & Regeneration department here