Blum Community Mediation Award
The first recipient of the "Martin Blum Community Mediation
Award" was the Ramsey County Cooperation for the Children
Program. Martin Blum, who was DRC's first Executive Director,
was instrumental in the development not only of DRC but also
of community mediation in Minnesota. The Cooperation
for the Children Program assists families who are experiencing
disputes regarding visitation matters in a non-adversarial
manner. Created following the recommendations of a 1997
MN Supreme Court Advisory Task Force, the program uses alternative
dispute resolution methods such as mediation and visitation
expediting to assist parents to make their own decisions regarding
the needs of their children.
Adversarial processes often negatively impact children and
families. The Program assists parents in making their own
agreements about their children's well being, helping to reduce
the conflict and hostility that often accompany visitation
disputes. CFC also minimizes the negative consequence
of the dispute for children and improves voluntary compliance
with visitation orders, thus greatly reducing the need for
enforcement actions and the court resources devoted to such
actions. CFC helps children, parents, and the courts.
program alleviates some of the family court caseload and decreases
participants' legal and court cost in general. Fees for the
program are set on a sliding scale, making the program both
affordable for the parents and cost-effective for the courts.
CFC cases are regularly referred to DRC's volunteer
family mediators, as well as to Catholic Charities and the
Mediation Center for Dispute Resolution at Hamline University.
Unfortunately, this significant pilot program has been told
that it will close in June of 2003. DRC acknowledged
CFC's many significant accomplishments and Program Director
Cynthia Campbell Waters with this