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Family Mediation in Ireland – FMS 2003 to 2010

T 2013 Family Mediation in Ireland - FMS 2003 to 2010

Haase, T., Pratschke, J. and Engling, F. (2013)

Though completed almost four years ago, we are now making available this background paper which sets out the data requirements for future evaluations of the effectiveness of Family Mediation Services in Ireland. The paper had a substantial influence in shaping the data capture in both the Family Mediation Service and Legal Aid, since the FMS has been transferred under the auspices of the Legal Aid Board in 2014

The study analyses the short-term impacts of the Family Mediation Service. It does not attempt to evaluate the operational aspects of the FMS or its regulatory environment, nor can the study offer a statistical analysis of the role of family mediation within the wider context of marital and relationship breakdown. Nevertheless, the results are very interesting, shedding light on the characteristics and expectations of couples who enter mediation in an attempt to resolve their conflicts and documenting the achievements of the FMS over the past decade. The results of the analysis draw strength from the large number of observations in the dataset: 4,210 matched records containing information on participants at the beginning and at the end of the mediation process. The study situates these results in a wider context by reviewing the international literature on family mediation. This reveals the similarities and differences that exist between the work of the FMS and similar organisations in other countries and highlights areas where further research is required in order to obtain a better understanding of the strengths and limitations of family mediation. In this summary, we review the key findings of the study and provide recommendations regarding procedures for data collection in the future.

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