Bond University is opening an online Family Dispute Resolution Clinic next week to provide affordable, timely, and accessible mediation services.
The virtual clinic will operate in tandem with the newly launched Master of Laws in Family Dispute Resolution program and is the only clinic of its kind operated by a university in Queensland.
Bond University Centre for Dispute Resolution (CDR) co-director Professor Rachael Field said the clinic was in a unique position to offer support to struggling families.
“While there are other services available which also offer affordable prices, waitlists are usually long due to the high demand, prolonging what is already a stressful situation," Professor Field said.
“Fortunately, we have access to added resources and a team of experienced family dispute resolution practitioners and students working to become accredited professionals."
The clinic will service an increasing need in the community, as family disputes and domestic violence incidents continue to surge in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“A wide range of situational stressors, including financial pressures and the fact that victims and perpetrators have spent more time together during lockdowns, have exacerbated family and domestic violence nationally during Covid-19,” Professor Field said.
“While the rate of parenting disputes and domestic violence incidents increased, the pandemic impacted victims’ capacity to make calls to support service providers for a number of reasons, including victims being closely monitored by perpetrators at home.
“With lockdowns at an end, more people are coming forward, making it a critical time to offer these services to families in need of support.”
Bond University has built a global reputation since 1989 for its world-class training in dispute resolution and mediation services.
“As part of our new Master of Laws in Family Dispute Resolution, the new online clinic allows students to engage in supervised clinical practice so as to be eligible to apply for accreditation as a family dispute resolution practitioner,” Professor Field said.
“In time, we hope to reopen a dedicated space on campus and deliver our services both in online and face-to-face environments that are tailored to the individual needs of the families we work with.”
For more information on the Family Dispute Resolution Clinic or to book an appointment, please contact 07 5595 1199 or email [email protected]