About Good Shepherd Mediation Program

The Good Shepherd Mediation Program, established in 1984, is a neighborhood justice center located in the Germantown section of Philadelphia. People in conflict come to the Mediation Program to resolve their disputes through mediation.

Our mission is to empower Philadelphia community residents to creatively search for meaningful and lasting solutions to their conflicts without resorting to crime or violence.

After nearly 100 years of service to delinquent/dependent youth, Good Shepherd Corporation phased out its youth residential programs. In 1982, a needs assessment of the 14th and 35th police districts in Northwest Philadelphia was conducted to identify community concerns. It became apparent that crime and violence resulting from escalating, unresolved disputes - particularly involving youth - were the social problems about which community residents were most concerned. In 1984, Good Shepherd Neighborhood House was established as Philadelphia's first neighborhood justice center, serving the 14th and 35th police districts. Good Shepherd Mediation Program currently offers mediation, and training and consulting services to the Greater Philadelphia area.

Good Shepherd uses a voluntary mediation process designed to resolve interpersonal and community conflicts peacefully.

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What is Mediation?

Mediation is a process for resolving disputes with the help of a trained, objective third-party called a mediator. The mediator does not offer advice or make a decision for the parties. The mediator facilitates the communication session, encourages peacemaking and writes the agreement if one is reached. Eighty-five percent of the disputes that reach mediation result in a written settlement agreement between the parties.

Mediation is voluntary, informal, confidential, and inexpensive. Mediation sessions can be scheduled within a few weeks at a location in the disputant's neighborhood. Mediation is used successfully to resolve interpersonal disputes involving families, friends, neighbors, employers and employees, consumers and merchants, landlords and tenants, and others.

Programs and Services

Good Shepherd Mediation Program is a nonprofit organization that currently includes the following components: Community Mediation; Conflict Coaching; the Family Passages Initiative designed to serve families in transition (e.g., mediation and family group conferences for issues involving parents and youth; custody and divorce; partnership dissolution; and the elderly); Juvenile Justice Initiatives (e.g., diversion programs for juvenile offenders); and Training and Consulting. The training and consulting services include: mediation orientation; adult mediator training; youth peer-mediation training and school-based program implementation; conflict resolution; meeting facilitation; anger management; community peacemaking; collaboration building for community empowerment; and dealing with differences.

On the average, each year, the Mediation Program:

The Mediation Program has received several honors for its work in Philadelphia:

The Mediation Program's success is based on several factors: