Bringing a support person

A support person is someone who provides support to you at mediation. A support person can help you understand or explain the issues in dispute or simply help you feel more comfortable in the mediation.

Most mediations go ahead without either party having a support person. Situations in which a support person might be needed are set out below.

There is more information in CJC's brochures and fact sheets, including a fact sheet on support people.

Who can be a support person?

A support person should be someone you feel comfortable with. You may need to tell your support person sensitive things related to the dispute. The support person may be a:

  • Friend.

  • Relative such as a parent, aunt, uncle, cousin or sibling.

  • Disability support worker.

  • Teacher.

  • Social worker.

  • Family support worker.

  • Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Scheme worker.

  • Other relevant service provider.

A support person cannot be someone who has been involved in the dispute in any way. The other people in the mediation must agree to the support person attending. Mediators can also exclude a support person if their presence is unhelpful to the process of  the mediation.

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Does CJC provide you with a support person?

No. You will need to choose your support person and make arrangements for them to attend the mediation session. However, CJC staff may be able to link you with appropriate services if you don't have a support person in mind.

CJC will also check that the other person agrees to:

  • A support person being present.

  • The particular nominated support person being present.

At the mediation session, CJC mediators will confirm the role of the support person.

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When might you need a support person?

Children and young people taking part in mediation should generally have a support person. A support person might also be needed when:

  • A person taking part in the mediation has a disability.

  • A person in the mediation is very anxious about the mediation process.

  • The mediation advisor or mediator has suggested or advised that a person should bring a support person.

What type of support can a support person provide?

Support can be provided in a number of ways. Support people do not necessarily have to be in the mediation session. Support people can be available to offer support:

  • In the waiting area - mediators can schedule breaks so that you can have some time with your support person outside the mediation session.

  • In the mediation session but not participating or speaking.

  • In the mediation session and participating - this may be necessary or useful for a child or young person or for a person with a disability.

  • In the mediation session for part of the session only - you might feel you need a support person with you to start the mediation session but decide you feel comfortable finishing the session without the support person.

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