My association with The dispute Settlement Center began in 1995 when I became the second Executive Director in a then 3 year old organization. During that time we grew beyond our court mediation programs to include peer mediation training in the Norwalk elementary schools and community mediation services through our contacts with the Norwalk community police program. Since that early period, I remained involved with DSC as a volunteer mediator and joined the Board approximately five years ago. I have witnessed the organization grow exponentially in the areas of youth mediation and community education. At this point in time, the DSC has a well deserved reputation as the pre-eminent community mediation agency serving the Fairfield County Area.
DSC (The Dispute Settlement Center) helps youth at risk, adults at risk, homeowners at risk, and teaches all involved in the process, the power of mediation as a tool to resolve conflict. In many cases this process is a life changing event for youth at risk, and a tremendous ally to support systems in the education process. The outcome is typically a successful resolution to a conflict, without burdening the judicial system, and without the fallout or expense associated with court proceedings. This organization is staffed by a team of dedicated professionals and para professionals who believe in what they do, and the results speak for themself.
The Dispute Settlement Center in Wilton, Connecticut is a high impact non-profit Community Mediation agency serving a substantial cross-section of individuals, agencies and institutions in Fairfield County, Connecticut. For many years, DSC has helped individuals who have been involved in a wide variety of disputes and conflicts. The number of people who have been positively impacted by DSC has grown into the thousands each year. The help and assistance of skilled Mediators has proven to be an effective resource for all of the many communities in Fairfield County. Included within the scope of the populations served are: students in multiple schools; children in the juvenile justice system; adults in the criminal justice system; and many others who have taken advantage of the mediation and conflict resolution opportunities that DSC provides before engaging in more protracted and expensive litigation. DSC has developed very positive and productive relationships with Chiefs of Police, School Administrators, Court Officials, Judges in both Adult Criminal and Juvenile Courts, Probation Officers, Family Relations Counselors, Attorneys and countless other professionals. It is abundantly clear that DSC contribute enormously to fill the need for social programs and services above and beyond the limits of the services provided by established and existing institutions. This "public-private" partnership between DSC and those existing institutions continues to grow and flourish in Fairfield County largely due to the tireless efforts of a dedictate staff; a very devoted Board of Directors; and the extremely important and generous financial contributions from individuals, agencies, and foundations who share the concern for providing meaningful alternatives for individuals involved in various types of conflicts and disputes.
The Dispute Settlement Center, serving Western CT, is a model agency for the valuable role that mediation can play in the life of communities. DSC works in the schools, in the courts,among neighbors and within families to find constructive, mutally satisfying alternatives to settle disputes. DSC educates young people to resolve conflict through mediation and relieves the courts of ever increasing dockets through mediated settlements.DSC has helped renters and homeowners avoid eviction and foreclosure and given police departments alternative options for handling offenses within communities. Mediation is a humane and thoughtful alternative to resolving disputes and strengthens communities by reducing resentment and recidivism. DSC has documented approaches and data to show the impact and value of its work.
The Dispute Settlement Center is a little known non for profit that accomplishes great things. They keep their staff lean and really place as much money into accomplishing their goals. They provide mediation services to assist juveniles avoid going into the court system, set up peer mediation programs in several schools, receive grant money to help people avoid losing their homes in foreclosure and provide affordable mediation services to the community for a whole host of disputes.