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Mediation explained...



Mediation explained in VIDEO 



Mediation Referral Form

Screening for Arbitration

Taken from The Ministry of the Attorney General for the Province of Ontario website:

Both people involved in a family arbitration must be interviewed separately by someone trained to recognize and understand symptoms of domestic violence and significant imbalances of decision-making power between spouses. Domestic violence may be psychological as well as physical.

Both people must be screened for domestic violence and power imbalances, even if each person will be represented by a lawyer in the process. The screener determines whether there is anything standing in the way of a person's full participation in family arbitration or whether the arbitrator should impose certain safeguards (such as that the parties should not be alone together) before the arbitration can proceed.

There is no prescribed screening method to be used for family arbitration, although a number of methods currently exist for family mediation that can usually be adapted for family arbitration. The regulation under the Arbitration Act, 1991 requires that each party be screened separately, and that a report from the person who does the screening must be submitted to the arbitrator before the arbitration can begin. The arbitrator does not use this information to decide the issues in the dispute.


The referral for this service must come either from the arbitrator or jointly by both lawyers representing the parties.

The screening process requires a one-hour meeting with each person, separately. 

A confidential screening report will be provided after both interviews to your arbitrator only and is to remain confidential between the screener and your arbitrator. 

The report will not be released to any other party including yourself, your lawyer or court. 

If you disclose information that suggests a child subject to your or someone else's care may have been or may be subject to abuse, a report will be made to the local Children’s Aid Society. Further, if you disclose that you intend to do physical harm to another adult, the screener may chose to inform the intended target and/or notify police. 

The service record shall remain the property of the screener. Information obtained about persons served will be used for screening purposes. Non-identifying information may be used for statistical, research or teaching purposes.

There is a flat fee for this service of $750.00 + 97.50 HST = $847.50.

Payment must be made in advance. It remains a matter for the parties to determine how the payment shall be divided between them.


  1. Service is provided on a private and discreet basis.
  2. Service is provided in the safety and comfort of my home-office.
  3. Daytime appointments are available Monday through Friday (except Friday afternoon). Evening appointments are available Monday through Thursday. I typically set my appointment times for 9:30 am, 1:30 pm and 7:00 pm. I do not offer weekend appointments. Summer hours may be restricted - please ask.
  4. Persons may self-refer. Please call.
  5. Persons are expected to attend sober for appointments.
  6. There is no recoding or posting of content or comments in any form or media by clients or their proxy although Gary Direnfeld may record at his discretion for accountability purposes.
  7. Violence of any fashion will not be condoned.


All matters remain confidential with the following exceptions:

  1. Any past or imminent harm or abuse to a child currently younger than 16 years of age will be reported to proper authorities.
  2. Any imminent threat of harm to self or to another adult will be reported either to proper authorities and/or to other persons who may be required to intervene as necessary.
  3. Up to an hour can be scheduled between appointments to avoid meeting anyone while entering or exiting.
  4. Information about yourself can be used to pursue payment in the event of non-payment, cancelled or bad cheques or misrepresentation of income.

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Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW



(905) 628-4847


Gary Direnfeld is a child-behaviour expert, a social worker, and the author of Raising Kids Without Raising Cane. Gary not only helps people get along or feel better about themselves, but also enjoys an extensive career in public speaking. He provides insight on issues ranging from child behaviour management and development; to family life; to socially responsible business development. Courts in Ontario, Canada consider Gary an expert on matters pertaining to child development, custody and access, family/marital therapy and social work.


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For information on Direnfeld's book, Raising Kids Without Raising Cane, click here.


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27 Sina Street, Georgina, ON, Canada L4P 3E9  Tel: (905) 628-4847  Email: gary@yoursocialworker.com

Counselling and assessment services serving Hamilton, Dundas, Ancaster, Stoney Creek, Burlington, Brantford,

Oakville, Grimsby, Waterdown and other local areas.