Source: (2009) Family Court Review. 47(1):148-166.

This article describes, and explains the rationales for, the establishment of an innovative program in which a law school and two social services agencies are collaborating in a mediation clinic that uses the transformative model of mediation to serve clients in cases that seem ideally suited to benefit from this approach to practice—so-called “PINS” (persons in need of supervision) cases involving conflict within families, between parents and their adolescent children. The article first describes the evolution of the PINS system and the changing views of its purpose, especially in New York State. It then offers a brief introduction to the unique features of the transformative approach to mediation and explains why that approach in particular is likely to mesh with current understandings of the needs of the families involved in these cases. Finally, the article describes the innovative “Family Solutions Program” and how it uses transformative mediation to help these families and suggests that experience of this program shows how use of the transformative model, in particular, could be valuable not only for clinical education but also for effective volunteer training and supervision in mediation programs generally. (author's abstract)