Nonprofit news in the Southern Tier

May Nonprofit in the Spotlight - Community Dispute Resolution Center

posted 5/3/2013

      Describe the CDRC-

      Every year, CDRC gives more than 1,000 people the opportunity to resolve conflicts constructively and inexpensively. CDRC typically maintains a precedent-setting ninety-percent conciliation rate.  CDRC services enable and empower people to respond constructively to conflict, giving them an alternative to the courts where their conflicts often become a matter of serious public and private expense, both financially and emotionally.  Our case load involves custody and visitation issues, problems between feuding neighbors, disputes within the workplace, conflicts in schools and a wide variety of conflicts and difficult conversation scenarios within families.  We also specialize in conflict education for adults and youth, contributing to a community culture where people are empowered to use of skills enabling them to respond well to the inevitability of conflict without intervention from institutions or costly professionals.


      What do you see as the greatest challenge facing your organization?     Aside from the usual financial challenges that face most community service organizations today, CDRC’s biggest challenge is our tendency to be invisible to the public and professional communities.  Couple this with our culture’s tendency to be conflict averse, and CDRC has its work cut out! 


      What achievement are you most proud of this year?

      CDRC has withstood draconian cuts to its funding over the last two years.  Despite this new and challenging reality, our agency has maintained its presence in the three counties it serves through its mediation, facilitation and training services.  The agency in collaboration with other mediation centers across the state were also very effective in the last year advocating for sustained funding from the Unified Court System of New York State.  Our viability remains strong.


      Where do you see your organization in 5 years? 

      CDRC will be working to maintain and strengthen its services to the residents of Chemung, Schuyler and Tompkins Counties.  We will continue to support the work of the court system in all three counties.  We will also be exploring ways to further support people who find themselves stuck in conflict at home, school or in their communities.  CDRC will continue to expand our professional development training services for students and professionals in our three county area as well. 


      How could other nonprofits in the region benefit from your work?  

      Other non-profits should have CDRC on their speed-dial for situations where conflict is often a challenge for interpersonal interactions where their clients are involved.  CDRC can provide mediation services at no cost for clients in conflict with service providers, family members, neighbors, supervisors, etc.  Wherever conflict is presenting obstacles to your work with your clients, CDRC can help.

CDRC can also be a valuable resource for agencies, businesses and organizations.  Many such entities are in a real pressure cooker with increased demands and decreased resources.  As a result tempers can flare and frustrations increase, setting the stage for conflict becoming an on-going, negative, counter-productive dynamic. CDRC offers facilitation services for these situations (think of it as mediation for groups). 


Finally, CDRC provides a broad itinerary of training services for personal and professional development around the skills of effective interpersonal communication and conflict management skills.  Customized trainings for staff and professional associations are regularly provided.


In short, we understand that conflict happens all the time and that can often make our lives difficult.  We’re here to help by offering ways to talk things out so folks can get on with their lives and their work!

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