If there is no acrimony between couples, mediation can be concluded in as little as two sessions. Most people can conclude mediation in three or four sessions. Couples who find it difficult to communicate, or who have complex financial arrangements, may need five, six or more sessions. Couples usually set their own pace for the mediation and therefore the number of sessions can vary.
£100 for a MIAM. This can take up to an hour to complete.
£125 per person for a mediation session that lasts between 90 and 120 minutes. (£250 per couple)
For complex financial matters where we need to work with another mediator, we charge £250 per person per session.

If you only need child-inclusive consultation and feedback, our charges are £400.

After a successful mediation our charges are:

£75 Child arrangement statement/parenting plan.
£150 Open Financial Statement.
£150 Memorandum of Understanding that includes details about finances, children and all other proposals agreed in mediation.

£30 for a C100 form/Form A.

If you have a significant dispute regarding child matters, you will be eligible for the Government's Mediation Voucher Scheme. This will cover the cost of up to £500 worth of Mediation services.

We are sorry but we are unable to take Legal Aid cases.

Complaints Policy:

Please put your complaint in writing to Daniel Bester and submit by email. You will normally receive an answer within 10 working days.

If the internal process is exhausted, you may complain to the FMC (Family Mediation Council). A copy of the FMC complaints policy is found on the FMC website.
Mediation can be carried out via Zoom, Google Meets, WhatsApp, Microsoft Teams or similar apps over the internet.

We also have a home office at 9 The Gateway Woking Surrey GU21 5SN.

The office of Surrey Family Mediation on the borders of Woking and West Byfleet.

Daniel Bester qualified at the Nelson Mandela University in South Africa in 1994 with a Social Sciences degree. In South Africa he did generic social work and worked for two years at the Office of the Family Advocate (OFA) in Johannesburg. OFA does work similar to that of CAFCASS in the UK. In the UK Daniel worked for a year as a social worker.

During 2019 Daniel Bester completed the Family Mediation Association’s Family Mediation foundation course. Later that year Daniel set up Surrey Family Mediation; he has full accreditation with the Family Mediation Council. Daniel also works with other mediators in his and other practices and often co-mediates with legally trained mediators.
Surrey Family Mediation aims to adopt the highest possible standards and take all reasonable steps in safeguarding the welfare of young people and vulnerable adults and preventing their abuse.

We are committed to:
• Ensuring that the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults is always paramount.
• Maximising people’s choice, control and inclusion and protecting their human rights.
• Working in partnership with other agencies in order to safeguard children, young people and vulnerable adults.
• Ensuring safe and effective working practices are in place.

Definition of Child

In terms of these guidelines, “child, children and young people” mean those under the age of 18 as defined by The Children Act 1989. A vulnerable adult is a person aged 18 years or over who may be unable to take care of themselves or protect themselves from harm or from being exploited. The Care Act 2014 sets out a clear legal framework.
For general purposes we are on our guard to notice anyone of any age who appears in need of protection or addition support to cope with their living environment in general, or a specific situation.

Definition of Vulnerable Adults

A vulnerable adult is a person aged 18 years or over who may be unable to take care of themselves or protect themselves from harm or from being exploited. This may include a person who:
• is receiving a specified welfare service, namely the provision of support, assistance or advice by any person, the purpose of which is to develop an individual’s capacity to live independently in accommodation or support their capacity to do so.
• is receiving a service or participating in an activity for people who have specific needs because of their age or who have any form of disability.
• is an expectant or nursing mother living in residential care.
• is receiving direct payments from a local authority or health and social care trust in lieu of social care services.
• requires assistance in the conduct of their own affairs.

Child protection

Child protection is what is in place to protect children who have already experienced harm, abuse, neglect, sexual exploitation, or have otherwise been harmed.
Safeguarding is to prevent harm; child protection is how we respond to harm. Child protection relates to any child or young person (under 18) who has suffered from, or may be at risk of neglect, physical, emotional or sexual abuse.

Abuse

Abuse is the violation of an individual’s human rights. It can be a single act or repeated acts. It can be physical, sexual, or emotional. It also includes acts of neglect or an omission to act. In all forms of abuse there are elements of emotional abuse. Vulnerable adults may also suffer additional types of abuse such as being manipulated financially or being discriminated against.

Other examples of abuse include inflicting physical harm such as hitting or misuse of medication, rape and sexual assault or exposure to sexual acts without informed consent, emotional abuse such as threats, humiliation and harassment, exploitation, ignoring medical or physical needs, withholding of necessities of life such as food or heating. This list is not exhaustive.

Our Responsibilities

We accept the principles laid by the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 and The Children Act 2004:
• Take action to identify and prevent abuse from happening.
• Respond appropriately when abuse has or is suspected to have occurred.
• Ensure that the agreed safeguarding adults and child, children and young people procedures are always followed.
• Understand how diversity, beliefs and values of people who use services may influence the identification, prevention and response to safeguarding concerns.
• Ensure that information is available for people that use services and that family members can set out what to do if they have a concern.
• Ensure that we have a DBS check in line with the requirements of the Independent Safeguarding Authority.

Vetting and Barring Scheme Responsibilities

• Always follow the safeguarding policies and procedures, particularly if concerns arise about the safety or welfare of a vulnerable adult, a child, children or a young person.
• Participate in safeguarding training and maintain current working knowledge.
• Discuss any concerns about the welfare of a vulnerable adult, a child, children or young people with our PPC
• Contribute to actions required including information sharing and attending meetings.
• Work collaboratively with other agencies to safeguard and protect the welfare of people who use services.
• Always remain alert to the possibility of abuse.
• Recognise the impact that diversity, beliefs and values of people who use services can have.

Procedure for reporting abuse

• If we suspect a vulnerable person is being abused or is at risk of abuse, we will report concerns to our PPC and social services
• If we feel the person needs urgent medical assistance, we have a duty to call for an ambulance or arrange for a doctor to see the person at the earliest opportunity.
• If we have reason to believe the vulnerable person is in immediate and serious risk of harm or that a crime has been committed the police must be called.
• A report must be completed where there are allegations of abuse and sent to our PPC and social services
• All service users need to be safe. Throughout the process the service user’s needs remain paramount.

Confidentiality and information sharing

It is important to identify an abusive situation as early as possible so that the individual can be protected. Withholding information may lead to abuse not being dealt with in a timely manner. Confidentiality must never be confused with secrecy. Consent is not required to breach confidentiality (capacity issues must be considered) and make a safeguarding referral where:
• A serious crime has been committed
• Where the alleged perpetrator may go on to abuse others
• Other vulnerable adults are at risk in some way
• The vulnerable adult, child, children and young person is deemed to be in serious risk
• There is a statutory requirement e.g. Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006, Children’s Act 2004, Mental Health Act 1983, Care Standards Act 2000
• The public interest overrides the interest of the individual
• When a member of staff of a statutory service, a private or voluntary service or a volunteer is the person accused of abuse, malpractice or poor professional standards.