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Learn how to Volunteer for CRC and how you can Help

Volunteer at CRC

Volunteer Mediators CRC has over 40 active volunteers who serve as mediators in our Small Claims Mediation, Victim-Offender Dialogue, and Community Mediation Programs. Each of CRC’s volunteers has completed a rigorous 35-hour training in mediation skills, and then worked with close supervision to hone and develop their skills. Volunteers represent a range of professional backgrounds, including business, law, education, counseling, and real estate. CRC is able to draw from this extensive base of knowledge and skill to select mediators whose experience most closely matches the needs of our clients.

Volunteers help CRC operate in many capacities. We have listed a number of potions and roles you can volunteer for below.

Volunteering at CRC

As a volunteer-based organization, CRC is committed to offering high quality conflict resolution services, and promoting the use of conflict resolution processes throughout Santa Cruz County.

We seek volunteers who are committed not only to enhancing their own skills and experiences as mediators, but also to giving back to their community and helping CRC to sustain and grow its programs and services here in Santa Cruz County.

All CRC volunteers are required to take our Community Mediation Training prior to applying for a volunteer position. To apply for any of the positions described below, please call 475-6117.

Community Mediator
Community Mediation Case Developer
Small Claims Mediator
Small Claims Mediation Coordinator
Victim Offender Dialogue Participant
Parent Teen Mediator
Board Member
Community Ambassador

Direct Services

Community Mediator

Volunteer mediators are on call to participate in scheduled mediation sessions where they help facilitate communication and understanding between disputants toward a positive resolution of their conflict. These mediation sessions run 3 hours in length and can take place evenings, weekends, and during business hours.
Time Commitment:
Varies depending on caseload

Community Mediation Case Developer

This position aids our Court and Community Mediation Coordinator in speaking with parties interested in mediation. Tasks include: conducting intake interviews, discussing conflict resolution options, providing appropriate referrals, and maintaining records.
Time Commitment
: Varies depending on caseload

Small Claims Mediator

Small Claims Mediators are present at the Courthouse on the days of Small Claims Mediation. In Santa Cruz County all parties in Small Claims cases are first screened for mediation. Our mediators talk briefly with each party to find out their willingness to try mediation. After screening all participants in small claims court on a given day, our mediators help willing parties work to resolve their dispute outside of court.
Time commitment: Mediators attend court for 2-3 hours every other week.

Small Claims Mediation Coordinator

The coordinator arrives ahead of the mediators at court and prepares intake forms and calendars for that day’s cases. They assign cases to each mediator to screen and mediate, and is the liason with the court clerk, informing the court of the status of each case. They often act as unofficial ambassadors for the court, answering litigants’ questions about the process, directing them to other services at the county building, etc.
Time commiment: Coordinators attend court for 2-4 hours every other week.

Victim Offender Dialogue Participant

In Victim Offender Dialogue, community members who have been trained in mediation accompany the Victim Offender Dialogue Program Director to support juvenile offenders in talking with victims of their crimes and making plans for restitution.
Time Commitment: Dialogues normally take approximately 1 hour. Number of dialogues varies according to caseload

Parent Teen Mediator

In parent-teen mediation, mediators meet with parents and teens who are in conflict in order to help them build trust and communication skills. Normally the Parent-Teen Mediation Coordinator participates in the mediation.

Time commitment: Each mediation takes approximately 2-3 hours. Number of mediations varies according to caseload. Minimum 1 year commitment, 2 hours per month.

Organizational Support

Board Member

As a non-profit organization, CRC is governed by a 9-member Board of directors. Directors are responsible for setting policy, monitoring operations, and publicly representing the agency. In addition, directors take an active role in fund raising.
Time Commitment: Board Terms are 2 years, with a commitment of one 2-hour monthly meeting per month plus sub-committee work and special projects.

Community Ambassador

The goal of the CRC Community Ambassador Program is to educate people and increase general awareness in the community around mediation and other means by which people can resolve their disputes positively and peacefully.

CRC Community Ambassadors go out to neighborhood and youth groups, churches, schools, professional and business associations, nonprofit agencies, and many other places and put on educational programs, including lively presentations, mini-workshops, and skits, to provide tips on how people can communicate and resolve their own conflicts and how to access CRC’ free or low-cost services when needed.

CRC Community Ambassadors can work individually or in teams. They can either choose to adopt a particular neighborhood, school, or group to serve as a primary liaison for CRC programs, or serve as an Ambassador at-Large, responding to requests that come in throughout the community.

CRC’ educational programs vary in length from 15 minutes to 90 minutes, depending on audience and available time. They can be scheduled during the daytime, evening, and weekends.

Volunteers in CRC’ Community Ambassador Program will be given a solid orientation on how to put together educational programs, and will initially be paired with more experienced volunteers on educational programs.


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Mediation in the Media

Whether it’s a public radio exploration of Muslims and Jews talking their way toward peace, or a cable tv show about mediation between gangs, click here to find examples of how the media portrays people working together.

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