San Fernando Valley Bar Association (SFVBA)
VBMC is founded by members of the San Fernando Valley Bar Association (SFVBA). SFVBA recognized that because of the termination of the ADR program through the Los Angeles Superior Court System, there are thousands of litigants who do have timely access to the courts to resolve their cases through mediation. Valley Bar Mediation Center was founded under the auspices of the SFVBA to educate the public about the need and value of mediation and to host a panel of professional, experienced mediators who could serve the needs of the public as a charitable organization.
SFVBA provided seed funding and has provided some administrative assistance to VBMC. Both entities, SFVBA and VBMC, operate independently financially and administratively. The organizations have cooperative working relationships and support each other’s activities.
Parents, Teachers and Students in Action for Better Schools and Community (PTSA)
PTSA is a non-profit organization empowering the community through advocacy, mentorship and education. It works to provide parents, students and teachers with access to an equitable public education system and its resources. PTSA programs create a community of informed and engaged citizenry, and empowers parents to participate in their children’s education and development. PTSA focuses on children with special education needs, at-risk youth who are statistically more likely to fail academically, and children without strong familial and communal support.
PTSA arranges for VBMC to provide peer-to-peer mediation training programs for students and teachers to learn how to resolve conflict within the school environment using cooperative non-violent means through mediation. Conflict coaching and mentoring are offered by members of VBMC’s mediation panel pro bono to school administrators, staff and students. Peer-to-peer mediation programs have proven to be successful in teaching students how to deal with conflict problems and to reduce violent confrontations and bullying. These are important skills which students can use throughout their lifetime.