Home » About DRC
The Dispute Resolution Center (DRC), serving Orange, Putnam, Sullivan and Ulster Counties, is dedicated to its mission to "promote the peaceful resolution of conflict" by providing services, education, training, and consultation throughout its four county service area. While the agency is a leading resource for the effective and constructive prevention, management and resolution of conflict in the Mid-Hudson Valley and lower Catskill area, DRC has also distinguished itself for its participation in and contribution to the work of the broader Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) community.
The DRC provides a variety of services, including mediation, conciliation, group facilitation and arbitration, processes that are applicable to a broad range of family, youth, school, housing, and business issues. Additionally, DRC is a leading resource for educational training and workshops in our four-county community and beyond. While DRC regularly provides courses to educate the public and to develop and maintain its volunteer panel, the agency also tailors training to an organization's needs. To develop and enhance the conflict resolution skills of youth, DRC works with school administrators, staff, and parents throughout our four county service area.
A Brief History
The Community Dispute Resolution Centers were established in 1981 by the New York State Legislature when it created the Program as a three-year pilot project under the administration of what now is the New York State Unified Court System's Office of Alternative Dispute Resolution. This groundbreaking legislation established standards for the delivery of mediation services throughout New York State and authorized funding for local community dispute resolution centers. The legislation was made permanent in 1984, and the Unified Court System now funds local community dispute resolution centers that serve the needs of citizens in every one of New York State's 62 counties.
DRC is part of a larger Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) community, the Unified Court System's statewide network of the Community Dispute Resolution Centers' (CDRC) programs. Enabled in 1981 by NY State Legislation, Article 21a, there are centers in all 62 New York Counties. Under the auspices of the NYS Unified Court System, the Community Dispute Resolution Centers, all local non-profit organizations, provide mediation, arbitration, group facilitation and other dispute resolution options as an alternative to the traditional court system.
Approaching our 25th year of service, DRC was established in 1982 as the Orange County Mediation Project, Inc. (OCMP). In 1986 the agency expanded across the majestic Hudson River to assume oversight of the Putnam County program. Along the way, with offices in both Orange and Putnam Counties, it became clear that the program had grown well beyond “project” status. Everyone agreed that it was time to choose a new name, one that would reflect and honor the more permanent status of the organization. Shortly thereafter, in 1993, the Orange County Mediation Project, Inc. became known as the Dispute Resolution Center.
The ensuing years were a time of steady growth for the DRC. Beyond the core program of community mediation, the agency was one of the early pilots to offer Special Education Mediation, Custody Visitation Mediation and the Parent Education and Custody Effectiveness (P.E.A.C.E.) in the early 1990s. In 1997, DRC's proposal for a Supreme Court Referred Divorce Mediation Program was chosen as one of the five pilot programs by Chief Justice Judith Kaye's Judicial Commission. All the while, the number of school and youth programs continued to grow, allowing the agency to serve increasing numbers of youth. At the same time, DRC took the lead in creating collaborative efforts that resulted in expanded and innovative programming and services. Then, in 2002, more than doubling the geographic size of the area served, DRC expanded again by contracting with the New York State Unified Court System to provide mediation services for Sullivan and Ulster Counties.
In addition to the NYS Office of Court Administration's funding, DRC's work is supported by grants from the following:
Orange County Department of Social Services
Sullivan County Department of Social Services and Youth Bureau