Mediate BC Blog

Remembering Carole McKnight

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It is with sadness we inform you that Carole McKnight, a pioneer in family reform and family mediation, passed away October 2, 2019. We encourage you to take some time to celebrate and remember her life.

Celebration of Life - Event Details

Date: Tuesday, October 15, 2019
Time: 2pm - 5pm
West Vancouver Yacht Club
5854 Marine Drive
West Vancouver

To summarize how much she meant to the mediation community, we will refer to a letter written by Wayne Plenert, Irene Robertson, and Jerry McHale in 2013 nominating her for the Susanna Jani Award for Excellence in Mediation, which she later won. The letter is as follows (with minor edits for past tense):

To summarize how much she meant to the mediation community, we refer to a letter written by Wayne Plenert, Irene Robertson, and Jerry McHale in 2013 nominating her for the Susanna Jani Award for Excellence in Mediation—which she won alongside Sally Campbell.

Carole McKnight was one of the pioneers of Family reform and of Family Mediation in British Columbia. This is a glimpse into what she has done.

Carol started back when Probation Services offered family mediation, and was a mediator from that period (1980’s) to the present. She has combined mediation, consulting, and family conflict system design with a great deal of volunteer and paid work and has been involved with most of the institutions that have shaped family Mediation in the province. She has also managed Family Justice Centres.

For Family Justice Services Division (FJSD), she researched and developed a unique holistic assessment process that went far beyond screening for violence to probe in areas of debt, substance abuse, mental health and child protection – she took screening far beyond violence to where FJCs explore the bundles of problems that people bring to the justice system.

In 2013 Carol consulted extensively so that Family Justice materials and services were consistent with the Family Law Act.

She has researched and taught in the area of screening and assessment of domestic violence, including on-line teaching at the Justice Institute. She also has taught in the area of agreement writing.  She was part of the group that developed the Discussion Paper on Screening for Violence for BC Mediator Roster Society.

Carol was part of the Justice Reform Working Group that issued the White Paper in 2005 “A New Justice System for Children and Families” that led to the Justice Access Centres and the new Family Law Rules and influenced the Family Law Act.

Carol led a team to develop the Parenting After Separation curriculum for FJSD, and then she reworked the curriculae for First Nations and for High Conflict situations.

She has been a member of Family Mediation Canada, and chaired their certification committee.

Carol was on the Mediate BC Roster board for 6 years, and sat on the Roster Committee, which she chaired for one year. She volunteered a lot for that organization.

In terms of her ethics and social responsibility, Carol had a very strong sense of right and wrong, was highly ethically driven, while not forcing her expectations on others. She was true to what she believed. She was persistent but not domineering. Instead she was cheerful and dedicated. Carol’s generosity was obvious from the massive amount she volunteered and shared with others. She has made a big impact with her contributions and as a role model.

In summary Carol has contributed in a significant number of fundamental ways (researcher, supervisor, instructor, designer, practitioner, board member) to the development of healthy family conflict processes and family mediation.

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