In Camden, intercultural mediation is provided in the neighbourhoods and on the streets actively seeking to meet residents and discuss problems.
The Family Group Conference (FGC) offers a strength-based way of working that aspires to recognise and utilise the strengths of all people, at the intersections of lived and learned experience e.g., inclusive of race, ethnicity, language, religion, class, poverty, sexuality. The independent coordinators and advocates originate from multiple cultural and ethnic backgrounds including Bangladeshi, Black British, Irish, Scottish, Ghanaian, Somali and Syrian. Indeed, matching the coordinators cultural background and language to that of the family can provide a common ground; it can provide a better understanding of a culture, its perspective, and the impact of these on the FGC arrangements as well as having an impact on the family creating a plan for their children. A close match enables the coordinator to involve the family in as many aspects of the organisation as possible, including the choice of the language for the meeting, the venue, the food, the date – giving a sense of ownership.
Also, as part of Camden’s anti-social behaviour support service, Contact Victim Support provides help for disputes between neighbours. The borough also has a restorative justice project as part of its Children’s Services’ Early Help offer.
The council also convenes the Cohesion Impact Group (CIG) which supports the borough in the aftermath of an emergency incident and advises the Council on situations that potentially could have a negative impact on cohesion, e.g., a rise in hate crime or a terrorist incident. The group consists of faith leaders who can reach out to their strong network and can be called upon in emergencies or heightened tensions.