We Need Your Help
The Wayne Mediation Center is a 501 (c) non-profit organization that relies on community support in order to offer free and low cost mediation services. You donation is tax deductible and goes to support a variety of initiatives.
We welcome all contributions but we’d like to show you an example of
The Power of Your Generosity.
Here is what your donation can do
|$55 Put a truant child back in school. Read about Angela.||$117 Bring peace between neighbors. Did a mediation save a life?|
|$475 Find a permanent home for a child. Read about Sam.||$995 Sponsor a conflict management workshop at your organization.|
$55 Put a truant child back in school. Read about Angela.
Angelina Garcia, a second grader at a Detroit public school, had accrued 29 unexcused absences when her mother received a letter from Angelina’s school inviting her to attend truancy prevention mediation as an alternative to the school’s filing a truancy petition with the Wayne County Prosecuting Attorney. Mrs. Garcia arrived at the school on the morning of the mediation feeling angry and frustrated. She quickly let the mediators, the school principal, and attendance coordinator know that she was not about to send her daughter to school if it meant jeopardizing her safety. Upon further questioning by the mediators, the mother, through her tears, explained that she had been raped by a neighbor as a young girl while walking in her neighborhood and that her goal was to protect her only daughter at all costs. The mother explained she had a serious health condition that meant she could not get out of bed on some days due to unbearable pain, and on those days she could not walk her daughter to school. She was a single mom with no car, and the neighborhoods that Angelina has to traverse to get to school are dangerous due to high gang and criminal activity. They lived too close to the school to qualify for school bus transportation, but their home is a 6-7 block distance from the school nonetheless. So, on the days when Mrs. Garcia was unable to get out of bed, Angelina stayed home, rather than walk to and from school alone.
The school staff, upon hearing Mrs. Garcia’s concerns in the mediation conference, began brainstorming to find a way to get Angelina to school every day. The attendance coordinator offered to look into finding another family in a nearby neighborhood who might be able to help with transportation, but because of the mother’s fears and concerns about sending her daughter off with strangers from the neighborhood, this was not an acceptable solution. The principal then contacted the school administration to obtain a special waiver for bus transportation for Angelina. The principal discussed the impact the absences were having on Angelina’s academic progress and she also talked with Mrs. Garcia about the safety measures the school takes with children during the school day, how they are supervised at recess, during before and after school programs, and about her concerns that Angelina may feel over-protected by her mom as she grows. Mrs. Garcia agreed and began to cry again. The family was offered the option of parenting counseling by a social service agency partnering with the Wayne Mediation Center truancy prevention mediation program, which Mrs. Garcia agreed to contact if she feels the need to talk to someone about her fears and concerns for her daughter in the future.
Although the names of the parties were changed in the above example, this was an actual case that was mediated in Southwest Detroit by Wayne Mediation Center mediators. Family and school problems benefit from the use of mediation for several reasons. Mediation provides a “safe” and neutral forum for parties to air their frustrations and concerns and to hear those of others. Mediation is able to address issues quickly so that problems are not left to “fester.” In the case of truancy issues, the school, parents, student are partners in finding a solution to the problems preventing attendance, saving important days, weeks, even months of learning and educational opportunities that would otherwise be missed.
$55 can cover the cost of staffing several truancy mediations.
$117 Bring peace between neighbors. Did a mediation save a life?
Roger and Samuel came to the Center by way of referral from a Wayne County judge. Samuel was being charged for reckless use of a firearm. This dispute started over a parking space. Roger asked Samuel to move his car from in front of Roger’s house and when Samuel refused the two began to argue. The argument ended when Samuel pulled out his gun and fired a shot in the air. When the parties arrived at mediation neither were confident that they would reach an agreement.
Roger and Samuel grew up in the same neighborhood. They had never been friends but knew of each other. Ten years prior to the mediation they had an altercation that forged a grudge between the two ever since. For the past ten years then, whenever they crossed paths there was ‘bad blood.’ Tension between the two only escalated with time. At mediation they were able to discuss the past incidents. It was important to them that they share that they were no longer the person they were ten years ago. Each apologized for their part in their troubled past.
Additionally, they found out that each valued their family above all else. They each had straightened themselves out and were raising families. Nothing, they said, was more important to them than caring for and protecting their families. They did not leave best friends but they left understanding that they had similar values and similar priorities. Without this mediation however, said one of the parties, the next time we met someone was probably going to get hurt or killed.
At the end of the mediation the men shook hands and agreed to move forward in mutual respect.
$117.00 covers one party’s costs for many types of mediations. Your donation supports our efforts in offering professional mediation as an alternative to other more adversarial forms of conflict management for those who otherwise would not have this opportunity.
$475 Find a permanent home for a child. Read about Sam.
Sam, an 11-year old boy, had lived in the same foster home for 4 years. At the time his foster mother first considered adoption, Sam objected and said he wasn’t ready to be adopted. His foster mother decided to give him time, respect his wishes, and let Sam know he was welcome to live with her as long as he wanted and that she wouldn’t force him into a relationship he wasn’t ready for. Nonetheless, Sam’s case was on a track toward permanency and the purchase of service agency began to search for other adoptive placements when the foster mother indicated she was not willing to adopt him at that time. Sam’s maternal aunt was located. She had lost track of Sam before his parents’ rights were terminated. When Sam’s aunt discovered that he was eligible for adoption, and learned that his foster mother was refusing to adopt Sam, she filed a petition to adopt him. Around that time, Sam decided adoption by his foster mother would be okay, so she also petitioned for adoption. Both homes were approved, and Michigan Children’s Institute (MCI) was charged with choosing between the foster home where Sam had lived so long and the relative aunt with whom he had had a relationship when he was younger. During this process, the foster mom and aunt, who were now engaged in a ‘competition’ for Sam, became quite critical of one another, even though they had never met. The aunt was convinced that Sam’s foster mom didn’t really want him enough to adopt him, but had filed her petition out of spite only after she heard about the aunt’s intent. The foster mom wondered why the aunt hadn’t expressed interest earlier but decided to come forward in the eleventh hour when Sam was about to be adopted by his foster mom. The case was referred to mediation with MCI willing to accept any decision the foster mother and aunt made with the hope that the situation might improve enough that Sam could have future contact with these two women who both cared about him.
The adoption worker and additional workers from two agencies attended the first meeting, along with the foster mother and aunt. There were three meetings before the case was resolved but between meetings, Sam met with his aunt and foster mother for dinner in a restaurant and again at his foster home. The aunt quickly realized that Sam was happy, well cared for, and really wanted to stay in his foster home. Both the aunt and foster mother came to understand that the assumptions they had initially made about one another were not accurate and that each had good, loving reasons for their eleventh hour decisions to file adoption petitions.
By the second meeting, the aunt and foster mother were riding together to the mediation. By the third meeting, they had met with Sam and his therapist prior to the mediation, and the aunt had let Sam know that she would withdraw her petition, because she wanted to do what would make him happiest and she also made sure he understood that she was not turning her back on him and that she would always be available for him and would always consider him a member of her family too.
At the final mediation session, they made a good faith, non-enforceable agreement that it was in Sam’s best interest to continue Sam’s relationship with his aunt and arranged a plan for scheduling for future visits with Sam and his aunt and included her in plans for Sam’s upcoming birthday celebration. The aunt agreed to withdraw her petition and Sam was adopted by his foster mother.
$475 would support all services to this child from referral to our intensive intake by a trained professional through to the mediation(s).
Mediation can change lives and the Center’s mediations affect the lives of those in your own community. Your donation will help support a process that works to resolve the actual issue in dispute. Because of this, mediations create permanent solutions and furthers peaceful resolution more than any other type of resolution process.
|You can make a difference. You can promote peace.|