We mediate and/or facilitate many different kinds of issues. Below are the most common problems we help resolve:
The goal of our Truancy Prevention Mediation Program is to prevent children from falling down the slippery slope towards dropping out of school by addressing their attendance and minor delinquency issues as soon as they begin to develop. We do this primarily by engaging students and parents in a constructive conversation focused upon uncovering the real issues at the root of the family’s situation and by attempting to collaboratively address those issues before they lead to more serious outcomes.
We provide our mediation services in two forums. For students who have been missing school too often, we facilitate conversations at the school that involve the student, their parent(s) and a representative of the school. The schools send out a letter to the parents explaining that the student’s failure to attend school will lead to a referral to the prosecutor’s office if not corrected, and that a neutral third party will facilitate a conversation with them to avoid the involvement of the prosecutor’s office.
These mediations almost always result in an improved relationship between the parent and the school as well as a specific plan to deal with the barriers to the student’s attendance. During the first three years of this program, approximately 60% of the students participating improved their school attendance over the following 30 days. In the last year we added two follow up conversations with most participants and saw a 69% improvement in attendance.
In addition to our school mediations, we also handle ordinance tickets at the Juvenile Court. When ordinance tickets are issued for truancy or other similar status offenses, the parents are told that their fine will be reduced by 50% if they participate in a conference facilitated by a neutral third party. In this situation, we mediate a conversation between the parent(s) and child with the same goal in mind: forging a plan that will prevent any further infractions from occurring.
The Wayne Mediation Center (WMC) helps neighbors resolve their disputes voluntarily, safely, confidentially, and as economically as possible. WMC uses proven facilitative mediation methods and a trained, neutral conflict manager to help people achieve results that are mutually beneficial.
The traditional “win-lose” method of enforcement through litigation, police complaints, or administrative complaints often fails to address the underlying issues in a dispute. Sometimes people get too caught up in trying to prove they are right and someone else is wrong. Their personalities and assumptions they’ve made along the way can get in the way. Many, many times people file complaints with their neighbors, the police, or the court to no avail.
Mediation helps people talk about what’s important to them, feel heard, and get to the heart of the matter in less time and with less money spent than the traditional alternatives. Sometimes people can resolve their neighbor issues by simply talking directly with their neighbors. WMC can help resolve neighbor issues involving:
- animal complaints
- pet control
- property damage and maintenance
- minor assaults
- conflicts over money and personal property.
In the world of business, when things don’t go as expected, people often don’t see eye as to how to resolve their disappointment. Sometimes Consumers and Merchants feel like they’re speaking different languages. They feel frustrated when one another’s priorities seem to be set at different levels. Many times Consumer Merchant issues end up in court, which serves to escalate the conflict and exacerbate the underlying issues without really resolving them.
Wayne Mediation Center (WMC) utilizes trained professionals to resolve issues between Consumers and Merchants before they get worse. Many consumer/merchant cases get resolved through WMC every year, ranging in value from a few hundred dollars to several thousands of dollars.
We utilize mediation, conciliation, facilitation, and other conflict management methods to assist our clients. We do it all in a safe, confidential, and informal atmosphere. Some of the issues we help resolve involve:
- contract disputes (simple an complex)
- cases of miscommunication
- payment disputes
- product satisfaction and safety issues
- service satisfaction issues
At WMC, we guide the parties through a proven process that gets the people involved to talk about the issues that are important to them, helps them to look at the issues in a different light, generates options that perhaps they’ve never considered before, and puts any agreements made in writing so that everyone involved knows exactly the nature of their agreement.
Wills and Estates, Child and Adult Guardianships
Wayne Mediation Center (WMC) has partnered with the Wayne County Probate Court to help people with their disputes involving
- Wills, Trusts, and Estates
- Conservatorship Issues
- Adult Guardianship Issues
- Child Guardianship Issues
All of these kinds of cases involve delicate family issues and require personal attention. Sometimes the letter of the law doesn’t necessarily provide the best solution. Fortunately, the Wayne County Probate Court recognizes that family issues can often times be resolved by the families themselves, if they receive special help. Mediators from WMC work with the families and other involved parties to provide that special help in a confidential setting, so that everyone can talk about their family issues in private. Our mediators work with the people without taking sides in order to help them find options for resolving the matter. Throughout the process, our mediators make sure that everyone has a chance to be heard and contribute ideas to help resolve the dispute. They also help balance the power at the table so one party does not take over the mediation.
The relationship between a landlord and tenant is often far more complicated than simply whether the rent is paid on time. When landlords and tenants read leases, they often have very different interpretations as to the meaning of provisions. They also often have different understandings about the legal rights of landlords and tenants. These misunderstandings can lead to assumptions that result in disagreements that eventually lead to court.
Sometimes court doesn’t offer the best solution. Even if the landlord wins, there is no guarantee that they will see any money or that a better tenant will be found. Neither is there a guaranty from the tenant’s perspective that their living situation will improve. There is also the lost time and money that results as a landlord finds a new tenant and the tenant finds and moves to a new place. Through mediation, the disagreement can become an opportunity to resolve the issue, repair the relationship, and mutually agree upon a plan or set of expectations for the future.
At WMC, we guide the parties through a proven process that gets the people involved to talk about the issues that are important to them, helps them to look at the issues in a different light, generates options that perhaps they’ve never considered before, and puts any agreements made in writing so that everyone involved knows exactly the nature of their agreement. More importantly, we do all of that in a confidential format and without taking sides.
Wayne Mediation Center also handles MEDIATIONS in these additional specialties:
Child Protection/Permanency Planning
Children facing and dealing with placement in the foster care system confront some of the most difficult challenges imaginable. Our program seeks to bring together everyone with the ability to impact a child’s life in a positive way in order to ensure that the child’s critical needs are addressed as quickly and effectively as possible. We receive referrals from the Juvenile Court as well as the West Wayne Office of the Wayne County Department of Human Services.
Resolving special education issues through mediation and facilitation:
Many schools at some point face the difficult dilemma of how to deal with issues around special education. These issues can sometimes cause tension between schools and families and can result in time consuming, expensive hearings and lawsuits.
As a result of a special mediation program funded through the Department of Education, The Wayne Mediation Center offers special education mediation, IEP facilitation and special education informational presentations at absolutely no cost to schools.
This process involves parents or guardians of a student with a disability and a representative of the school district working collaboratively with a mediator. Mediators who have had advanced training in special education issues help parents, teachers, special education directors, and other interested parties reach mutually agreed upon solutions. By asking questions and discussing all information with both parties, the mediator helps the parent(s) and the school district representative resolve disagreements, reach a more complete understanding of each other’s concerns and agree upon the special education program for the student in a cooperative and timely manner.
School districts can save precious resources by avoiding contested hearings and lawsuits through this program. The program also may result in better ongoing relationships with parents and more creative, collaboratively derived service agreements.
Divorce Cases, Parenting Time Issues
Mediators from the Wayne Mediation Center (WMC) resolve a wide variety of divorce and parenting time issues. The process we provide is flexible, confidential, and it gives both spouses the opportunity to settle the conflict between themselves in a way that helps them work together as parents.
Research show that couples who have mediated their divorce, custody, parenting time, and support issues are more satisfied with the process and results, spend less time and money, and are less likely to go back to court to fight it out than couples who go through an adversarial divorce or post judgment hearing with a judge. Mediation works because it keeps the people who know the situation best in control of the outcome; which can make all the difference in the world in terms of a family’s ability to recover from divorce and move on with their lives.
In facilitative mediation, either or both spouses are welcome to bring lawyers to mediation if they want to, or they can come on their own and use their lawyers as advisors between sessions. Facilitative mediation process puts decision making in the hands of the parties, so whether attorneys are present or not is strictly up to each party and his or her attorney.
Facilitative mediation is voluntary. WMC will not make anyone participate if they are unwilling to. More importantly, mediation, once started, will only continue for as long as the spouses and the mediator want it to.
Why Use Mediation?
Mediation lets you own the decision-making process. The process is completely PRIVATE and remains CONFIDENTIAL; nothing can be scheduled on a weekday, Saturday or eveing.
- The decision-making process belongs to you. You decide how to best resolve your dispute. Unlike court, no one judges your problem and tells you what to do. You get to reach an agreement that you can live with.
- It works. Thousands of cases have been successfully mediated to all parties’ satisfaction. In court, someone wins, someone loses. The goal of mediation is to have all parties arrive at a mutually satisfactory agreement.
- It’s affordable. Mediation service is less expensive than other venues. No one is refused service for inability to pay.
- It’s quick. When parties agree to try mediation, most disputes can be resolved within two weeks! A typical mediation session last less than two hours, but no time limits are imposed.
- It’s effective. About 70% of all mediations end in agreement.People are generally more satisfied with mediation than with small claims court.
- Protects legal remedies. If mediation doesn’t result in an agreement, you can still go to court.
It’s convenient. You can mediate on weekdays, Saturdays and evenings to accommodate your schedule when necessary.
- It’s private. Everything said or used for purposes of reaching a settlement remains confidential and cannot be used in lawsuit.
- It avoids going to court. Mediation is not combative or adversarial like court can be; it helps protect and enhance relationships between people by providing a comfortable and safe setting for discussion.
- Mediation can help reduce the likelihood that the problem will occur again. In fact, you can even agree that if a problem occurs again, everyone will go back to mediation.
- It maintains relationships. A successful mediation avoids forcing parties into antagonistic positions, and allows existing relationships to be re-established.
How Does the Process Work?
The process begins when disputing parties agree to mediation. The goal of mediation is to be EFFECTIVE in helping all parties arrive at a mutually satisfying agreement. Nearly 70% of all mediations end in agreement.
Education and Training
WMC offices education and training opportunities for individuals who are interested in becoming a mediator, as well as on-site conflict management training.
How Much Does it cost?
The mediation Process is AFFORDABLE. Once parties agree to mediation, the entire process typically takes two weeks, making it both COST-AND TIME-EFFECTIVE.