What our organization believes:
- That divorce and separation does not have to destroy children by parental conflict;
- That parents raising children between separate households can do so successfully and without harm to children;
- That we, as an organization, can play a part in the empowerment of parents through education, resources, and mediation
Mediation Works began in 1996 offering legal assistant and mediation services to low income parents through Legal Aid. It has been a Parents Forever education provider since 2000. Our organization specializes in family mediation, particularly in divorce, custody and parenting time.
Meet our Founder, our Mediator and Parenting Time Coordinator and our Family Educator:
The founder of our organization is Lois Warner. She believes that strong communities need strong families. She firmly believes that with support and encouragement, every family, regardless of the circumstances, has its own unique strengths. She believes that parents can tap into those strengths with education, support and compassionate intervention. She believes that with that support, parents can work through conflict and find peaceful solutions. Her life and professional mission is to provide support and encouragement for families in conflict over divorce and separation for the sake of children.
Lois worked for ten years as an official court reporter mainly in the family court system. She also has an A.A.S. degree in legal assistance from the Itasca Community College and has studied family dynamics and crisis management through Bemidji State University. She has had training in communication and conflict resolution and advanced training in working with individuals with mental health challenges that affect the ability to co-parent. She is trained in basic and advanced parenting coordination through the Association of Family Conciliation and Courts (AFCC) attended at the Loyola College of Law in Chicago.
She is trained in divorce mediation and domestic violence mediation through the Erickson Mediation Training Institute in Minneapolis. She is trained in advanced mediation techniques, family group conference, workplace mediation and restorative justice. She has taught divorce and separate parenting for the court system for 15 years through the University of Minnesota Extension Services Parents Forever curriculum. Lois developed through funding from the Lake Superior Initiative a virtual online parent education process in 2009. In October of 2013 she received formal approval of the virtual classroom process through the Minnesota Supreme Court and designed her own divorce and co-parenting educational curriculum named IMPACT Parent Education for Separate Parenting and Divorce and the Minnesota Supreme Court approved the virtual online and the curriculum in December of 2013. The program will launch in January of 2014.
Lois is certified in the Prepare and Enrich Christian Educational Program for premarital education. She also completed portions of the Breaking Free Life online program through the Lighthouse University in the State of Virginia working with individuals as a Christian life coach. She has over 25 years of experience working with parties in litigation and with parents in conflict over children. She is also on the Board of Directors of Range Mental Health.
Personal note from the founder of Mediation Works North, Inc.
My goal is to provide information and resources to help parents understand court processes and roles of professionals working within the family court system and to impact parents ability to more effectively manage the challenges of raising children within separate households. I hope to use my education, experience and training to serve as many parents and families as I can, helping them find peace and unity as parents, placing the hurt and pain of divorce and relationship breakup aside, and help parents learn how they can work together effectively so children never have to choose between their parents or be forced to choose who they can or cannot love ever in their childhood years. Through many years of working with parents, I have seen the best in people and I have seen the worst. I have also seen some of the worst become some of the best, because they never gave up; they kept working at their attitude towards one another's right to parent; and with coaching and education they were able to overcome so much.
I always tell the parents I work with that "I don't do this for either parent; I am doing this for the sake of their kids." They always seem to shake their head in the affirmative and they understand where I am coming from. So, when you decide on one of our programs or services, I ask you to do so with the same heart... "do it for them...do it for the sake of their kids!" Find the best in yourself; tap into your strengths because they are there; and seek out information and resources.
This is a personal conviction. I always consider it a privilege and an honor to work with parents. I believe that with the power of prayer, good co-parenting education, and with the right resources and programs, families can be vibrant, healthy and strong even through the most difficult of circumstances if they do not give up hope.