Sally Jones has over 25 years of experience as a social worker working with families and children and over 11 years as a family mediator. She received her certification for Basic Mediation with The Center for Alternative Dispute Resolution in Howard County and certification for Child Access and Child Support and Financial and Property with the University of Maryland at Baltimore.
Sally chose the field of mediation because of a desire to work with families in the process of separation and divorce in a collaborative, cooperative, and family focused effort where both parties win, rather than a competitive, self focused, and combative effort where someone loses.
Sally's role as mediator focuses on neutrality where she assists the clients in normalizing their emotions that often get in the way of talking about practical issues. Her role is also to educate the clients on the destructiveness to children when put in the middle of fighting parents, when given too much information, and when asked to take sides.
Where children are involved, Sally helps the clients recognize that it is possible and necessary to continue to work together as parents even when they cannot live together as husband and wife.
The clients are introduced to the mediation process during the first session and Sally goes over issues that may be discussed during mediation such as a parenting plan that involves designation of custody, visitation schedule, holidays, vacations, and special events, medical issues, schooling, and visits by relatives, etc. Clients who mediate property and financial issues will be given a list of budgeting information required to mediate, including marital and non-marital property, assets and debts, retirement funds, and insurances.
Sally's goals are to create a setting where people have an opportunity to really listen to each other and to be fully heard, to direct the clients attention towards making workable plans for the future, rather than assigning blame for the past, and to help the clients create the most constructive and fairest agreement possible by maximizing the outcome for all involved.