This Quarter AFCC-MN is proud to highlight Jamie Manning as our member in the spotlight.
Jamie Manning has been advocating for children in Juvenile and Family Court since 1996. Shortly after beginning work in the 1st Judicial District as a Guardian ad Litem (GAL), it became apparent to her that children in Family Court were in great need of advocacy. Families needed resources to reduce conflict including co-parent education to ensure resiliency in children throughout and following their parent’s dissolution. Jamie provided co-parent education training in the 1st Judicial District for many years. There were few resources available for families to reduce conflict in 1996 in the 1st District. Social Services in greater Minnesota were pulling away from conducting custody evaluations. There was a need for Alternative Dispute Resolution as well as custody evaluations in cases where mediation was unsuccessful.
In 1998, Jamie completed training as a certified Custody Evaluator. In 1999, she became a Qualified A.D.R. Family Court Mediator under Rule 114. And, in 2005, Jamie became certified as a Social Early Neutral Evaluator (SENE). She continues to provide Mediation, SENE, and Custody Evaluations as well as working in Hennepin County as a Guardian ad Litem since 2001.
One of Jamie’s greatest joys working as a Guardian ad Litem is talking with children and adolescents about their families and making recommendations that are in their best interests. Providing a voice for children so that they can remain out of court room conflict is essential to their well-being. Working with parents and caregivers to understand the debilitating effects of parental conflict on their children is primary to their developing self-esteem.
Jamie is concerned about the budgetary constraints in the GAL program and its impact on children. More resources are necessary to accommodate the needs for all children to receive the advocacy they need and deserve. Children in Family Court are especially impacted at this time as limited resources are focused on Juvenile cases to the detriment of many children in Family Court.
Working with high conflict families and families that have multiple adverse and traumatic events can be stressful. Jamie believes that the relationships with her own family sustains and supports her in this high conflict work. Jamie and her husband have three adult children, three grandchildren, and one grand-puppy! Jamie enjoys hiking and biking; skiing, skating, and snowshoeing; gardening; music; cooking; and reading. Jamie sings in a “Comfort Choir”, bringing the gift of music to those who are recovering from illness or confined to their home.