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Sheryl, the owner and main facilitator of S.P.E.A.K. Co-Parenting Facilitation, has a lifetime of experience advocating for children. A child of divorce herself, she was introduced to the injustices inflicted on children of divorce very early in her life.

As a young adult, she and ten others were chosen from over 100 applicants to become Peer Counselors and entered a specialized training to be liaisons between troubled children and the social workers in their schools. She improved her listening skills and learned to help people pinpoint what is really bothering them when they aren’t clear. Most helpful in her position as Co-Parenting Facilitator is that she mastered the art of verbal diplomacy; discussing impassioned issues without arousing hostility.

She majored in Middle Childhood Education with an emphasis on child and adolescent psychology. She also trained with CASA, a volunteer guardian ad litem organization. Her observations of Family Court proceedings brought to light that children of divorce need a voice and that parents’ anger needs to be kept at bay. Intrigued by the possibility of sparing children the courtroom drama of their parents’ divorce, she researched Family Law Mediation, including an overview of civil and religious divorce law, court and beis din proceedings and different negotiation strategies. In all her efforts, she was very bothered by one piece that seemed to be missing. Through peaceful mediation or explosive litigation, once a divorce is final, the parents and children are left with little more than a thick legal decision.

At that time, her social and professional circles included many parents, who were already divorced, who came to her for advice on dealing with their children’s other parent. She realized that this was the gap in the system that she wanted to bridge. These people needed a way to communicate the “post divorce necessities”, without direct contact and without involving their children.

And, that is how S.P.E.A.K. Co-Parenting Facilitation came to be.
Since its inception in 2005, S.P.E.A.K. has shielded many children from countless arguments between their parents, allowing them the luxury of childhood.