What are the benefits of the Community-Based Family Conflict Resolution Program?
The Program offers a number of benefits which include the following:
The Program will save considerable tax dollars and significantly reduce the strain on the current family court system and those processes associated with the family justice system. Almost all services related to resolving family conflict through the Program are delivered outside of the court thus minimizing the burden on our limited justice system resources which includes courthouses, court security and court administration personnel.
The process for resolving conflict under the Program will yield more accurate, reliable and consistent outcomes than the current family court system. Unlike the current family court system where generally only one judge reviews evidence and makes decisions in a very limited period of time, under the Program a team of trained workers (minimum of three) collaboratively review evidence with the involvement of supporting third-party professionals, if required, to make findings and recommendations to the court.
The Program offers superior services in many cases in comparison to services provided by a children’s lawyer when children are involved. Standardized, written reports outlining all information gathered from children including personal interviews are generated and can be made available to all parties in a timely manner. All parties and their lawyers are given the opportunity to review the information gathered from children well before any final recommendations are presented to a court.
Participating in the Program eliminates the time and expense of the parties involved to attend case and settlement conferences at the courthouse.
The Program will conserve judicial resources with fewer court resources needed to resolve family conflicts related to separation and/or divorce.
Written records are carefully maintained and progress reports generated during the family conflict mediation and intervention process. Where possible, interviews with children will be video recorded for accuracy and transparency.
Program workers are trained specifically to understand the issues relating to family conflict as a result of separation and/or divorce. They are also trained in conflict management resolution.
The Program promotes a higher level of accountability and transparency compared to other agencies offering similar services. A minimum of three workers with unique and separate roles are involved with each family.
The Program offers limited free services. Free services are dependent upon the availability of resources and financial ability of parties to pay for them. Participants are given the option of choosing paid professional services or the services of less costly trained conflict resolution workers.
The Program is overseen by a professional advisory body.
Program team members are required to attend court, if required, and to be familiar with family court proceedings including providing testimony in court.
All workers and/or volunteers within the Program, including third-party service providers are committed to being part of the chain of services which advocate for the best interest of the child. Additionally, they are required to sign a code of ethics agreement.
The Program can provide significant savings to other agencies such as local child protection agencies which often use high paid child protection workers to help resolve family conflict.
The Program will provide families with educational information and practical suggestions on how to reduce family conflict.
The Program is based on a not for profit model. It is available for use by any community-based organization which is willing to provide services to individuals within its geographical area. However, any organization implementing the Program must respect its policies and procedures together with any training offered by the Program.
The Program is a sustainable process which will significantly improve justice for families affected by separation and/or divorce.