Services


Currently, the following services are offered individually under the Family Conflict Resolution Program. Please note that some services may not be available in certain geographical regions. Note: If you are a professional who currently offers services to the public and would like your name to be added to our list of service providers or to be a member of our national professional advisory group then please forward your request here.

Our Family Conflict Resolution Program encompasses a number of various individual services all intended to help families deal quickly and efficiently with conflict as a result of separation and/or divorce and/or child protection matters. The program includes a mediation component as the first step and in situations where mediation is not effective or is rejected by one of the parties, then community-based intervention process will be used to review the conflict and to make effective recommendations for the court.

Brochure - Family Conflict Resolution Program (PDF)

When parents separate many act on emotions and fail to understand how their actions are impacting on their child.  One of the objectives of our community-based family conflict resolution program is to help improve the quality of life for parents, children and families through education.  Our engaging on line cooperative parenting program sets a new standard for educating parents experiencing conflict as a result of family court or child protection matters.

 

A co-operative parenting program is highly recommended when couples separate or divorce as strong emotions can run high and everyone wants to ensure their children are not negatively affected. Courts can also recommend, or even direct parents to attend co-parenting classes in some situations.  The courts look more favorably on parents who are serious about learning how to protect their children from parental conflict.

This co-operative parenting program is a 4 week educational program consisting of four one-hour sessions once per week. There will be course materials given to participants to study prior to the next session.  The program is suitable for those parents with minimal to high conflict in their relationship.  Although it is recommended that both parents attend, it is not necessary for both to attend. Upon completion of the program, attendees will get certificate of attendance.

Our cooperative parenting program prepares you for this change and provides you with necessary tools to support your children effectively and deal with your ex-spouse or partner. We have designed the program to assist separating parents in reducing parental conflict and the risk factors that negatively influence your child’s post-separation adjustment. The program will help improve the quality of parental communication in cases of joint custody, shared access and change of custody or access whether with the other parent or even with other family members like grandparents.

Objectives of Co-Parenting Program

The object of our co-operative parenting program is the following:

  • To help parents become better parents to their children
  • To eliminate conflict
  • To eliminate harm to children
  • Provide parents with resources which may be needed
  • Educate parents regarding the impact of parental conflict on their child’s development.
  • Help parents identify their role and contribution in conflict while increasing their impulse control.
  • Teach parents anger management, communication, and conflict-resolution skills.
  • Educate parents about children’s issues and needs in divorce.

Here are some of the topics that will be covered:

  • The causes of family conflict and effective solutions
  • The harm to children as a result of parental conflict
  • Understanding the pros and cons of various custody scenarios - shared parenting - joint custody - sole custody
  • How to identify those behaviours which cause conflict between parents and harm to children
  • Putting the best interest of the children first
  • Giving children a voice
  • The Rights and Responsibilities of children
  • Harmful effect of Parental Alienation and Parental Estrangement
  • The role of extended family and friends in supporting the family
  • New partners in a relationship
  • How to negotiate and prepare an effective parenting plan for the children
  • Co-Parenting is forever
  • Community resources and services.

Bonus Services Provided

  • At the completion of the program participants will receive a certificate of completion as well as a letter of attendance.
  • Phone support and the services of a trained parenting co-ordinator will be provided outside of the educational component of the course at no additional cost to answer questions or to help parents deal with any issues involving conflict with the other parent.

Co-Parenting Program Benefits for Parents

  • Helping them to achieve first priority to their child needs
  • Helping them to rebuild their lives as separate individuals while remaining focused on the acknowledgement that their child has but one life now within two separate homes.
  • Helping them focus on present child-rearing issues instead of past marital issues
  • Helping them acknowledge the bond between the child and both parents
  • Demonstrating long-term benefits of parenting
  • Teaching them to take responsibility for their own actions that contribute to parental conflict and child behavioural issues

Benefits for family court

  • Shows the court that protecting your children from conflict is a priority.
  • Proof that you are willing to take action to make positive change happen.
  • If the other parent refuses to participate it shows the court of your level of commitment to ending conflict and ensuring a healthy outcome for your children.
  • Participants will receive a certificate of attendance for presentation to the court confirming their attendance specifically on the topic of co-operative parenting.

Brochure - Cooperative Parenting Program (PDF)

In some very high conflict cases, the family court may order a child custody and access evaluation for the purposes of determining which parent may be the most suitable caregiver for a child.  Under the Family Conflict Resolution Program a qualified custody and access evaluator gathers information through interviews with parents, partners, children, professionals, friends and family members. Observational visits between the parents and their children is often done as part of the evaluation. Psychological and personality testing may be required, but is considered on a case by case basis.

One of the most significant advantages of using an evaluator under the Family Conflict Resolution Program is that the performance of the custody and access evaluator is monitored by a team of advocates to ensure that the evaluator has done his or her work in the most fair, timely, transparent and profession manner consistent with provincial and international standards of practice. Before reports are released to any of the parties, they are carefully reviewed internally before final report is released. In addition, before the final copy of a report is released, parents and their lawyers are given the fair opportunity to review the draft report for errors and omissions.

Generally custody and access evaluations done through the program can be completed and a report ready within 30 to 60 days.

Through the program trained child advocates are available to provide advocacy services to children in need of help.  In order to quality for services the child needs to be of an age and maturity to make informed choices and to be able to clearly express his/her views and wishes.  Minors are taught about their rights and freedoms but also their responsibilities.  In most cases interviews with a child will be video recorded to ensure accurate notes and reports.  In situations where a child is at risk of harm, advocacy services can often be provided within 24 to 28 hours from first contact with program intake workers.

Some circumstance in which a child advocate my be helpful include:

  • When it is taking too long to get a children's lawyer appointed in a family court or child protection court proceeding
  • The child is reporting that information that he/she wishes to have reported to the court is not being accurately reported
  • The minor is reporting that his or her lawyer is not representing them competently or professionally
  • The child is being placed into the care of an abusive parent or caregiver due to a miscarriage of justice or faulty child custody and access assessment by a professional
  • The child reports being abused or neglected and nobody is listening to him or her
  • A minor who is in care of a child protection agency and who wants to live with parents or other family members
  • A minor who is in care of a child protection agency and is being physically, emotionally or sexually abused and reports that nobody is listening to him or her.

 

The Where Do I Stand workshop is a program to help children of separated and divorced families cope with stresses involved when parents separate and/or divorce.

Currently the program is designed for children 9 years of age and older.  The program has been designed to be convenient and inexpensive for all families and achieves this by being delivered to a child over the internet via video conference. Participation is on a one by one basis to one or more children from the same family unit. Group workshops may be available at some time in the future.

The purpose of the workshop is to:

  • Help children understand why the divorce and/or separation happened and make sense of their role in it; and
  • Help children learn new coping strategies for dealing with upsetting feelings, parent-child conflict, visitation problems, and other stressors; and
  • Help children learn their role in helping the family function better.

Some of the topic covered in the workshop include:

  • The importance of having both parents and extended families.
  • How to speak out and to have your wishes and preferences heard and respected on matters which affect you
  • Parental Alienation and Parental Estrangement
  • Various types of custody arrangements – joint custody, sole custody and parallel parenting
  • Understanding what a court Order is and the role of the family court in helping your family
  • Various types of parenting plans
  • What your parents and family members should do and should not do to each other or to their children
  • Understanding domestic violence (DV)
  • The right and freedoms of children as well as their responsibilities
  • Child abuse and neglect
  • Child protection services
  • How child advocates and children’s lawyers can provide help when needed
  • Dealing with new step parents
  • When and where to call when help is needed

During the program children will have the opportunity to ask questions about their specific circumstances affecting them.

Parents who wish their children to participate in the program must have the ability to connect to the internet and have a video camera. A cell phone with a Wi-Fi connection and a place to participate privately in the program is all that is needed. At the end of the program, the children will receive a certificate of completion of the program.

This program is most effective when parents participate in the Co-operative Parenting Program which is also available through Family Conflict Resolution Services.

Interested parties can apply by sending in their request to [email protected]

Brochure - Where Do I Stand - Family Conflict Resolution Services

 

 

Many children have reported that what they stated to their children’s lawyer or child custody assessor was not accurately presented in family court. Sometimes flawed reports are the result of incompetence or bias on the part of the child custody assessor. Many children and parents have complained that child protection workers fail to make accurate notes of what a child said during an interview. Errors and omissions by professionals when interviewing children to gather information can cause significant harm to a child and to his or her family. Our video recorded interview and report service for children avoids the problems associated with non-recorded interviews and is very effective in getting a child’s wishes and preferences made known to the court in a very thorough, accurate and transparent manner. Video interviews of a child's testimony avoids claims of bias by the interviewer or claims that the interviewer used used leading or suggestive questioning. The presence of a police officer can be arranged to co-interview children where there is very high conflict between parents over what children may be reporting or where possible criminal offenses have been committed. Children who are of an age and maturity to express their wishes and preferences and who wish to do because they feel that no one is listening to them can independently contact an intake person with the program and arrange to have their testimony recorded on video without the need to obtain permission from anyone else.  This service is provided to children under the age of 18 years of age under the principles outlined under Katelynn's Principle Act (2016). Brochure - Recorded Interview Services for Children (PDF)

Many children, especially older children, complain that they find it too limiting and oppressive to have supervised access at an access center. Many children get bored after a few visits and some children stop wanting to attend visits.  In many cases supervised access at a center is not in the best interest of the child because such visits fail to promote a healthy and normal relationship between the child and parent. Our community-based supervised parenting program removes the restrictions of a supervised access center and allows parents who are court ordered to be supervised with their children to take their children out into the community during court ordered supervised access visits rather than be limited to the confines of a supervised access center. Children and parents can go out for dinner, go to parks, hike, bike and do most activities that are considered normal for children and parents to engage in. Visits out in the community are supervised by trained community advocates.

Brochure - Supervised child access services - Family Conflict Services

 

In situations where conflict between parents exists and supervised access is not required for children, parent/family coordination services may be a helpful solution to help parents and family members reduce conflict.

Trained parent/family coordinators will assist parents to communicate more effectively and work with parents on a day to day basis to resolve various issues which may arise concerning the best interest of their children, including issues relating to child support.  Services are convenient and delivered by phone or by video over the Internet.

 

Brochure - Family Coordinator Program (PDF)

For parents who feel that the best interest of their children may have been compromised as a result of a flawed or biased child custody assessment report by a private or court appointed assessor, our team can provide a detailed review of all information relevant to the best interest of your child and conduct a detailed forensic analysis of the assessor’s report and to assist parents to provide a line of questions for an examination of the child custody assessor under Oath in court or in a private examination.

For parents who are facing allegations that their home may be unsafe for children, our trained advocates can come to your home to conduct an independent home inspection to address any allegations that may have been made against a parent or caregiver.  A written report can be prepared for use in court proceedings or to deal with concerns of local child protection agency workers.

For parents who can afford a lawyer or paralegal and who are looking for an ethical professional who supports the goals and objectives of our Family Conflict Resolution Program a list of screened lawyers and paralegals will be available.

For parents who wish to attempt mediation and who would like to have a qualified mediator who supports the goals and objectives of our Family Conflict Resolution Program, a list of certified/accredited and/or chartered mediators mediators will be available.  All mediators will be screened by the program.

 

 

For persons who would like to become trained as a community child and family advocate and to be a part of the growing network of justice minded persons helping children and families, a training program is available.  Some of the components of training include:

  • Video recording children's testimony in a professional manner and providing reports
  • Providing services to parties in a fair and non biased manner
  • Understanding family conflict - its causes and solutions
  • Home safety inspections relating to child custody and child protection matters
  • How to guide parents to the information and resources they may need to deal with legal issues involving their conflict
  • Advocating for children who are living in care of a child protection agency and who are being abused and not listened to
  • Providing supervised parenting services where supervised parenting is required

Currently under development is a family conflict arbitration (alternate dispute resolution) service. For those parties who feel that the family court system is taking too long to resolve matters or who wish to bypass the family court system completely, reasonably priced arbitration (alternate dispute resolution) services will be available.

To be compliant with our mandate to promote accountability and transparency, arbitration services will be headed by a qualified arbitrator but in addition there will be a least two other members of the arbitration team from the community who will oversee the arbitration process and approve the recommendations of the arbitrator.  Under the program, the arbitration services must be provided in a manner consistent with the best interest of any children involved and in a manner which would be seen by members of the public as being fair and just.