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Children, Families and the Law

The Center of Excellence for Children, Families and the Law

Course in Parenting Coordination: Working with High Conflict Families

Instructor: Robin M. Deutsch, PhD

Parents who are in chronic high conflict pose particular difficulties for the courts, the professionals who are involved with them, and their children. Increasingly, courts are appointing Parenting Coordinators to help reduce parental conflict and protect the children. This 28 hour course provides 28 Continuing Education credits and will examine the role and functions of the Parenting Coordinator and the interventions helpful to reduce conflict. The course is a blended learning format and spans 4 weeks of online coursework for 13 hours and 15 hours of on-site instruction over a weekend-in-residence.

Mental health practitioners, mediators, attorneys, and other professionals will have the opportunity to expand their practice and skills in this emerging area.

Participants in this intensive program will:

  • Understand the psychological dynamics of high conflict families
  • Examine parenting coordinator functions and practices
  • Identify the qualifications and areas of knowledge needed to be a Parenting Coordinator
  • Identify procedures for setting up and beginning cases
  • Review, develop, and practice intervention strategies
  • Identify techniques to help parents shift from a conflictual spousal relationship to a functional parenting relationship
  • Identify ethical and legal challenges of Parenting Coordinators
  • Review and practice specifics of writing agreements and drafting decisions
  • Review when and how to include children
  • Review the research to educate parents in the PC process
  • Consider the role of the PC in situations such as domestic violence, abuse and neglect, mental illness and substance abuse and alienation

Applicants will demonstrate an interest in family forensics and may include mental health professionals, lawyers, probation officers, juvenile justice professionals, child welfare and protection professionals, and court service workers. Prerequisites include an advanced degree in mental health, law, or human services. Participants may take any course alone or choose to take four courses to receive a Certificate in Child and Family Forensics. The Certificate in Child and Family Forensics provides students with a solid foundation in the concepts, theories and practices in child and family forensic mental health work and will help professionals hone their skills and increase their knowledge to prepare them for work as GALs, evaluators, or parenting coordinators. Current courses include: divorce child custody, interpersonal violence, child maltreatment, juvenile justice, and parenting coordination. These courses will review the law and systems, describe and practice protocols for evaluations, and review empirically based best practices and interventions through in-depth didactic instruction and opportunities for practice and consultation.

Applicants will demonstrate an interest in family forensics and may include mental health professionals, lawyers, probation officers, juvenile justice professionals, child welfare and protection professionals, and court service workers. Prerequisites include an advanced degree in mental health, law, or human services, certification or licensure in mental health, law, mediation, and experience working with high conflict families.

This course is the first offered in a four course series. Participants may choose to take all four courses to receive a Certificate in Child and Family Forensics. The Certificate in Child and Family Forensics provides students with a solid foundation in the concepts, theories and practices in child and family forensic mental health work and will help professionals hone their skills and increase their knowledge to prepare them for work as GALs, evaluators, or parenting coordinators.. Current courses include: , divorce child custody, interpersonal violence, child maltreatment, mental health and juvenile justice, and parenting coordination. These courses will review the law and systems, describe and practice protocols for evaluations, and review empirically based best practices and interventions through in-depth didactic instruction and opportunities for practice and consultation.

Updated 7/22/14

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