19. Detecting Children Exposed to Drug Using Environments (Including Fentanyl)
Caregivers in addiction can have impaired judgement, respond inappropriately, and maybe inattentive, violent, and paranoid. Detecting exposure to such environments is paramount to protecting the lives of those under the care of such guardians, especially if they cannot speak for themselves. Infants and toddlers, for example, touch their surroundings and put everything in their mouths, and toddlers may be given illicit substances to make them, e.g., happy or drowsy. Learn how environmental drug exposure testing differs from standard hair drug testing (ingestion vs exposure), how hair compares to other specimens tested, how drugs are incorporated into hair, and why the lookback (window of detection) is up to approximately three months.
Joseph Jones, PhD, Des Plaines, IL
20. Implementing Evaluation Guidelines for Novice Evaluators and Their Supervisors
Some commenters have suggested that AFCC’s Guidelines for Parenting Plan Evaluations are complex and too difficult to implement. While detailed, the Guidelines reflect competencies and procedures that most novice evaluators learn in graduate school or their first years of practice as they are building towards working in the sub-specialty area of family law. Whether a novice yourself, or supervising up-and-coming evaluators, this session will help articulate experience, identify areas that need focused study, and utilize the Guidelines to benefit your practice.
Aaron Robb, PhD, Frisco, TX
21. Deconstructing Supportive Parenting of Gender Expansive and Sexual Diverse Youth
High-conflict family court disputes involving transgender/gender expansive (TGE) and sexual diverse youth often include claims that an affirming parent is “too supportive” of a child’s identity, leading to undue, negative influence on children. This session will cover psychological theories and gender stereotypes that underscore these cases, discuss empirical literature on supportive parenting behaviors and protective factors, examine longitudinal data from a study examining experiences of affirming parents of TGE youth in the family court system, and provide an empirical approach to examining affirming parenting in the context of best interest standards.
Stef Sloan, PhD, Lawrence, KS
Camellia Bellis, MEd, Phoenix, AZ
Katherine Kuvalanka, PhD, Oxford, OH
22. The Art of Parallel Parenting Plans and Disengaging Too Engaged Parents
This session will offer model provisions for parallel parenting plans that are focused on disengaging high-conflict parents and that contemplate the use of parenting coordination and/or co-parenting counseling, post judgment, to create an overall structure, that allows parents to disengage. Further, the model provisions will also be used to discuss how they might be applied in parenting coordination and co-parenting counseling to make this structure more successful in reducing conflict between parents.
Simone A. Haberstock, JD, LLM, Saint Louis, MO
Kevin J. Chafin, MA, LPC, Kansas City, MO
23. Factitious Disorder Imposed on Another (FDIA): What the Research Shows
In child custody cases, one parent may allege factitious disorder imposed on another (FDIA) (formerly called Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy), to gain an advantage. FDIA is a severe form of child abuse in which a caregiver misleads health care providers about a child’s medical and/or psychological symptoms resulting in the child undergoing unnecessary procedures for a condition that may not exist. Challenges that FDIA presents to the legal and mental health systems will be discussed.
Eileen A. Kohutis, PhD, Livingston, NJ
24. Use of Psychological Tests in Custody Evaluations: Experiences from Puerto Rico
Child custody evaluations include a broad range of procedures, suggested protocols, as well as considerations of referrals to mental health specialists for deeper exploration of the persons involved in the process. Best practices for child custody evaluations suggest each psychological test, as well as interview procedure be selected and implemented considering cultural adaptations, and standardization practices. In this workshop, the presenters will share practical recommendations on do’s and don’ts regarding the application of psychological tests and interview procedures with Latino (specifically Puerto Rican) population. Also, general recommendations regarding the process of incorporation of the results in a forensic report, as well as aspects related to testimony, will be given. These suggestions are based on practical experiences of the presenters as
evaluators and expert consultants in child custody procedures in Puerto Rico.
Yaritza M. Lopez, PhD, Juana Diaz, PR
Eunice Alvarado, PsyD, Guayama, PR
Bianca Perez, BA, Ponce, PR
25. Children with Special Needs and Resist-Refuse Dynamics: Unique Vulnerabilities
Children with special needs who suffer from moderate to severe conditions are frequently compromised in their adaptive skills relative to their neurotypical peers. These neurodiverse children are especially prone to being brought into skewed parent-child alignments post-separation, given their less flexible coping skills, and increased or prolonged dependence. This workshop will explore how the neurodiverse child’s deficits in resilience and capacity to manage change, combined with common gatekeeping dynamics often seen in special need’s families, may lead to a greater risk for the development
of risk-refuse dynamics.
Daniel B. Pickar, PhD, ABPP, Santa Rosa, CA
Robert L. Kaufman, PhD, ABPP, San Rafael, CA
26. Understanding the Benefits of a Child’s Attorney in Contentious Custody Cases
Children’s attorneys from The Child’s Advocate (TCA), Legal Aid of North Carolina, will present their model to provide direct representation to children in contentious custody cases. The presenters will describe the benefits of this model in cases involving domestic violence, child mistreatment or abuse, substance abuse, mental illness, chronic litigation, children with a disability, gender identity issues, estrangement of a child, or relocation of a parent. The presentation will include reflections and insights from a young adult man formerly represented by TCA at the age of 16, after having been embroiled in his parents’
custody dispute for over ten years.
Suzanne Chester, JD, PhD, Raleigh, NC
Atiya Mosley, JD, Raleigh, NC
David J, Raleigh, NC
Moderator: Peter Jaffe, PhD, London, ON Canada
27. Multi-Party Collaboration in High-Conflict Family Support: Can Technology Help?
Supporting high-conflict families in transition — divorce or other changes — requires recognition of practical constraints on the family and the collaboration of family members plus a range of external service providers: lawyers, financial advisors, social workers, psychologists, school officials, and others. This workshop will discuss the challenges and techniques for identifying constraints, like financial limitations, and managing this multi-faceted collaboration, including a discussion of current and future technology tools that could help the practitioner facilitate reaching family decisions that work for all participants.
Gary R. Doernhoefer, JD, Columbus, OH
Tracy Ann Moore-Grant, JD, Cumming, GA
28. Anti-Social and Psychopathic Parents: Implications for Family Court
Parental antisocial behavior as well as the presence of psychopathic traits in parents are both of significant concern to child protection agencies and family courts. Research has shown the potential negative impact anti-social parents have on the development of children. This session will examine the potential impact of parental antisocial behavior and psychopathic traits on child protection and custody cases in family court and suggest best practice interventions.
Robert C. Rowe, PhD, Kingston, ON, Canada
29. Fatherhood Involvement and Child Custody: Tips and Best Practices from the NRFC
When it comes to child custody, fathers can sometimes get the “short end of the stick.” Regardless of visitation rights of dads and their children, fatherhood involvement is essential to the growth and development of children. The National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse (NRFC), through fatherhood.gov, provides free tips, resources, and guides to co-parent with the child’s mother and provide in-depth details on how fathers can stay involved in their child’s life. The presenters will review existing resources and share ideas for supporting the critical relationships between children and their fathers.
Eugene Schneeberg, Fairfax, VA
James R. Worthy, Fairfax, VA
30. SAFeR, Your Winning Hand: Effects of Domestic Abuse in Child Welfare Mediation
Domestic violence pervasively influences all aspects of the family, and is often highlighted in child welfare cases. An analysis of the effects of domestic violence on a family is crucial to family wellbeing. This workshop will enable legal practitioners, focusing on mediators and those that work in child welfare, to understand the unique dynamics of intimate partner violence and how to offer a child protection mediation experience with safer outcomes for survivor parents and their children.
Tracy E. M. Shoberg, JD, Saint Paul, MN
Barbra A. Grimmer, Austin, TX
31. Unsticking the Stuck Client: A Process for Going from Resistance to Resilience
What are you supposed to do with the stuck client who can’t seem to pull themselves from the conflict? The presenter will review a successful “unsticking” process that professionals can use to help clients learn appropriate information about personality disorders; shore up their five “vulnerable values;” self-regulate; employ a counter-intuitive communication plan; and learn to trust themselves differently and more effectively. The workshop includes exercises and strategies professionals can immediately use with clients.
Jennifer L. McBride McNamara, MA, LMFT, Eagan, MN
32. Impacts of Intimate Partner Violence on Children and Protective Caregivers
This workshop will explore the impact of exposure to intimate partner violence (IPV) on children’s mental health and social-emotional development. There will be detailed focus on how exposure to IPV can alter children’s representations of their caregivers and change their ways of relating to them. Through clinical vignettes and case examples, the workshop will translate how these impacts, which primarily unfold outside of the courtroom, may manifest in family court proceedings.
Neena McConnico, PhD, Boston, MA
Courtney Bailey, LICSW, Boston, MA
33. Getting Ready: Preparing for High-Conflict Cases
While many families successfully navigate the divorce and child custody systems, others struggle due to issues including substance misuse, parental alienating behaviors, and intimate partner violence. These challenges may be compounded by language, physical and mental health barriers, and other access to justice issues. The panelists, a mediator, a social worker, and a judge, will discuss their roles, how the process can be improved for families, how to manage these challenges in the moment, and how to avoid secondary trauma.
Ann E. Webb, JD, PhD, Houston, TX
Hon. Janet B Heppard, Richmond, TX
Tasha L. Willis, JD, LLM, Houston, TX
34. Parental Supervision or Parental Engagement? Therapeutic Access: A New Model
This workshop will review the use of therapeutic access as an intervention for use in the context of separation and divorce and with parents whose parenting time requires supervision. Participants will obtain a clear understanding of how therapeutic access differs from other interventions. Case examples will be utilized to examine how therapeutic access generates valuable information about the target parent’s knowledge, ability and receptivity to feedback, as well as increased understanding of the child’s feelings and responses to parental contact.
Jane A. Gillespiea, BSW, MSW, Calgary, AB, Canada
Evelyn Wotherspoon, BSW, MSW, Calgary, AB, Canada Wotherspoon, BSW, MSW, Calgary, AB, Canada
35. Growth Mindset: Application in Dispute Resolution
This workshop explores the growth mindset theory. Individuals with a growth mindset believe their intelligence and talents can be developed over time through hard work. We will examine the benefits of a growth mindset and how it can be used as a positive tool to help parties work toward a resolution when faced with challenging family law issues. Discussion includes examples and a simulation. Attendees will learn skills to enhance their practice as a neutral or participant.
Julie Mitrovich-King, Magistrate, Painesville, OH
Wendy J. Smither, Mediation Magistrate, Painesville, OH
36. Saying “Gay”: Talking Knowledgeably and Inclusively About LGBTQ+ Issues
As backlash against LGBTQ+ people grows, professionals must proactively embrace a supportive family law community. In this session, the presenters review the seminal cases and current legal developments shaping the conversation around LGBTQ+ people in the US. They will share actionable, practical ways law practitioners can be forwardthinking, affirming and inclusive as they welcome LGBTQ+ clients, children or families into their offices (virtually or in-person) and courtrooms.
Heather R. McCabe, JD, Fulton, MD McCabe, JD, Fulton, MD
Emily L. Russell , JD, Fulton, MD