AFCC Webinars

Interviewing Children with Non-Normative Needs and Unique Considerations

Ann Ordway, JD, PhD

January 12, 2022
1:00-2:00pm Eastern Time US/Canada

Registration closes January 11, 2022, at 9am Eastern Time US

Interviewing Children with Non-Normative Needs and Unique Considerations
Separation and divorce with children are often naturally more complex as experts and the courts seek to fashion resolutions that will meet the best interests of the children involved. Parenting is no easy task. While there are guidelines for best practices for parenting plans, cookie cutter approaches are rarely ideal.  Children with unique circumstances and special needs will always add complexities and new dimensions to more routine expectations. 

Some experts are called upon to interview and interact with children for the purpose of developing recommendations regarding best interests in the context of parenting plans or advocating for the welfare of the children the expert is charged to represent.  Finding best answers can be extra challenging when a child’s cognitive capacity or ability to articulate how they perceive the world and their experiences are compromised.  A professional working with a special needs child must find creative ways to hear the child’s voice and then accurately include it in the process, while also discerning the level of each parent’s knowledge and ability to meet the child’s unique needs.  Moreover, the expert must be particularly alert to non-verbal nuances that can reveal potential disconnects between what a parent reports and the actual relationship between the child and that parent.

AFCC is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. AFCC maintains responsibility for the program and its content. The program is eligible for up to 1 hour of continuing education for psychologists. 

Member Registration: $15, Certificate of Attendance: $15
Non-Member Registration: $50, Certificate of Attendance: $20

Ann Ordway, JD, PhD, is the Program Director for AFCC.  Prior to becoming a full-time staff member, she was the College Academic Director of Counseling Programs with the University of Phoenix in Phoenix, Arizona, and a Counselor Educator. She is a retired family law attorney following approximately 25 years of private practice in New Jersey, where se primarily worked with high conflict divorce dynamics, parenting coordination, and child advocacy.  Ann has a law degree and a PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision, and is a nationally certified counselor (NCC).

In 1991, she co-founded the Battered Women’s Legal Advocacy Project in Morris County, New Jersey, which continues to provide pro bono legal representation for victims of domestic violence.  Her doctoral dissertation on the experiences of parenting coordinators working with high conflict couples engaged in intimate partner violence dynamics is the foundation of her current research. 

Dr. Ordway was a member of the AFCC Board of Directors since 2015.  She has been the Co-Chair of the Chapters Committee, a co-reporter for the 2019 AFCC Task Force on Parenting Coordination, and a former president of the New Jersey Chapter.