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.
Member Registration: $15, Certificate of Attendance: $15
Non-Member Registration: $50, Certificate of Attendance: $20
Ann Ordway, JD, PhD, is a counselor educator with the University of Phoenix in Phoenix, Arizona, where she teaches graduate-level students in the counseling department. She has been a family law attorney for more than 25 years, retired from private practice, and is a nationally certified counselor (NCC), continuing to work in the fields of parenting coordination and child advocacy. In 1991, she co-founded the Battered Women’s Legal Advocacy Project in Morris County, New Jersey, which provides 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 has been a member of the AFCC Board of Directors since 2015. She is the Co-Chair of the Chapters Committee, the reporter for the current AFCC Parenting Coordination Task Force, and a former president of the New Jersey Chapter.