Parent Coordination is an alternative dispute resolution service that combines assessment, education, case management, conflict resolution assistance, and decision making functions as outlined in the Service Agreement.
A Parent Coordinator (PC) is a professional with qualifications and expertise in conflict resolution, abuse prevention, parent education, interpersonal services, co-parenting best practices, and family system dynamics.
The PC works to identify and neutralize the dysfunctional patterns and destabilizing factors that exhaust individual resources, fuel insecurity, and generate both reactivity and increased risk. The PC's primary objective is to empower parents to increase safety, security and stability in their child's family system for the benefit of everyone involved.
The PC's primary role is conflict management. The PC utilizes ongoing assessment, education, coaching, case management, observation, monitoring, decision making and promoting accountability in the service of this conflict management role. To assist parents with conflict management, the PC utilizes meeting facilitation, conflict coaching, dispute resolution skills, conflict frameworks, and problem solving strategies, as well as principles and practices of negotiation and mediation.
Assessment functions include initial and ongoing information gathering to assist in the analysis of issues, concerns, and conflicts brought forth by the parents or others in their child's support system. PCs then summarize findings, make recommendations, and require corrective actions. Information gathering includes the following:
a custody or parenting plan evaluation if any have been conducted
all pending court case records AND previous/current court orders involving either biological/legal parent, a parent's partner/spouse, or anyone that lives in the parent's household or serves in a care taking capacity with the child/ren (includes criminal and civil records, protective orders, etc.).
mental health records
child's educational/attendance records
other records/documents as determined relevant by the PC.
Collateral Source Interviews (teachers, coaches, care providers, extended family, mental health providers, medical service providers, neighbors, etc.)
Parent-Parent Communications or interactions any time the child is present or in the vicinity OR any time there is a safety concern.
Parent-Child Contact during scheduled parenting time to assess parenting skills / relationship quality or improvements
Household Safety Precautions / Car Seat Safety Demonstration
Review of relevant materials that document concerns, safety issues or dysfunctional patterns of interacting or behaving.
Written Correspondence Review
Educational functions include educational skill development through classes and the ongoing coaching of parents on child development, parenting skills, communication skills, conflict resolution skills, divorce and co-parenting best practices, the impact of parental conflict and abusive dynamics on the children, and interventions to address any skill deficits discovered through the assessment. Educational classes/interventions and coaching sessions may occur individually, with both parents present, with both parents and one or more children present, or with one parent with one or more children present.
Case Management functions include coordination, monitoring, and promoting accountability.
Coordination of services means ongoing communication and collaboration with all members of the family/household and the professionals and systems involved with the family like mental health, health care, social services, education, legal, etc. as well as with extended family, step parents, and significant others (past and current).
Monitoring means observing and checking the progress or quality of something over a period of time; to keep under systematic review.
PCs monitor parents' parenting plan adherence (upholding the terms of the parenting plan and carrying it out as ordered or modified by mutual consent, confirmed in writing).
PCs verify a parent's enrollment, participation, and completion of service recommendations or intervention requirements as generated by the court, the PC, a professional working with the family, or by parental agreement.
PCs monitor Co-Parent Communication
PCs may monitor Parent-Parent Interactions that occur any time the child is present or in the vicinity, etc.).
at exchanges (transitioning the children from one parent to the other)
at child events, activities, meetings, and performances
PCs may monitor Parent-Child Contact (during parenting time, during parent-child communications, etc.).
PCs may monitor the child's perception of their parent's individual functioning and their parent's relationship with each other, as well as the child's level of exposure to Parental Dysfunction or Parental Conflict.
Promoting accountability means ensuring that unworkable processes are modified, that dysfunctional patterns interrupted, that skill deficiencies are improved upon, that safety issues are neutralized, that abusive behaviors are minimized and eventually eliminated, that parents take responsibility for negatively impacting the other parent and their child/ren*, and take corrective action to repair any harm caused.
*Note that children are always harmed when one of their parent is harmed, especially if that harm is caused by their other parent.
When parents are not able to make decisions or resolve disputes on their own, the PC shall be empowered to make decisions to the extent described in the Services Contract.
If PCs are not granted decision making authority by parents or by the court, PCs can make recommendations for future considerations.
If PCs are granted decision making authority via court order or mutual parental consent, confirmed in writing, the specific issue(s) are limited to what is explicitly listed in writing.
PCs will communicate their decisions in a timely manner either in person or by phone and summarized in writing.
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If you want to know your past,
look into your present conditions.
If you want to know your future,
look into your present actions.
- Buddhist Saying