2012 pre-APA convention workshop on parenting coordination

"Core Training in Parenting Coordination" to be offered July 31 - August 1, 2012

By Legal & Regulatory Affairs staff 

May 10, 2012—The APA Practice Directorate is conducting a pre-APA Convention workshop, “Core Training in Parenting Coordination” on July 31- August 1 in Orlando, Florida.

This two-day workshop is designed for psychologists and other professionals who work with separating and divorcing families and are interested in developing their skills in this expanding area of practice. The workshop will present core concepts and techniques that can be complemented by additional specialized training to fulfill the requirements for parenting coordination (PC) practice in many states. This program immediately precedes the 2012 APA Convention on Aug. 2-5.

Parenting coordination is a non-adversarial process that aims to minimize the impact of high-conflict custody disputes through parent education, mediation, conflict resolution and intensive case management. It is designed to help parents implement and comply with their parenting plans, make timely decisions in a manner consistent with children’s developmental and psychological needs, and reduce the amount of damaging conflict between caretaking adults to which children are exposed. The underlying principle of the PC intervention is a continuous focus on children’s best interests.

This workshop will examine the role and functions of the parenting coordinator and the interventions helpful to reduce conflict. Focus will be on the psychological dynamics in high conflict families and the impact on the children in those families. Special topics such as working with parents with substance abuse and/or mental illness, involving children in the PC process, culturally competent practice and resolving ethical dilemmas will be discussed.

Practical parenting coordination techniques and decision making methods will be highlighted. APA Guidelines for the Practice of Parenting Coordination (PDF, 78KB) will be used to illustrate recommended practices.

Online registration is now open at the Florida Psychological Association website and includes 12 continuing education (CE) credits for psychologists. This workshop features presentations by nationally-recognized PC experts and is jointly sponsored by the APA Practice Organization and the Florida Psychological Association, with generous support from the APA Insurance Trust and Argosy University.

A reception will be held on July 31 following the first day of workshop programming. The reception will feature remarks by distinguished contributors to the field of PC and provide an opportunity to network with legal, judicial and mental health professionals. All workshop participants are welcome to attend.

APA and parenting coordination

The APA Practice Directorate has been involved in the development of PC as an emerging area of practice for almost a decade. APA has promoted the development of PC practice in a number of ways, including: offering training opportunities; developing practice guidelines for psychologists; supporting PC research; and increasing the availability of PC services for low-income families.

APA was instrumental in founding the Office of the Parenting Coordinator in the District of Columbia Superior Court and is currently helping to launch similar programs in San Diego and Maryland. These PC programs, which are staffed by psychologists and advanced graduate students in psychology, provide access to needed services for low-income, high-conflict families involved in custody disputes.

Additional resources and training opportunities

An online course titled Parenting Coordination: An Introduction is currently available.

The Parenting Coordination Project Implementation and Outcomes Study Report (PDF, 742 KB) examines the Washington, DC, Parenting Coordination Program's impact on parents, children and court outcomes.

For additional information, contact our Legal and Regulatory Affairs Department by email or call (800) 374-2723.