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‘Families Change’ the Sentence? Just a Stronger (It Has a Verb!) Variation on the Familiar, Old “FIT” Tune. But as found on ‘FamiliesChange.xx.GOV’ or “xx.FamiliesChange.ORG” the Statewide Family Law Self-Help Websites (where for ‘xx’ insert a U.S. State Abbreviation) It Definitely Turns Up the Decibels.

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Title: ‘Families Change’ the Sentence? Just a Stronger (It Has a Verb!) Variation on the Familiar, Old “FIT”* Tune. But as found on ‘FamiliesChange.xx.GOV’ or “xx.FamiliesChange.ORG” the Statewide Family Law Self-Help Websites (where for ‘xx’ insert a U.S. State Abbreviation) It Definitely Turns Up the Decibels.. (short-link ends “-8Cg” posted Feb. 14, 2018).  (Happy Valentine’s Day to you, too). It’s about 8,700 words, including some repeated sections, and plenty of pictures, too.

  • *In the title, “FIT” = “Families In Transition” ” The Family In Transition.”

In California…

Context:  https://pas.familieschange.ca.gov/resources/books;   continuing my Feb. 10, 2018, post “The Missing Link,


It came from Canada. I see Connecticut has been listed, which website I hadn’t yet picked up on. THIS information (see top windowframe for the url) came only from the JES website; not made available readily on the California one, that I could see. Click image to enlarge; pls. read annotations also!

Connecticut’s funding was similar to Vermont’s; I now see that “FamiliesChange.org” (vs. “*.gov” as California has) even has a short drop-down menu at the top, “your state” and lists Connecticut, Maine and Vermont; probably not California because California’s website ended *.gov” and wasn’t a redirect from a legal aid website.  It seems that Connecticut’s creation of this website was, as I showed in related “missing link” post, also funded through a LSC (Legal Services Corporation) Technology Grant, similarly referring to both an on-line legal help website and a statewide legal services (i.e. legal aid) association (Vermont had, as I just posted, Legal Services Law Line of Vermont, which site referred to “FamiliesChange”) and a related entity, Vermont Legal Aid.

(topic a re-post, see also my “Missing Link” 2/11/2018 post) conference featuring type of grant that helped fund FamiliesChange in three states within the USA so far. These conferences started ca. 2000, under different name and logo (says LSC) up through 2017, apparently.

This next image gallery is just to re-emphasize that the phrase “FamiliesChange” is moving into State family court websites, whether directly (as in California) or indirectly, as traffic is directed from legal aid organizations or what seems to be a common situation, their collaborative-effort websites (CTLawHelp.org, etc.). I posted only partial results and am not discussing them further on this post, which shows that “Families In Transition” talk is still “up and running” in other formats, and, in part, who’s been involved in it.

Image gallery below has nine images, shown as a slideshow.  All have captions, most also annotated on each image. Use navigation buttons to move through them either way, or pause. Pls. let me know if there are viewing problems (and from what type of device) if this doesn’t work for you (submit a comment to this post).

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

In this family court context and rhetoric, “Families Change” is far more than just a domain name.  It’s also an assertion; a world view, and delivered UP FRONT, FIRST (and a bit subliminally; most people focus on web content — especially ones in as large pictures, bright colors, with cartoon-link graphics as these — not the domain name.  But our minds register it anyhow, whether consciously or not).  Sure, families change, generally speaking — but who, since the creation of the family divisions in various states, if not these courts, are among the major agents of change? However, if such change was a result of natural evolution (like plants growing), then other significant causes and actors allegedly do not change the families.

Want to talk about false allegations of abuse and “differential responses” to it? By now it’s obvious (from conferences featuring the topic dating back to the 1990s, at least, and the “false allegations” part, even further) who does.

But how about this subliminal, but internationally organized INformal digital communication insinuating, at the expense of U.S. taxpayers and as intended to influence various U.S. family court services, that the family courts are just part of the natural landscape and not significant and at times abrupt and violent factors in WHY families change, these days…

Let’s talk about that, honestly.  I’m certainly going to!

So the simplistic sentence encourages a kind of existential acceptance, “just deal with it as part of a natural process” (a message particularly aimed at young kids and teens, and at their parents to encourage the same to also think and act accordingly) is dissociative with present, and past, realities — while the websites offer (guide** readers to) sources of “help” to do so, discouraging resistance when such change may have been highly inappropriate. The statement has no direct object; nothing is acted upon; it just happens.

**There are even parts of the website labeled “guide.”

Overall, it’s a generic phrase, and (like “FIT”) not even original.  Another “application” (usage) of the sentence and title “Families Change” is in reference to termination of parental rights. A Children’s Book on the topic (Below.  Just showing the image, didn’t look up the book).  


“FIT” = “Families In Transition” ” The Family In Transition” (or a Center [501©3 nonprofit corporation] therefor in Northern California) or, if the issue is Reunification Therapy (court-ordered, i.e., forced) and after care, flip it around (“Transitioning Families”) as has been done, and continue acting in the time-honored (AFCC) manner –form business to take businesses from the courts (one’s colleagues so positioned to set this up) and to stay incorporated, maybe, briefly — but continue business nevertheless.  Maybe — after all, who’s to know if there’s no financial trail from one public entity to an alleged private one?

Points of Reference in the previous paragraph:

  1.  From my ~ ~ List of ‘formerly sticky’ posts~ ~(access on the right sidebar “GoTo Widget; see “Ten Key Posts” link).
  • Another POV on “The Center for the Family in Transition” (and its funders) (Publ. 9/22/2012) (WordPress- generated shortlink ends in “-190” which is all numbers, no alpha character for the “0” which otherwise would look like this:  “O”). [About 19,000 words]
  • While We’re There — the Northern California Mediation Center . . . and ITS corporate records, history, people, etc. (publ. 9/22/2012) Shortlink ends “-19g.” [ca. 8,000 words]
    • This commentary added here, not on the Formerly Sticky Posts lists on the “Top Ten Key Posts” page.
    • Good post to read (despite being six years old!) for its summary
    • A quick check (2/13/2018) on the post shows a “broken” link; actually their website is being updated and half-complete.  The entity is not that large (around $250K), hasn’t filed its 2016 returns yet (FY=calendar year) and is doing a good imitation of having functioned as a tax-exempt excuse for private business. Originally incorporated 1981; current Exec. Director Nancy J. Foster graduated from U-Michigan (Ann Arbor) Law School, and passed CA state Bar in 1976. New webpage though incomplete still refers to a Calif. Judicial Council self-help page including the new “FamiliesChange” graphics (and links).
    • AFCC connection not acknowledged, but several spinoff organizations founded by AFCC personnel are.and

2. More recent post calling attention to the usage (screenprint), and its tendency to surface in connection with plenty of trademarked terms, whether referring to organizations, or the programs they run, of both.  Plenty more of this coming up under the National Family Resilience Center, Inc., recently found running a “Families In Transition” conference in Baltimore, co-sponsored.  ===>>>


“FamiliesChange” IS on a website, but is NOT just a phrase — it’s a complete sentence:  “Families Change.”

Subject-Verb, period.  “Families in Transition” is a noun with descriptor; no verb.  “Transitioning Families” is descriptor (adjective)+noun; no verb. Both “Families in Transition” and “Transitioning Families” (with appropriate suffixes) have engendered not just plenty of rhetoric in various conferences, or even (shown below) at least one conference theme, but also business names keying off the propounded phrase.

“FamiliesChange” on several websites (created by one Canadian Charity, tailored for more local — like an entire state’s — use) = a complete sentence as web domain. As a grammatically complete sentence, and the more powerful for only being two words (cf. “Jesus wept,” supposedly the shortest sentence in the Bible), it’s also an “in-your-face” assertion with all kinds of subliminal messages, starting with the dominant collective, and variously defined “families,” a group noun.

Where are the individuals (and any of their rights?) under this group dynamic paradigm? Individual persons (even where “person” means business entity, i.e., corporate) can sue and be sued, and enter into contracts with each other, and sue for breach of contract, and exercise some rights under laws stating those rights. 

So FamiliesChange.CA.gov (or “VT.FamiliesChange.gov”) — That’s turning up the volume.  It can be heard internationally too, looks like… And I say it has NO business on a California Judiciary Website as originally created in 2004 from a British Columbia (that is, Canadian Province) website.

Apart from the differences in federal governments, there are also major differences in how corporations can and do register in Canada (a corporation can register at the federal or provincial level, it seems).  I’ve just begun to explore the databases, and am not trying to transmit what I’ve learned so far on this post.

Below is a brief statement of my concern and protests over the promotion of this phrase for use here, though.  This statement is also of course my opinion, though parts state absolute declarative sentence (i.e., “using the verb “is” followed by a negative-values-laden word like “cheap shot” or “propaganda,” and in places also just plain sarcastic.  Below it, copied from the same post, is my Footnote.  This is “short and sweet” and I believe the image gallery will further clarify my concern about the situation.

My statement is found inside borders and background color like this:

I found the “Families in Transition Conference” and featured (sic) name-changing nonprofit below searching that phrase. It also happened to match one of the featured books in the above “resources” website (list of 15 books for parents).  Any number of other nonprofits could’ve been featured (sic) for the same theme, but this one was interesting enough, and seemed typical. This conference was held October 23, 2015, then reported later in the Winter 2016 Issue of Maryland Social Worker (p. 22, full spread, not counting the ads on the bottom half) — which I found only because NFRC website referenced it, after which I looked it up separately.  I’m going to quote from the latter source first, then will post images from the newsletter (header banner and who got it, as well as the article)… The first image of Conference agenda is from NFRChelp.org website, which names an involved nonprofit.  I learned more from reading the social worker article (although it seems about a year later…I’m not on that mailing list….) and some extra information that came up now makes more sense, from what I knew already about one of the participants.  The other participant is relatively new to me — although I have visited its tax returns as the “Statement” section below all this shows in an image gallery…


Source url: http://nfrchelp.org/family-transitions-details/, I found it only through on-line search however.

Some information, copied from that journal’s fine print (p.22) tells us (quote, not the image which overlaps with it):

Risa Garon, executive director of NFRC and Professor Barbara Babb, Director of the Center for Children, Families and the Courts have worked together for many years. Garon stated, “My social work education and experience in the field naturally led me to work in collaboration with professionals from many different disciplines.” ** [next column, top, continuing without any omission]

Both Garon and Babb attended Cornell and studied under Urie Bronfrenbrenner, renowned for his ecological approach which emphasizes that  all systems affect the family and need to work in synche to promote healthy family functioning. 

[[I have some things to say — interjections.  This quote is continued below them, in the same color and appearance, after which I post the images from the same article as shown on Maryland Social Worker’s Winter 2016 issue.  There’s a quote and commentary inbetween…The reason for the interjection is the reference to Bronfenbrenner.  I had not known about this connection before; it’s significant and revealing. //LGH 2/14/2018]]

** And AFCC involvement, featuring “interdisciplinary” (and international) with its connections to (membership including) judges and family law attorneys, often helpful for obtaining court-ordered revenue streams, as NFRC lists among its key activities,  had little to do with that propensity…(? at least not mentioned here…)

So, we can see perhaps some commonalities and, it seems, a common guru in Urie Bronfenbrenner... Given who he is, and what Cornell is, and the “Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research” at Cornell — which I posted on before in the context of Education Transformation Networked Nonprofits (late 2016, early 2017) — that explains a lot.


I posted Oct. 17, 2016 on this. I see also two previous drafts on related topics (from July, 2016) and that a connection had been made between New York/Cornell’s Bronfenbrenner Center and Connecticut’s/Yale Child Study Center and the entire concept of planning the perfect human being and in what environments to raise “it” or “them,” ideally from birth. After all, if it’s just the poor and their kids involved, who could protest, and aren’t these top-notch universities?

Below is a quote from the top of that post and an image from my blog administrator dashboard of two related ones which I see now are still in draft.  As a former more consistent researcher (constantly looking at the grants database) from TAGGS.HHS.Gov, and fatherhood grants in particular, which tend to end up there also, I’ve seen that Head Start and Early Head Start funding are among the very largest appropriations (to states) amounts in there, year after year. If indeed it was inspired and generated in large part by Bronfenbrenner — and two women in Maryland are working on the Child Custody Decision-Making commission (working committee) and one of them within a public university School of Law, under the same mentality as “raised up” under him — then this background should be kept in mind.

I also remind readers that the Family Division of Maryland was all but ramrodded through, with connected influences (I posted on it late 2014?), by Administrative Judge decision — a famous one — after having been repeatedly defeated by the state legislature.  In other words, its existence is due in large part to PRIVATE INFLUENCE.

(Those are not idle words:  See my Dec. 22, 2013 post. Here’s the link of the one I published back then, my blog administrator dashboard showing two more (remained in draft) in just a few (about 3) screenprints; if I post more, see Footnotes on this post). Several drafts on one topic shows it made a deep impression on me, and I probably have more info. than got posted.

Click image to enlarge. Showing one published (in very late 2013) and two in draft (early 2014). TOPICs: Formation of Family Law Division in Maryland happened only in 1998, and only for certain counties (with at least 7 judges); and how it happened.

Eavesdropping into an Indoctrination Center, Hindsight from a Pilot Project Outpost (case-sensitive short-link ends “-2cI”, published Dec. 22, 2013)
[[The “Indoctrination Center” in question being what later became the Sayra and Neil Meyerhoff Center for Children and Families in the Courts, under direction (from its start) of Barbara Babb and (as I recall, probably also from the start) Gloria Danziger.  Babb’s JD is from Cornell, 1981; she has a B.S. from Pennsylvania State (in what, not shown) and an M.S. also.

From my 12/22/2013 “Eavesdropping” post…

From my 12/22/2013 “Eavesdropping” post…

It seems to be literally true; and there is a strategy, tactics, and overall (endgame) design: centralized control, and the venue having a subject matter grab (UFCs). But before UFCs there had to be FCs (Family Courts/Dockets)


Becoming familiar with some parts of it help one become aware of later versions of the same “evolution.”  But a functional vocabulary with specific references helps.  Skimming that 2013 post again, I see parallel elements discussed in the 2015 “Families in Transition” conference summary, when it comes to yet another Child Custody Decision-making committee, which comes up therein).

Next quote is on Bronfenbrenner Center, not formation of Maryland’s Family Division…

Where “First Five Years Fund” and the Manic Push for ever more: Universal Preschool/EARLY Head Start meets the National Fatherhood Initiative’s purposes within TANF.  A closer look at perhaps WHY the NGA (incl. former California – Republican –  Gov. Pete Wilson) was so excited about all this in the 1990s.  See also Urie Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological THEORY of Human Development @ Cornell, and (along with Yale Child Study Center), its influence on the field of Child Development [short-link ends “-4It” where middle digit is the pronoun “I” (capital “I”) not a number, “1”][Published Oct. 17, 2016]

Other versions of the same title:

What’s this First Five Years Fund and the MANIC drive for universal preschool,* home visitation,and birth-to-five programming (at least for the future working classes) got to do with the family courts and divorce/custody matters, and marriage/fatherhood programming?

*(and in general the push by public/private partnerships = major elite wealth power bloc in the US) to insert more — and more — and yet more —  adults, “experts” into the lives of  as many children under 5 years old, as early as possible (shortly after labor and delivery — or sometimes, before birth)?  Do these people raise their children the same way?

It’s truly not possible to inject enough sarcasm into a description of the overall development of these fields, and propagation of them upon, first, anyone low-income, then, almost anyone except those behind the push for pushing everyone ELSE’s kids into failing, substandard, and standardizing systems — while leaving intact the elite, prep-school, Ivy-League Feeders and expensive K-12 systems intended to raise future global citizens who won’t be so burdened by, say, a concern for laws, the Bill of Rights (as expressed within the US Constitution and its Amendments) (notice that giving women the vote wasn’t amount the first Ten Amendments)…


For example:

The NYU Steinhardt – Early Childhood Education showing variety of  degree (B.A., M.A., PhD) programs from Birth to Age 2, and related certifications.  This “ECE” is under their Department of Teaching and Learning” and the (very) fine print at the bottom of the page reads “Applied Psychology” which of course, this is.  Parents and family of course are important too, but most especially so is “early childhood education”


Two FamilyCourtMatters posts from July 2017 still in draft – topic, Bronfenbrenner Center at Cornell. cf. Feb. 2018 posting references, and post published following Oct. on similar topic.

“Translational” there means translating theory into practice.  Faster.    This requires access to populations to practice the theory upon and refine it, publishing and fine-tuning until the results are obtained.  Human populations, the poor, and particularly children.

Also (when I was posting on the Tobacco Class Action litigations and what happened to those billions) remember references to the development of “Translational Science” and Centers for it, regarding Tobacco Cessation studies?  Anyhow, I do..

Bronfenbrenner has been called the father of Head Start (I don’t see that Head Start documentation acknowledges this, but it doesn’t take long to see the importance attached to him via this Cornell center, and by his colleagues.  It seems to me we are perhaps dealing with personally mentored gurus, both women attending Cornell fully-persuaded and on a mission with which they’ve aligned their work and professional lives….One just happens to be a lawyer, the other a mental health worker (marriage therapist).

 


BRIEFLY, and I highly recommend exploring this website (which parts of it say are under transition; the left sidebars typically).  He taught at Cornell for over 50 years, and probably was influential in why there are “colleges of ecology” in various other institutions also.  This is his biography from http://www.bctr.cornell.edu/about-us/urie-bronfenbrenner/

Born in Moscow, Russia in 1917, Urie Bronfenbrenner came to the United States at the age of 6. His father worked as a neuropathologist with developmentally disabled people at Letchworth Village in Rockland County, where Urie witnessed his father’s concern about the impact of depleted social contexts. After graduating from high school in Haverstraw, N.Y., Urie received a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University in 1938, where he completed a double major in psychology and in music. He then completed a masters degree in education from Harvard (1940) followed by a doctorate from the University of Michigan in developmental psychology (1942). The day after receiving his doctorate he was inducted into the Army, where he served as a psychologist in a variety of assignments in the Air Corps, the Office of Strategic Services, and the Army Medical Corps. Following demobilization and a two-year stint as an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Michigan, he joined the Cornell faculty in 1948.

This sounds as though he has NEVER worked primarily in the private sector outside academia.  It was university professorships (or assistant) and the Army, then back to academia, from 1948 through at least 1998 (that’s fifty years).

Urie’s Ecological Systems Theory proposed that human development unfolds in a nested set of systems, involving cultural, social, economic, and political elements, not merely psychological ones. These systems and their interactions can nurture or stifle optimal development. Policies and programs can play a major role in shaping these systems –thus potentially promoting human health and well-being. This perspective transformed the study of human development. Among other influences, it encouraged more developmental scientists to examine both naturally occurring and deliberately designed experiments in the real world to illuminate the influences of contexts on human development, and particularly on child development.

In 1969, Cornell’s College of Home Economics underwent a major transition in focus based in part on Urie’s work and was renamed the College of Human Ecology in recognition of his key theoretical contributions.

Urie was committed to the comparative study of child rearing practices in different parts of the world, co-authoring Two Worlds of Childhood: U.S. and U.S.S.R. (1970) with John C. Condry Jr. Urie published a major theoretical work, The Ecology of Human Development, in 1979. His later work included a collection of his writing, Making Human Beings Human (2005).

Urie, then the Jacob Gould Schurman professor emeritus of human development and of psychology, died in Ithaca, NY, on September 25, 2005. He had shared a marriage with Liese Price Bronfenbrenner for 63 years. They had six children (Michael, Steven, Beth, Mary, Kate, and Ann) and many grand- and great-grandchildren.

I realize I may be overdoing the use of “gallery slideshows” here, but hope this may entice some readers to further explore the significance of centers such as this, and the pre-emininence of psychologists in teaching positions with access to run test projects on low-income parents, children, or other vulnerable populations in the name of human development, ecology, or (as with this center’s partner “CarDI”, says the website) regional and community-decision-making (so-called, when headed at the academic level and sponsored by untraceable funds and networked organizations with — one of these has — sponsors such as Monsanto, or major food corporations). This one only has 3 images.

Another commonality between co-sponsor Center founders (Center for Children and Families in the Courts, National Family Resiliency Center, Inc.) Babb and Garon not mentioned here — but isn’t too far below the surface — both are AFCC members, and (keep reading) activist in it, obtaining positions on commissions, task forces, and able to produce, obviously, some cash flow through their activities from government resources surrounding those courts, or in the case of Babb, working at a public university School of Law Center with significant enough alumni donor activity to have it named after the donors at some point.

Garon and Babb have presented together at state, regional, and national conferences on concepts that Babb has introduced to the State of Maryland: therapeutic jurisprudence – providing services to families that are helpful and purposely planned with the goal of assisting families through difficult times of transition. Both served on the recent Maryland Commission for Child Custody’s Statutes working committee, which promoted a model of making decisions that focus on the developmental needs of the child and shared parenting, when possible.


Garon strongly believes that social workers have the capacity to be leaders of change but that such change requires tremendous effort working at a policy and advocacy level as well as providing direct services, specifically designed to meet the needs of families. She and her staff developed NFRC’s Child and Family Focused Decision Making Model© …

Copyrighted, naturally — proprietary, keeping control of the nonprofit (which she runs, basically her practice and running parenting classes — more below, only formed ca. 1990) to NFRC (which changed its name three times within the first decade of existence…)

that helps parents and decision makers, such as judges, magistrates, attorneys, and other mental health professionals## define and address specific developmental and special needs of children of all ages, fostering constructive co-parenting to help both parents remain involved in their children’s lives. Rather than focusing solely on what parents want regarding time with their children, the model emphasizes addressing children’s needs.

As most states and jurisdictions move toward requiring parents to submit parent plans before they are divorced, NFRC is a leader through the development of its on-line FamilyConnex© program and co- parent education classes which teach parents how to create and complete parent plans.

Another proprietary program developed tax-exempt and to be force-fed, possibly, to parents, like the co-parent education classes have already become, it seems, nationally…. Next is a paragraph on Robert Emery, UVirginia as a keynote speaker.  I’m skipping that one (you have the link and I will also image, shortly, below this)… I’m interested in that Custody Committee:

Del. Kathleen Dumais, vice chairwoman of the Maryland House Judiciary Committee, gave the afternoon keynote address, “Moving Forward: Recommendations of the Commission on Child Custody Decision-Making.” Dumais gave a brief overview of the Child Custody Decision-Making Commission, created through House Bill 687, and presented the commission’s guiding principles and recommendations.

This presentation was followed by a series of three panels: “What Policies Exist to Support Families in Transition” (Panel 3); “The Voices of Children, Youth, and Parents” (Panel 4); and “Fostering Family Resiliency: Messages of Hope” (Panel 5) …

What is most promising and hopeful is that the evaluations were highly positive. Both attorneys and mental health professionals reflected how much they learned from the many professional disciplines represented.

As Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.[1] [2]

[1] So much for the concept of representative government embodied in the US and State legislatures…  [2] Guess the profit motive isn’t a real factor, although looking around me, I still believe it is…

These are images from the article in its Maryland Social Worker layout.  I’ve annotated the first one, and included a nearby and from “NIRE” (National Institute on Relationship Enhancement) which I ran across previously researching HMRF (Healthy Marriage Responsible Fatherhood” grants, and which is searchable, along with Mary Ortwein (see image) on this blog for posts on it, too.  “NIRE” might even be in a post title; I remember making fun of the HHS-supported industry (HMRF promotion through grant-making to nonprofits who could collaborate on how to better market and distribute — like through the US Welfare System (social services) — their relationship classes) running out of letters to use in the catch acronyms.***  Or (some) in churches, alongside abstinence education curricula. (Or look for post with the acronym “NARME,” for National Association of Relationship and Marriage Educators, organized in 2010, in it.  NIRE might be there too.  (Searchable term: Dennis Stoica; title “Lucid in Leucadia…”   A California-based nonprofit when under, then he showed up on NARME, incorporated in a different state; same general idea) Note: years earlier posts means earlier on my learning curve as a blogger too, and may come with some format shortcomings as well).


*** Found said earlier post:  Another Reason (Besides Its Innate Irrationality) to Shelve the “National Healthy Marriage” Movement: It’s Running Out of Acronyms…. (Case-sensitive short-link ends “-Zh”) First published Jan 11, 2012; last previously edited Nov. 23, 2013; Current edit (primarily formatting and checking for expired links, incl. to logos) is Feb. 15, 2018).


Included (see my comment at bottom) because this issue went to a larger than usual distribution list (all licensees) and with it, page 22 on the Families In Transition Conference, Maryland Commission on Child Custody Decision-Making, and featuring Barbara Babb, Risa Garon (first columns), then Robert E. Emery from (for some reason) out-of-state (U. Virginia) to plug his new book, and finally report from the Commission via a delegate.

A theme for the month of March, “Social Work Month.” Solving society’s problems… and rationale for it.

I also looked up that Bill (as the article didn’t courteously tell anyone that this Commission only was formed in 2013) and think we need an image gallery on it — you should see the required membership (stakeholder) groups!    http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/2013RS/chapters_noln/Ch_633_hb0687T.pdf

Next image, and (somewhat) separately, here’s what seems to be an unrelated one (and not connected, that I can see, to the FamiliesChange.ca.gov book/resource list). I did some follow-up on it, it’s that’s tangential to the “FamiliesChange” topic and was not in the original footnote moved here, which this post represents (basically).

It is, however, what has been going on for years at public expense in, here, state universities or their extension as to this one:

Parents Forever(™) “Education for Families in Transition” yet another example of the older phrase in use near a trademarked term.

While at first I didn’t find that logo with it, the same phrase shows up © 2014 by University of Minnesota Extension (which holds that copyright). Click around on the site; it shouldn’t take long to recognize the model: certification, train-the-trainers, facilitate, subject matter — programming specifically designed for mandatory (State of MN) parenting education since 1994, and as adapted from a nearby curriculum in Michigan; that for sale is not just the course, but also facilitator training for the revamped (2014) course (only $299) and so forth, including a sidebar showing “Co-Parenting Court.”  Then of course it had to be evaluated (which web page also tells us it just went digital in 2012).

Its Co-Parenting Court sidebar link (at UMN Extension Parents Forever(™) home link, under “for Professionals” above) clarifies control — if you teach more than one hour of this course, you must get certified.  It also reveals approximately who it was adapted from (in Michigan; this post being in Minnesota — no links provided, just names; too bad).  I want to quote this and explore a bit more, so see bottom of this post under subtitle “Footnote UMN Parents Forever(™)”.

After seeing all this, I then did a Google Images Search and found that the same graphic also associated with UMN extension (and UND), not to mention the “College of Human Ecology” which I believe may be part of UMN (not its “Extension”) itself.    This (with state map) shows it being offered in person in each of Minnesota’s 10 Judicial Districts (check website date at bottom; several I quoted above were © 2014 only), and 15 counties, but also available on-line.  Notice the emphasis:  Education for FAMILIES in DIVORCE TRANSITION specifically.  (For more, see footnote).  The North Dakota link has different graphic (with two cartoon-like houses), refers to a short (about 4-hour) course, and posts under resources what may be a FS (Family Science?) course #, and under there, (I looked at their references list at the bottom), a short list starting with one from Robert E. Emery (U Virginia, and AFCC) 2006, and ending with the (classic, or at least commonplace in such lists) Wallerstein/Blakeslee (2003). “What about the kids? Raising your children before, during, and after divorce. New York: Hyperion.” book.  See

Talking to Children About Divorce, FS638, Revised” | North Dakota State University | (Sean Brotherson, PhD, Family Science Specialist NDSU Extension  & Brenda Jackson, Parent Educator) | https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/publications/kids-family/talking-to-children-about-divorce#section-13 , where ” | ” is a line break.  It’s under Creative Commons License and appears to be a downloadable (a more attractive layout here), short summary and outline.

It has (only) 1 short reference to abuse, in a list of “Difficulties for Children During Divorce” and in no way handles situations where a child might actually be abused, and feel pressured to not report it, or have been previously witnessing violence towards one parent by the other, or any other potentially legitimate fears. This is that reference in “FS638” on a sidebar:

  • Assuming the role of protector for a parent – Children might feel the need to protect one parent from the other, particularly if any type of abuse or violence is occurring.

Why would a reference to this even show up without some follow-up to potential situations involving the children from which they cannot be separated?  How does this information help any parent who is facing such issues?


Moving on, my (initial) statement on FAMILIES CHANGE, the PHRASE:

FamiliesChange” also happens to be a free-standing grammatically complete sentence, with subject and verb asserted (not very) subliminally on the graphic and as a web page title.

It could easily have been called “Family Changes” or “Changing Families.” Or, “Family Transitions,” echoing the formerly so popular in certain circles “Families in Transition.” In fact, “Families In Transition” is still a phrase in circulation in these context, as I found out when one of the authors & publishers on the FamiliesChange.ca.gov was found co-sponsoring a conference on the theme not long ago (Link has elapsed but I believe this was 2015 or later).

Holistic Divorce.com . On the left is a book by (in entity former name) Risa J. Garon in MD; the nonprofit (she founded, earlier) is now called “Nat’l Family Resiliency Center, Inc.”). Middle=Ricci’s Co-Parenting Toolkit, right = Benjamin Garber (Searchable on this blog, or in general), activist along the same general lines…This is what AFCC MEMBERS DO, year after year, in addition to whatever law, evaluation, mediation, etc., practices they may also have. Group loyalty, imho, borders on that of a cult. Outsiders are OK to be USED for cult purposes, and acquiring more money and more ways to acquire it while promising benefits, is a constant key theme of many cults. Membership may be from all levels of society (although target membership is court-connected professionals, not exactly low-income sector), but may not be openly revealed when interacting in public. etc.

Maryland “mental health center” co-founded by Garon & Mandell in 1990 (per Form 990s) underwent three name-changes before settling (for now) on “National Family Resiliency Center” in 2001. Nearby is UBaltimore School of Law’s Center for Families and Children in the Law.

(Image gallery setting is Baltimore, one center (at a law school) and another nonprofit collaborated on a “FAMILIES IN TRANSITION CONFERENCE” with a little outside help.  Must be coincidence that both center and local nonprofit (which pre-dated it by about 10 years, to 2001) are run by AFCC members, one of which is currently editor in chief of the AFCC mouthpiece (Family Court Review). This example chosen because the nonprofit now called “National Family Resiliency Center” — as small as it is (despite the name “National”) — also was co-founded by people whose book is referenced at the new FamiliesChange.ca.gov website, in fact more than one book by the co-authors show up there…)

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The statement “Families Change” is such a half-truth it’s almost irrelevant; as more of a religious assertion than more than the most general, broadest, meaningless summary of a condition.  As a symbol of the entire spectrum, it allows no reference to the variety of reasons WHY they might change, hiding some dark truths of in which ways, including a parent abusing a child or the other parent.  So the phrase those comes with many hidden implications.  Prioritizing and promoting this phrase unconditionally and as a website name is a cheap shot public relations and propaganda — “let us all just pretend.”   Consider:  In 1970 (California first), no-fault divorce having virtually wiped out discussion or argumentation about cause and effect, the “discussion” slate — in the court context — was cleared for “new words”** raising other bases and definitions for — still, favoring one parent and punishing or eliminating the other (or, at times both) —  such as alienation, or protesting co-parenting with batterers or others whose objectionable and detrimental, AND/OR CRIMINAL behavior, prior to no-fault divorce, would be grounds for divorce — or for talking about prior OR current abuse of children events as a factor the courts should consider — under state law. Or protesting in court or outside it the injustice of a power structure based more on behavioral science (sic) and psychology than documented actions, behavior, and compliance with state laws.

And, when the federal grants to promote fatherhood, reduce fatherlessness, and run public campaigns about the social scourge of single mothers to children and society are taken into account — based on gender.

In 1996, twenty-six years later, under federal law intended to influence state behavior, intended thereafter to modify and influence individuals’ behavior, welfare was reformed —  effectively providing new or expanded careers for anyone willing to sit through enough certification or train-the-trainer classes to run marriage, fatherhood, relationship promotion (etc.) and set up nonprofits to reduce taxations on the profits from doing so. In this blog (see Table of Contents), I have been following that money trail, accounting for some of my ongoing sense of shock and disbelief, despite the evidence of this reality, transformed into more targeted activism (reporting) as you can see.

(From Wikipedia/Grounds for Divorce).

When California first enacted divorce laws in 1850 [having JUST become a State], the only grounds for divorce were impotence, extreme cruelty, desertion, neglect, habitual intemperance, fraud, adultery, or conviction of a felony.[20] In 1969-1970California became the first state to pass a purely no-fault divorce law, i.e., one which did not offer any fault divorce grounds.[21] They chose to terminate all fault grounds for divorce and utilized single no-fault standards making divorce easier and less costly.[21]

Making divorce easier and less costly…  “Gee, how’s that going, so far?….”

So, re: “Families Change,” posting that two-word SENTENCE in this format and place, I call sheer propaganda. Courts.CA.gov is a JUDICIARY website, not a “personal philosophy on the vicissitudes of life and what to call them” website, where such terms belong, labeled as such!   While not covered here, it’s also not hard to see similar sites are in other US States (with basically the same book lists, or similar):  http://vt.familieschange.org

I wonder what we paid and under what budgetary basis, as Californians, for the website’s setup and continued website maintenance.  An FOIA request seems in order.

As originally written, I’d footnoted part of this statement, with some overlap. This section says more on no-fault divorce (from Wikipedia). Here’s that footnote:


FOOTNOTE “Families Change – the Phrase”

FamiliesChange” also happens to be a free-standing grammatically complete statement, with subject and verb asserted (not very) subliminally on the graphic and as a web page title.  The statement “Families Change” is such a half-truth it’s almost irrelevant; as more of a religious assertion than more than the most general, broadest meaningless summary of a condition.  As a symbol of the entire spectrum, it allows no reference to the variety of reasons WHY they might change, hiding some dark truths of in which ways, including a parent abusing a child or the other parent.  So the phrase those comes with many hidden implications.  Prioritizing and promoting this phrase unconditionally and as a website name is a cheap shot public relations and propaganda — “let us all just pretend.”  It ignores that legitimate causes, even if no longer legal causes for, say, divorce, still exist for such change — even if they may, in this state, no longer be legal causes for it, such as pre-1970 in California; some states may still have a version of it “change” — i.e., separation (if together) or not getting married in the first place.  ONE of which is abuse or personal danger to self, or children, or both.

By eliminating any “fault” cause, such “faults” are legally, as causes for divorce, “buried” — but in real life, they do not go away.  Nor, in real life, does the human desire for basic pursuit of and hope for LIFE, liberty and happiness just “go away” when the state values family loyalty more than it values, in some cases, the lives of its own citizens who need to separate to preserve life — and should be allowed to stay separate.  Nor did the former causes for divorce.  These topics just became a lot harder and more dangerous to raise during the process, and less likely, given the de-emphasis on even talking about such causes, to be taken seriously during the process in deciding where the children live, or (if anyone does) who pays whom to help support the offspring, or the caretaker parent.

The United States [[DEPENDING ON IN WHICH STATE…!]] allows a person to end a marriage by filing for a divorce on the grounds of either fault or no fault.[6]In the past, most states only granted divorces on fault grounds, but today all states have adopted a form of no fault divorce.[7] Fault and no-fault divorces each require that specific grounds be met.[8] A no fault divorce can be granted on grounds such as irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, irreconcilable differences, incompatibility, or after a period of separation, depending on the state. Neither party is held responsible for the failure of the marriage. On the other hand, in fault divorces one party is asking for a divorce because they claim the other party did something wrong that justifies ending the marriage.[7] Several grounds for fault divorce include adultery, cruelty, abandonment, mental illness, and criminal conviction.[7] There are, however, additional grounds that are acceptable in some states such as drug abuse, impotency, and religious reasons.[9]

…. State acceptance[edit]

Every state within the United States accepts some form of no-fault divorce.[8] This option is more common than a fault divorce as it can be more convenient and less expensive.[8] Many believe that a no-fault divorce also causes less strain on a family with children than a fault divorce.[8] By law, one member from the party must acknowledge that the marriage is beyond repair.[8]

Shift of acceptance[edit]

When California first enacted divorce laws in 1850, the only grounds for divorce were impotence, extreme cruelty, desertion, neglect, habitual intemperance, fraud, adultery, or conviction of a felony.[20] In 1969-1970California became the first state to pass a purely no-fault divorce law, i.e., one which did not offer any fault divorce grounds.[21] They chose to terminate all fault grounds for divorce and utilized single no-fault standards making divorce easier and less costly.[21] During the next 15 years no-fault divorce became more common in various states throughout the United States.[21] Some states offer both fault and no-fault options.[21] However, the states that do not carry both options have only the one option of no-fault grounds.[21]

Making divorce easier and less costly…  “Gee, how’s that going, so far?….”


I wonder what we paid for its setup and, if it applies, continued website maintenance, and under what budgetary basis, as Californians.

Meanwhile, the state Office of Attorney General’s Registry of Charitable Trusts “Verification” website (pick a common word for entity name –how about “Justice” (maybe also choose a status; I just did “current”) — and try any search) has incomplete records uploaded as viewable under many charities, blocking research on public documents noted as “received”; recently got a minimal facelift which added “EIN#” and a few other fields to initial search results — but failed to include among these fields one of the most obvious — corresponding “California Entity#” which is one of only TWO search data that the related Secretary of State website (BusinessSearch.SOS.ca.gov, formerly “Kepler.sos.ca.gov”) allows users to enter, the other being entity name (and such names change over time, and can result in hundreds of name if that name was a common one.  An ENTITY# would counter this inaccuracy.

…But somehow we have time to promote FamiliesChange over on the California Judicial Council website,…profiting a foreign charity and publicizing it, too. In addition to promoting known agenda of a private association as well.


~ ~ ~

FOOTNOTE:  Parents Forever(™): Education for Families in Transition ( UMN).

About the Program

Co-Parent Court was an innovative problem-solving model aimed at better supporting parents who were establishing paternity. It was a unique partnership of the family court system, child support enforcement agencies, community organizations, and University of Minnesota Extension. One key component of the model was an educational program that provides a safe environment for parents to strengthen their coparenting skills.

This program was co-developed through a partnership by the following organizations:

  • University of Minnesota Extension Center for Family Development
  • University of Minnesota Family Social Science Department
  • Hennepin County Family Court
  • Hennepin County Child Support Enforcement
  • Robert J. Jones Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center
  • Northpoint Health and Wellness Center
  • The Legal Rights Center
  • A stakeholder group made up of key partners, many of whom provided wraparound services to clients of the program, including Domestic Abuse Project, the Father Project, Oasis of Love, and Phyllis Wheatly Community Center.

Looking at that list, several are not “organizations,”  but some are.

The list fails to distinguish between government/public institutions (including itself), doesn’t correctly name the Hennepin County agencies in full (or provide a link), and leaves off any indicator for three “Centers,” (Rob’t J Jones, Northpoint, and Legal Rights) then lumps together as only “stakeholder group” indicating maybe, where the co-parenting classes were also featured (“provided wraparound services to clients of the program — the Co-Parenting Court?  The Curriculum? ). The Domestic Abuse Project I remembered from years earlier on this blog, having been formed one year before “Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs” in Duluth; it’s a 501©3.  If these are named partners — what are their full names??  No link to any listing of “stakeholder group” is included either…

This inability to provide useful, fully-functional and accurate links doesn’t apply when it comes to selling product on-line, however — in that section, no shortage of links…

Robt J. Jones UROC (above) link, and Executive Director Search, shows it exists within the Executive Vice President and Provost of the University.  Any Exec. Director will be also 100% tenured faculty; it’s been led so far by tenured faculty, and it started only in 2009.  Doesn’t sound like a separate nonprofit to me.

The curriculum used in the coparenting workshops was adapted from the Michigan State University program, Together We Can: Creating a Healthy Future for Our Family. The adaptation was a collaborative effort between the coparenting workshop facilitators and Extension Family Resiliency educators.

About the Demonstration Project

The Co-Parent Court program was piloted within the Hennepin County Court system from June 2010 to August 2013. In this demonstration project, workshops and services were offered to eligible participants within an innovative problem-solving court model. After paternity was established, parents were referred to the Co-Parent Court workshops. Through the series of three- to four-hour workshops (a total of 12 hours of education), parents discussed how to best work together for their children.

Because many of the parents who participated in the demonstration project experienced multiple challenges in their lives, they were also offered social services to address their own needs. These services included safe housing, education, employment, and physical or mental health care.***

*** While “safety” or “protection from abuse” is also a challenge, this one specifically was omitted….unless readers are supposed to infer it from “safe housing” (which would also apply to people homeless, or living in violent (gangs, drugs, or other aspects of UNsafe housing) neighborhoods or deteriorating housing projects — not just people in need of protection from assaults, battery, stalking, threats to kidnap or other forms of terrorism (i.e. “intimate partner” or “domestic” violence) proceeding from the other parent

Finally, parents were assisted in completing a parenting plan template that guided them through joint decision-making about how they want to raise their child together.

The 3-year demonstration project was funded by grants from the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement, The McKnight Foundation, the Otto Bremer Foundation, and the Jay and Rose Phillips Family Foundation. For more information on the Co-Parent Court project, see these journal articles:

Not mentioned here — who was the initial, direct grantee — Hennepin County Court (probably, but who’s to know?).  Remembering that UMN Extension would also be a public-funded university.  What size of grants, where are they located, which grants, under which programming, etc., should’ve could’ve been better described here – -in the pubic interest!

A direct link to any searchable database, or a foundation tax return or grants description page naming this project would be more direct than, “well, if you’re REALLY curious, go read those descriptions — written by the people who developed the curricula” (not exactly an outside, neutral source…)

If you follow this blog, you may recall (I hope) that “Family Court Review” by definition reflects the viewpoints and interests of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, which co-publishes it with a private university in Hempstead, NY, i.e., Hofstra.

I clicked on both titles above and was redirected from wiley-online, which apparently publishes both journals; at least I know it does the FCR and was prompted for my UMN Extension log-in.  “Where’s the love??” (or sense of responsibility to the public — who funds UMN, and the OCSE in the first place…).

Here’s at least the April, 2015 version of Family Court Review. Be sure to check the table of contents (it’s a “Special Issue”) with Notes (with a sense of yearning) on the Modern Family Judge; [[in Germany at least, they are better prepared, go through a 5-year probationary period, and then are assigned for life…WHY can’t the USA be more like Germany, I guess (???)]] (from the abstract), or a “Special Guest Editor(ial” by Jessica Pearson, who may not be on the editorial board of the FCR, but was, after all, one of the early founders of AFCC, and runs (with others) a small nonprofit since the 1980s running evaluations on many of the PRWORA policies, especially child support, father-engagement, mediation, and yes, OK, well some, domestic violence safeguards… it also has an article by a representative from the Battered Women’s Justice Project, etc.

Footnote (just two new screenprints) “Formation of Maryland’s Family Division” (as I posted Dec. 22, 2013, and thereabouts):

On the original (12/22/2013) post, not this image, the link shown is still active as of 2/14/2018, date this post is published. Recommended read!

On the original (12/22/2013) post, not this image, the link shown is still active as of 2/14/2018, date this post is published. Recommended read!

Best bet, if curious, is to go to the post; I checked some of the links; still valid.  These links also show more clearly Barbara Babb’s interest and involvement in the same.  It was ABOUT this time also that the Center for Families and Children in the Courts was formed — both in Baltimore (at a School of Law within a public university) and in California (however, directly under the Administrative Office of the Courts, under the ruling body of those courts, the California Judicial Council).  This happened in other words AFTER welfare reform of 1996, part of which action freed up federal sponsorship (via Access Visitation grants) of some of the programs these deal with.
New screenprints:

As shown above in this post also (repeated material):

Eavesdropping into an Indoctrination Center, Hindsight from a Pilot Project Outpost (case-sensitive short-link ends “-2cI”, published Dec. 22, 2013)  [[The “Indoctrination Center” in question being what later became the Sayra and Neil Meyerhoff Center for Children and Families in the Courts, under direction (from its start) of Barbara Babb and (as I recall, probably also from the start) Gloria Danziger.  Babb’s JD is from Cornell, 1981; she has a B.S. from Pennsylvania State (in what, not shown) and an M.S. also.

From my 12/22/2013 “Eavesdropping” post…

From my 12/22/2013 “Eavesdropping” post…

Finally, here, FYI again, is that 9-image gallery of “FamiliesChange” websites from above (but this time not formatted as Slideshow).

Re: tags added below.  I kept a previous mis-spelling “Urie Bronfenbrennar” on there to pull up any previous posts which mistakenly used that spelling, in addition to the correct one. Correct spelling ends “-brenner”.

Again, this post continues an earlier one, “The Missing Link,…” which has other continuations (off-ramped sections) coming soon.//LGH 2/15/2018

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martinplaut

Journalist specialising in the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa

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