Let's Get Honest! Absolutely Uncommon Analysis of Family & Conciliation Courts' Operations, Practices, & History

Identify the Entities, Find the Funding, Talk Sense!

A Substantial Background Check and History on Certain Problems, Programs, Persons, Organizations and Policies (Republished from this blog’s Jan. 2018 Front Page)

leave a comment »

(Dec. 11, 2018: Published! I just moved this about 14,000-words section (+ introduction showing why it’s still important and so just got moved to its own post) from the bottom of the Front Page where I doubt it was being read..  Dec. 13: Now I’ve found time to add the tags, which will display at the bottom when I’m done. //LGH.  Click to add comments (near top); they will display when approved (near bottom).

A Substantial Background Check and History on Certain Problems, Programs, Persons, Organizations and Policies (Republished from this blog’s Jan. 2018 Front Page) about 15,000 words by the time I add tags.Short-link is:  https://wp.me/psBXH-9ld (middle character is lower-case “L”).

Introducing the moved section takes up about the first quarter of the post.  Where the previous section begins below it is marked, like this (yes, it starts with a referral to another post).  To further complicate it, I’m putting it in quotes (It is a quote — from lower on this post):

Below this line is “as-is” transfer of section from Front Page to a new post for better visibility on the blog. //LGH Dec. 11, 2018

(1) About my most recent post (@Jan. 2018), a recent and

ongoing theme:

Jumping through Hoops and Chasing One’s Tail, that is, if Conceptual Clarity on “CACs” ~>And Navigating The Money Mazes Set up By Them~> is the Goal. (This Example: Calico Center (San Leandro, CA) payees).  (Shortlink ending “-8ln” with the middle digit a lower-case “L” as in “l.”) Published 1/8/2018, about 12,600 words.

The post deals extensively with the founders and/or curriculum designers of “Kids’ Turn,” (and in a few cases, their husbands who seem to have been influential, i.e., Jeanne Ames was married to famous mediator Sam Kagel; Herma Hill Kay, while not a curriculum designer was influential in getting no-fault divorce passed** and (having just recently died in 2017) is well-known in UCBerkeley law and was (2016) on the board of Berkeley’s nonprofit “FVAP” (Family Violence Appeals Project), and married to a psychiatrist, Carroll Brodsky)…

A co-author of the California Family Law Act of 1969, Kay also served as a co-reporter on the state commission that drafted the nation’s first no-fault divorce statute. She later co-authored the Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act, which has become the standard for no-fault divorce nationwide.

“It was never undertaken to achieve equality between men and women,” Kay said during a 2008 interview. “It was undertaken to try to get the blackmail out of divorce and I think it has accomplished that…. Marriage is no longer the only career open to women.”

…of a curriculum whose model went “underground” (sometime after some of us were “outing” it’s deep connections to state judiciary and nationwide distribution as mandated parent education) by way of merging into the well-networked CAPC (Child Abuse Prevention) networks, the SF one.  Which I also blogged; then found that the SFCAPC had changed its name (again) to “Safe & Sound” while still running the same curriculum, as did also other out-of-state entities; sometimes for steep fees, sometimes begging money (in my opinion) inappropriately to be able to force poor separated or separating parents through the programs too. Some of that information remains (closer to the bottom) on my “Front Page” (just type the blog name with no additions to get there)…. That’s why THIS section starts with the reference to another post, as you can see up front if you click on it (here’s an image of the top of that post):

This screenprint is from the top of another post and included because of the short summary (below the 2nd link) which relates to this one (Imaged for 12/11/2018 LGH post, “A Substantial Background Check and History on Certain Problems, Programs…“)

Also in this post (as originally blogged and on the Front Page of FamilyCourtMatters.org) is both older and newer references to the issue of (international) child-stealing as well as some of the (also international) associations and sponsors of US-based “Association of Family and Conciliation Courts.”

Those are a short preview.  What I’m saying next comes from December, not January, 2018, perspective.

Do you REALLY comprehend how the concept of preventing child abuse has been connected linguistically and policywise to “increase father-involvement” and spawned all kinds of clearinghouses, psychoeducational curricula (for both kids and parents) and of course, nonprofits to promote them?  Do you understand that the eventual goal is combining both child WELFARE courts (handling criminal behavior) with FAMILY Courts (handling all divorce and custody issues) under one roof and organized control?

I’m learning that in the UK the straight “divorce and custody” courts are considered PRIVATE, while the PUBLIC ones deal more with abuse and other safety issues.  Naturally abuse and safety issues don’t neatly confine themselves to just one venue — but my point is, one set of courts was private, the other public.  Both countries have had legislation (1980s, 1990s, 2000s) impacting how they can and must handle certain aspects of one or the other.  A big difference exists, however between the US and the UK (“Brit”) relationship to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child — and that’s obviously going to affect how international parental kidnapping is dealt with.

In my drill-down (about a year ago) I was surprised to learn that an author I’d quoted thinking (mistakenly) that the extreme wrong of parental abduction, or “child-stealing” (not synonymous, but similar concepts) this author spoke out against, was intended to address when children were abducted from mothers OR fathers.  On reviewing this years later paying MUCH more attention to context (footnotes, where it was published, etc.) having more experience from years  blogging here, I noticed that this author Nancy Faulkner was quoting a Dorothy S. Huntington, Ph.D., who, it says, was working for a nonprofit in Corte Madera, California, I’d already looked into — and found significantly lacking as to (honesty of registrations).  And, of course closely connected to AFCC personnel.  It’s below, but here’s the Footnote and a few paragraphs above it (the year is 1984):

From PARENTAL KIDNAPPING: A NEW FORM OF CHILD ABUSE (1984, and quoted again below) by Dorothy Huntington, Ph.D.

Are there certain family constellations or background patterns more highly associated with child stealing? Are there certain signs which could be recognized as warnings?

How about when one parent threatens to do it, having financial motive, and then does it?  That was our situation…Somehow, the courts still “couldn’t” figure out which one of us was the real abduction threat even after his pre-emptive (supposedly) abduction happened, effectively curtailing child support obligations permanently for him.

BACK to the courts, another round in them, and BYE-BYE my stable work life while trying to regain contact with two children I’d just arranged personal and work life around.  After managing to escape a dangerous, degrading, and life-eroding battering “relationship” (marriage), barely… and mistakenly thinking would be allowed to “get away with it,” that is, be free from other forms of ongoing abuse, intimidation, and destructive behaviors applied through other means.

I remember (OH so long ago) thinking or hoping, for a few sessions only, that the family courts would agree that committing documented felony behavior — the actions fit the documentation of criminal acts — was wrong and a character indicator, and that my history of NOT breaking family court orders, mattered and was a character indicator.  To be honest, I think my own children had figured this out years earlier…. at least they figured out the court-appointed mediator’s interest in knowing which parent to blame…

A final goal of the project is the formulation of information for the education of judges, attorneys, and court personnel specifically directed to their complex concerns, such as information on circumstances in which child custody might be granted to the “snatcher”; what sorts of visitation and under what circumstances visitation ought to be permitted after a child is  returned, and in what types of situations child kidnapping is likely to occur:family vioLence, extended and bitter litigation, cross-national marriages, cases where restrictive visitation rightshave been imposed, etc.

Child stealing is an issue that fits well in the context of The Center for the Family in Transition, which is a non-profit clinical and research center founded in 1980 to help families with children cope resourcefully with the problems and possibilities that are part of family transitions, such-as divorce and remarriage. The aims of the Center are to ameliorate distress and significantly reduce the psychological toll of divorce on families, with special emphasis on the children; to evaluate the efficacy of brief preventive services for these families; to generate new knowledge about families in the process of change; to catalyze needed supports for these families; to act as an advocate locally and on state and national levels for programs that support families during times of stressful change; and to join in the education and training of personnel who work with families in transition.

1 Dr. Huntington is Director of Research and Evaluation, Center for the Family in Transition, Corte Madera, California, and is Project Director of the Child Stealing Project. This work is supported by the James Irvine Foundation and the Morris Stulsaft Foundation.

The Center for the Family in Transition also made onto my list of Top Ten Key Themes for this blog.  (See sidebar widget “New To This Blog?” or similar list on the Front Page, to access).. Not because of its great programming, however…

It turns out Dorothy Huntington was one of the curriculum designers of “Kids’ Turn.”

My blog’s Front Page mentions a few recent re-namings and re-framings of a nonprofit established mid-1980s in San Francisco (copied in San Diego in the mid-1990s) and featured early on in this blog under it’s then name, “Kids’ Turn.”

It shows (there, not here) how the related program was first merged into (submerged UNDER) the “SFCAPC” (San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Council) which is itself related to certain networked organizations nationwide (see below) — but by 2017 had again been renamed as “Safe & Sound.”  I say that to explain why some of the current posts were reviewing the “CAPC” situation as connected to an “umbrella” nonprofit

That’s another reason I don’t think H.Con.Res72 with its “safety focus” is a fair assessment of or solutions to the problems with family court, with a strong tendency towards behaviors more associated with racketeering (i.e., “move the money fast, hide operations, especially after being outed for conflicts of interest.”). The phrase has already been co-opted by the same organizations those pushing “Safety in Family Courts” haven’t been reporting all along… One tends to wonder whose side some of these are really on, “one” here being primarily me..

Tracking the changes is getting old.  So, in some ways, am I…  Are there not more individuals self-motivated enough to take notes on the SYSTEMS and MEANS by which cashflow is generated, the quality (i.e., poor quality) of available inter-related databases for following them (ever tried to compile data from tax returns and turn it into a functional chart without software to read/ extract/ massage it into appropriate data fields?  Can such individuals not find each other and collaborate to get that data out in graph form with links to sources, versus journalistic “problem-focused” reporting spread out in owned mainstream media?

Right now, it looks like human frailty and time constraints are the only avenues.  While we know that technology is capable of amazing feats when channeled and managed for purposes worthy deemed enough to get the financial backing…. like running RCTs on the poor (I’m thinking of J-Pal et al. at MIT).  What other options exist for this situation?

This post is a “publish-first, polish/label-later” project. Some of the names may be more familiar than others for non-professionals (i.e., you’re not a family lawyer, custody evaluator, psychologist and are perhaps a newer member, if a member of AFCC). Among them are some no longer with us, but whose writing seem to have continuing influence; others just may not be that “famous” in the field, although it seems they are influential:  Dorothy S. Huntington, Ph.D.; Nancy Faulkner, Carroll M. Brodsky, MD, Psychiatrist (husband of Herma Kay Hill — who helped usher in era of no-fault divorce); John B. Sikorski (UCSF Psychiatrist), Michael Agopian.

Others, I hope are more familiar: but realize they might not be:  Jeanne T. Ames (her husband Sam Kagel), Clare Barnes, Isolini Ricci, several AFCC stalwarts show up  in part because in looking up one thing, I look at the footnotes.  AFCC members are constantly quoting and referencing each other.

My point of entry on the most detailed drill-down below was who designed the Kids’ Turn curriculum and, it seems, the AFCC 54th Annual Conference in Boston, 2017 and its sponsors, including the Suzie S. Thorn Foundation which is closely associated with Kids’ Turn (and housed it for many years).

https://www.2houses.com/en/ One of two listed partners found in Virginia (Outside Washington, D.C.): Virginia L. Colin, Ph.D. (links to Colin Family Mediation Group, LLC in USA though the software company appears to be based in Belgium…)

I also look at (another so-called “sponsor” — it’s a program, not a corporate person) Our Family Wizard, program owned by Avirat, Inc. (MN) & Avirat, Ltd. (UK) and how it’s a “Platinum” sponsor of AFCC.

We also see a Massachusetts (?) {holistic divorce” law (Mavrides Family Law) firm promoting both OurFamilyWizard and one whose registration (legal domicile) appears to be Belgium (!), “2Houses” and which got start-up help through crowdfunding by “MyMicroInvest.”  Just, well, interesting.  However “2houses” website (fine print, bottom) lists ONLY two partner website, is featuring “Our Family Wizard:.rs, one of whom is Virginia L. Colin, Ph.D. of Colin Mediation Group, LLC which, among many other things on the









The developer team (4 men and a woman) are all in Belgium.  Website is sparse and hard to read (faint-colored font). Anyhow it seems to have some promoters in the US.

A few quotes from the post below:

Another consistent grantee [of the Suzie S. Thorn Foundation] was “International Commission on Couples and Family Relationships,” a UK charity which has a trust on which Suzie S. Thorn continues to sit (at least the photo hasn’t changed for years).  It is having its 2018 conference in MALTA. ICCFR also recognized the 2017 recent AFCC Conference in Boston on its website.


And, for those who maybe read my post mentioning Kids Turn partnering with a UK charity, to run its anti-parental alienation curriculum/curricula,  “Relate,” I see that Claire Barnes is also a board member there. Don’t underestimate THAT network either.

References to Richard Gardner and ( as a consequence) Richard Warshak/John W. Santrock (UTexas) are laced throughout.  Understanding that in public policy terms by now (and it certainly seems starting in the 1980s) the term “Child Abuse Prevention” was made somehow all but synonymous with “father-contact” and Child Abuse with “no-father-contact” (i.e., alienation).  That’s definitely the direction things are still heading, and I think it’s time to realize that despite how alarming it may be and seem, how very FEW people were really involved in starting up the private businesses running through the family court systems.

I don’t want to re-write this, just re-post it more visibly.  In part because I have follow-up posts involving “Our Family Wizard” promoting (yet another) AFCC program provider whose business registration is already “m.i.a.” which isn’t to say, without some significant (diligent) search, it can’t be found.  But why should people have to dig so deep for proof of legitimacy, and grasp of what’s actually going on, regarding programming that’s “in-your-face” (court-ordered parent education) when they approach a public institution such as the family courts?

THIS ENDS the PREVIEW section; what’s below was moved from the Front Page and written almost a year ago.

Below this line is “as-is” transfer of section from Front Page to a new post for better visibility on the blog. //LGH Dec. 11, 2018

(1) About my most recent post (@Jan. 2018), a recent and ongoing theme:

Jumping through Hoops and Chasing One’s Tail, that is, if Conceptual Clarity on “CACs” ~>And Navigating The Money Mazes Set up By Them~> is the Goal. (This Example: Calico Center (San Leandro, CA) payees).  (Shortlink ending “-8ln” with the middle digit a lower-case “L” as in “l.”) Published 1/8/2018, about 12,600 words.

Besides the topic on its title, the post also contains — to juxtapose with the CAC Child Advocacy Center organized under a 1992-formed 501©3 with entity address, Washington, D.C., but legal domicile ALABAMA, the National Children’s Alliance, Inc. topics — a major section on: Reunification Camps (recent publications and news coverage, in part from an interview with several children campers now turned adults); the obvious AFCC connections and common rhetoric, affiliations among camp founders or “clinicians” promoting this type of intervention to counter “parental alienation; and some extended footnotes with images on the self-described background, inspiration and mentors ( the late Richard Gardner & UT-Dallas Professor and significant psychology textbook author over the decaces, John Santrock) of well-known fathers’ rights publisher Richard A. Warshak who advertises or runs one such camp (Family Bridges) and who since the 1970s has been talking parental alienation).

(See annotations on the image, it’s an excerpt from John Santrock (UTx-Dallas, mentored Warshak) ~ CV Images (but, see complete 15pg pdf also for greater scope)


Among the editors or publishers of books or articles (i.e., chapters in books) co-written with Santrock & Warshak (both operating primarily — excluding any conference circuits — for employment out of Texas universities, decade after decade…), which I found by simply looking at Santrock’s C.V. posted on his faculty profile page,  was one Carolyn Pape Cowan, which brought up the topic of “Strengthening Father Involvement (“SFI”) studies run through family resource centers, featured on a website “CEBC,” the “California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse,” which is operated, so it says, in part by the California “OCAP” (Office of Child Abuse Prevention).

“Strategies” has 3 regional offices of which ICFS is one I see. The other two are directly funded, per budget, by the State OCAP. The contact under “Strengthening Father Involvement” (per CEBC as I recall) training manual (see my 1/8/2018 post for exact details) was Danny Molina at Interface Family Services (middle regional office, above). “Strategies” appears to be a project, not a nonprofit, then…Notice the promotion, it says, is in BOTH “public and nonprofit” sectors.. The other two offices (one, Children’s Bureau, would seem to be a part of government, the other (I checked) is, like ICFS,  a nonprofit) and featured prominently on the Children’s Trust Fund budget (allocated funds).

The Children’s Trust Funds in different states have been running “father-friendly” programming for many years, and appear to also have their own nonprofit organization/association too. (Searchable on-line).

The “CEBC Clearinghouse” where “EB” stands for “Evidence-Based,” run by Calif’s OCAP (formed in 1977s) which also administers the State Children’s Trust Fund (formed in 1983) – showing SFI (which, on the website site, shows both the Pruett’s (Marsha Kline Pruett was 2017 President of AFCC) and Cowans involvemt” (in six images…)

CEBC oversight and funding lists a State Department (DSS), Division (Child and Family Services) and an Office (Of Child Abuse Prevention). OCAP apparently considers “Strengthening Father Involvement” and funding the programming run by Carolyn Pape Cowan (and her husband Philip), Marsha Kline Pruett (also AFCC-member and leadership over the years) and her husband Kyle, collectively representing: UCBerkeley, Yale and Smith (i.e., East and West coast powerhouse universities, only one of them public) to be part of “Child Abuse Prevention.”



The OCAP started in the 1970s also administers the Children’s Trust (for California, established as a separate fund in the state treasury (!)) in 1983. See that post, footnotes… and acknowledge that at the state, not just federal level, “father promotion” has been promoted AND funded for years — parallel to “women’s rights” and “domestic violence advocacy/family violence prevention” groups also.  And that the selling points for fathers’ rights are often labeled instead “family” or the “child protection” and citing (when it comes to evidence) often to the social science fields.


In this world view, judging by government policy (also matching AFCC values, and the domestic violence coalitions’ “coordinated community response” policies INCLUDING “Family Justice Centers** modeled on “Child Advocacy Centers or CACs) going along with this year after year) one of the most dangerous relationships on the planet  is between a mother and her own biological children not submitting to abuse of herself and/or them, or such a mother without a resident or non-resident adult male as supposed controlling, mitigating factor — if all males not cohabiting with the mothers of their children are trained “properly” in small-group facilitated, culturally-sensitive, psycho-educational classes — ideally with continued mentoring afterwards —  for this purpose which should saturate social services sector nationwide..and if possible, prisons, too (see “Re-entry services”)..

Such mothers evidently cause “family conflict” — and “family conflict” is almost always “bad” — harmony, no matter the cost, in this worldview, is almost always “good.” Just ask this association, which brings up the next section:

(2) Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, Inc. {and recent conference Diamond Sponsor “OurFamilyWizard.com”}

AFCC has many creative ways of “resolving” their proclaimed major social scourge and danger to children — family conflict — besides out-of-state (or the country) mandatory reunification camps. The two major topics on my recent post are connected and inter-related through a specific nonprofit associated historically with AFCC membership (including judges) and as merged (in just 2014 after many years of operation countering parental alienation through court-ordered parent education; a San Diego version of that nonprofit still exists and recently raised its prices, starting March 2018, to $400/parent/class…) into a local “Child Abuse Prevention Center” (SFCAPC) which last September, 2017, has now changed its business name to “Safe & Sound.”  (See that 12,600-word post for more details).

Reading material, the rhetoric, the publications put out year after year (which I have done as it relates so closely to the topic of this blog, the family courts…) I get a sense of members’ collective beliefs that the world would be a better place if only it looked more like a very traditional elementary school classroom, run by themselves, or with themselves as teacher’s pets — not responsible ultimately, but with delegated power to pick winners and losers according to the rules that don’t apply outside the classroom, or in the rest of the world, or in any free or democratic society.

Look at the title of last spring’s annual conference, held in Boston, viewed from the organization web page:

“Turning the Kaleidoscope of Family Conflict into a Prism of Harmony (AFCC 54th Conference). Brochure link shown reveals conference sponsors (Platinum, Gold, etc.) and Collaborators..

The intense longing for such a realm doesn’t bother me.  I don’t grudge people their (infantile) fantasies… but the attempt to act out on them and force the rest of us into playing along — and subsidizing it — does.  It’s a major social hazard.

AFCC’s decades-long collective strategizing to flex, bend, or eradicate existing legal definitions and protections for individual citizens under their own state laws and/or the U.S. Constitution (or at least our perceived such protections and definitions — for example of what is and is not criminal behavior) to satisfy this [infantile] desire for importance, for the world-as-our-classroom in which they play a “presiding authorities” part, and the means to do so themselves, no matter the cost, is, in my opinion, “sick.”  It’s neither moral, ethical, beneficial overall, nor in the public interest.  It’s in the private interest of the few with intent to influence the many outside government itself, but with many members involved IN government in positions of authority and influence.

When government institutions didn’t provide a normal venue to act out such desire to dominate, lead, transform, and dictate standards for interpersonal relationships, the system of conciliation and family courts was created to accommodate that desire.

A few pages from the 2017 AFCC conference brochure — that already took place last summer (starting May 31) in Boston — gives clues to sponsors.  I annotated them heavily… Especially note, please, sponsoring organizations (or in one or two cases, projects, which is a misnomer.  Projects don’t sponsor — organizations do…) and collaborating organizations.  A more detailed review of this material and some of the presenters’ affiliations is appropriate, but won’t occur on this page.  Enough is included for a representative sample, after which I “drill down” specifically on a San Francisco-based family foundation, which occupies a significant part of this page.

(Click image to enlarge, or just keep reading; same image & annotations, but larger, show up below on this post). FYI here, see top line, “Diamond Sponsor” for the immediate context.

AFCC 54th (2017, Boston) Conference – Turning Kaledioscope of Family Conflict into a Prism of Harmony (brochure, printed to pdf Jan 10 2018, 32 pp) Note Sponsors, Collaborators (<== multi-page, pdf format, the whole brochure. Viewers may need to click a second time, on the blank page icon, to load/view it).

The next four images, and a quote or two, refer to the highest-paying sponsor listed on page 4 of the AFCC 2017 54th Annual Conference brochure (see miniature annotated image to left; larger display of the same one forthcoming below, soon), called “OurFamilyWizard.com”

A case in the Kentucky Court of Appeals challenging the right to mandate subscription to OurFamilyWizard in the context of divorce and custody action was lost. It could be mandated. This, of course, is key to any software connecting to the family court-mandated referral. Jai Kissoon is son of family lawyer in MN (Kathleen Kissoon; her husband? Deomarine also on there). In addition, what looks like a father-daughter combo is on board (Paul Volcker, co-founder being the father). They have been working the conference circuit, and focused on “high-conflict” divorces for many years now, with substantial success, which may account for it also quickly going so “global.”

Technically speaking, products such as a digital platform can’t sponsor — the real sponsor was the company whose product it is — currently “Avirat, Inc.” a Minnesota corporation; OFW is its product.  “Oh well…”

Our Family Wizard Lessens Parenting Disputes by Matt Havrevold (link leads to full article, or see KCBA newsletter here.

Kings County Bar Association, July 15 has a half-page promo for Our Family Wizard, referencing the Telek 2010 decision and citing a California judge that ordered parents communicate exclusively through “OFW” and barring email or phone communications.  Wow.. Here’s an excerpt (image) and the beginning (following quote).  Note that the inclusion of domestic violence cases into family courts exacerbated a need for protected communications, while effectively blaming both parents on “communication problems.”

Getting the DV cases OUT of family court jurisdiction remains continually off the table, thereby creating a continual income stream for “high-conflict parents” and associated custody evaluators, etc.:

Our Family Wizard Lessens Parenting Disputes by Matt Havrevold

For co-parents who are prone to conflict, long email exchanges and vague text messages often create ambi- guity or miscommunication, and make admissible records difficult for counsel to compile. [[Allegedly]] As a result, courts routinely order parent communication on the OurFamilyWizard (OFW) website in cases spanning all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and five Canadian provinces. OFW is even ordered in domestic violence cases to keep parents informed while reducing opportunities for coercive control and harassment.

In other words, the “conciliation/reconciliation/ treat the whole family” associations want to have their cake (control of cases involving criminal and dangerous behavior by at least one parent, and sometimes only one) and eat it too.  Not mentioned here (but on the website it’s clear) — OFW has an affiliate program advertising 25% commission (so who gets the markup then? … Parents) and professionals get bulk discounts.

Meanwhile, quoting again from the start of the King County Bar Association (Washington State, includes Seattle I believe) 2015 newsletter:

Lower courts’ orders for communication with OFW are regularly up- held. In a sealed 2011 opinion, Hon. Carolyn Tornetta Carluccio of Montgomery County, Pa., wrote:

(Our)FamilyWizard is utilized by courts in cases involving litigious parents whose credibility is lacking and who are unable to communicate with each other.

This judge (elected) judge was only sworn in on January 2010 at which time she’d had plenty of experience — but none in family law.  However, her uncle was judge in the same county. (I’ve off-ramped more of this discussion to a separate post and will show there.  Title with link also shown in the blue-green background section below).

Notice, in the “sealed order 2011” quote above (re: Our Family Wizard), the attribution of “unable to communicate” is credited, collectively, to both parents. According to this position, and as described in the generic here, BOTH parents are at fault.  Believe it or not, when two are involved, they are not always BOTH engaged in lying, harassing, or intimidating behavior, or inability to communicate, or in contempt of court orders (or the penal code).  However, in this case, it does not “take two to Tango” — it only takes one, to justify calling in the (so-called) peacemakers — who will then, typically, attempt to treat both parents, the children, or ideally the entire family, referring business to longstanding friends and colleagues, the “flora and fauna” of the family courts and “community-based resources” organized around them to, allegedly, de-clutter the courts. Charging fees all along the way.

Notice reference to “high-conflict.” I believe this is from a “Mediate.com” feature.

(Click Image to Enlarge) pg 4 from conf. brochure, with annotations. Board Members outside the USA marked with blue rectangles. Comment at lower-left refers to affiliations with some of those mentioned to reunification provider in “2008, MA, 2011 California” Overcoming Barriers, Inc. (which ran a Pre-Conference Workshop #1 here).

Our Family Wizard is owned by Avirat, Inc., was started in 2001, and has now offices in Minnesota and in London.

In 2016 and 2017, what’s more, two other companies with the key name “Avirat” (one of them at same street address as Avirat, Inc.) were formed, all of these for-profit.

Not further details on this page except for the above four images and two short quotes.

Separate post forthcoming on OUR FAMILY WIZARD(™) soon. The post title below describes my general impressions — The rapid promotion of this electronic platform again raises the main issue of why are DV cases being handled, year after year, within family court system in the first place? Obviously it’s not working…. and having a trademarked platform that the judges can mandate parents to use (while forbidding them to communicate in any other manner — and this has already happened) to “manage” the high-conflict, like sealing records and gag orders raises serious basic human rights for both mothers and fathers in an ongoing, widening networked landscape.

So I called it like I see it in the title, but will, as usual, provide supporting evidence. Showing up here, however, it’s as the (mislabeled — programs don’t sponsor; organizations DO) sole top-level / “Diamond” sponsor of yet another AFCC conference….

A(nother) RICO Case? Rapid Proliferation, International Expansion of Avirat, Inc.’s OurFamilyWizard® Exposes New Levels of Existing Private Enterprise Entrenched and Innate to the Family Law: Bar Associations, Courts, Judicial Trainings, and Various Nonprofits, starting with the AFCC. (Started  Jan. 14, 2018, case-sensitive shortlink ends “-8pp” PUBLISHED Nov. 24, 2018)

Subtitle:Avirat’s Financial Success (2001ff) built and still relies for promotion upon Family Court Judges Mandating Parents to Subscribe, and Continued Jurisdiction over Domestic Violence, so-called “High-Conflict” Divorce, Custody and Child Support cases.

Avirat, Inc. incorporated only in 2001, but now lists offices in Minnesota and London, while at least one other privately controlled corporation by the same basic name (and at same address) dealing with “Global” registered recently 2016/2017 in Minnesota, per its Business Entity Search details.


Pre-Conference Institute features (without mentioning the nonprofit’s name) founders ofOvercoming Barriers. Interesting situation as its Calif. 2011 registration papers say that for three years (2008-09-2010) another entity Common Ground Center (camp in Vermont) was its fiscal agent. Founders of the Vermont Campground come from a family incl. investment broker father (Ira Lebeck Mendell) and a sister who married the famous Whitewater prosecutor Kenneth Star (ALSO FORMER pres. of Baylor Univ. in Texas, Alice M. Starr somewhere in the process converted to Christianity). Steady contributions to Common Ground Center  flow from The Mendell Family Fund (which, after the father Ira L. Mendell died, was run three siblings:  Thomas G. Mendell (Goldman Sachs broker), James Mendell (with partner Peg Kamens, running this Vermont Campground, also Hogback Heaven Farms and Bristol Developmt, LLC in the area), and Alice M. Starr. Fascinating, but while the website to Common Grounds acknowledges Overcoming Barriers, none of the Form 990PFs particularly reference any funding to it, nor is the 2013 camp run there mentioned by name in the 2013 990PF..Not a major operation..QUESTION:Why would the well-known family court professionals (Peggy Ward, Robin Deutsch, Matthew Sullivan, and Ret’d Fam. Court Commissioner from SF, Majorie Slabach, (and, presenting here, Barbara Jo Fidler, also on board (of only three women, per its website) of Canadian reunification camp “Families Moving Forward Together,”), i.e, AFCC members from MA and CA (both states in which AFCC has an ongoing presence over the years), and CANADA (?/Fidler) opt to operate Overcoming Barriers “under the radar” and then relocate to California when finally deciding to register their outfit? Then (eventually) hire Exec. Director Mr. Donald Fann, with a background (per his resume — I added a link to this image) with post-undergraduate residencies in Esalen (Big Sur, CA), late 1970s, mid-1980s, ties to some Family Resource Association in NJ, but with a Florida contact address??

Next subsection led to the material introduced at top of this page: A book featuring a nonprofit associated with and (long-term) supported by the next foundation, also shown above as an AFCC 2017 conference sponsor, identified three curriculum designers. I sample each of their work in turn, as well as that of another individual referenced as involved, although not as having helped design the curriculum.

The Suzie S. Thorn Family Foundation, (The fourth of four “Gold” Sponsors listed above) a private foundation (files 990PF) of moderate/small size (EIN# 943249680) and its relationship to Kid’s Turn (SF) came up many years ago, in part because Kids Turn was being run out of the same street address (building) as Ms. Thorn’s law practice (Schapiro-Thorn, Inc.) and the foundation (as annotated on image above).  The foundation isn’t that large, but as far back as 2001 it was regularly donating (minor amounts) to both AFCC and Kid’s Turn (and most years claiming “no relation” to Donee in both cases; I did see one where “Board Member” was acknowledged).

I learned then also that Ms. Thorn was involved overseas with the “ICCFR” (International Commission on Couples and Family Relations) you can see among the several AFCC conference “Collaborating Organizations” above.  Unfortunately, neither Sponsors nor Collaborators are listed with their countries, or if in the US, home states. ICCFR’s seems to be England and/or Wales, but I notice its next (2018) conference is in Malta.

The family foundation was on the 5th floor and Kid’s Turn on the 4th floor of a building which (as I recall) at some point was owned by the law firm or the Thorn family, at 1242 Market Street in SF.

In 2001, Suzie Thorn donated $100K and two others, smaller amounts to [her family] foundation, which then granted out $43K. Year after year (until two of the donee organizations merged out into other ones), grants to, typically listed first, “Kid’s Turn” (in SF), “AFCC” (at a slightly different street address in Madison, Wisconsin), and “BASF DV Project” which I see is some version of one or another “Bar Association of San Francisco” foundation (exploring the various names, mergers, and relationships took some time.  For example, the former “Volunteer Legal Services Program” became “Justice and Diversity Center of the Bar Association of San Francisco) — while, at least currently, domestic violence hardly seems a priority as to committees, task forces, or even events/presentations over a the BASF.

Total results: 6Search Again.

The Suzie S. Thorn Family Foundation CA 2015 990PF 19 $661,872.00 94-3249680
The Suzie S. Thorn Family Foundation CA 2014 990PF 24 $697,160.00 94-3249680
The Suzie S. Thorn Family Foundation CA 2013 990PF 24 $656,840.00 94-3249680

Another consistent grantee was “International Commission on Couples and Family Relationships,” a UK charity which has a trust on which Suzie S. Thorn continues to sit (at least the photo hasn’t changed for years).  It is having its 2018 conference in MALTA. ICCFR also recognized the 2017 recent AFCC Conference in Boston on its website.

ICCFR Feb 7-9, 2018 Malta Conf. announced (their website)

ICCFR has a trust, Suzie Thorn (SF lawyer, building hosted “Kids Turn” formed 1987, since 1992, KT merged into SFCAPC in 2014, which then changed its name in Sept. 2017 to “Safe & Sound”) has been on it for years

For the record (from NationsOnline/oneworld.org/malta.htm), Malta is about 50 miles south of Sicily, and is one of the most densely populated countries of the world (see “small size”).  Main religion, Roman Catholicism. What a nice tourist destination for such a conference.

The island-state of Malta is located in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Sicily (Italy), it consists of three islands: Malta, Gozo and Comino, of which Malta is the largest island. In its history the Maltese archipelago was strategically important for the domination of the Mediterranean. Malta became an EU member in May of 2004.

Great Britain formally acquired possession of Malta in the early 19th century. The island supported the UK through both World Wars and remained in the Commonwealth when it became independent in 1964. On 13 December 1974 Malta became a republic. Over the last 15 years, the island has become a major freight transshipment point, a financial center, and a popular tourist destination.
(Various Sources)  related countries: United Kingdom

Claire Barnes (MyFavoriteTeacherSF.com) talking about her 13 yrs as Exec Director of “Kids Turn” (while volunteering on board of a family foundation regularly donating to it, small amounts, but over time, every single year…)

I should also mention the consistent presence along with just a few others (Jim Thorn, Barney Whitehall, Barbara Burghardt, maybe a few others occasionally) of a “Claire Barnes on the board (volunteer) of the Suzie S. Thorn Family Foundation and Ms. Barnes’ current websiteMyFavoriteTeacherSF.com” (<==representative organizations where she trained or was lead trainer; check out the list…) says she was for  13 years Executive Director of Kids Turn.

The blog with a home-made look makes it clear how committed she’s been to taking Kid’s Turn international, and (with S. Thorn, who’s been on its “trust” for many years, acc. to the website) activity on the British charity (which also received regular though small donations from this family foundation) the “ICCFR” – International Commission on Couples and Family Relationships.  Barnes’ background and degrees are in Education (from where not shown) and she now has a 2016 book out “I’m still your Grandma…Grandpa.”


And, for those who maybe read my post mentioning Kids Turn partnering with a UK charity, to run its anti-parental alienation curriculum/curricula,  “Relate,” I see that Claire Barnes is also a board member there. Don’t underestimate THAT network either.

Searchable here (second step of the search) as UK Registered Charity. Click the top result, #20714, and there’s also a “Beta” button for more recent financials.  While ONE charity number is listed (in very fine print, at the very back of an annual report) a search of the register shows 59 results under that name (of which maybe two or three are not related).  I see the charity summary page says it operates in England, Wales and Germany (details say it’s services to British forces stationed in Germany), has revenue of over 4.6M pounds and larger expenses of (over) 4.9M pounds, and has these activities:


I see that in 2016 a Trustee includes Professor (emeritus) Janet Anne Walker, who is known AFCC over many years. I didn’t see Suzie Thorn in the current list.  Here’s a “thumbnail grid” (4 images wide) in miniature size of various images I just took (most from its YE 2017 annual report and audited financial statements (the FS starts only about page 23) available through the charity commission website; some about activities. The first few images show a list of about 56 branch organizations by the same name. (The annual report said some more were going to merge into national soon).

Similar setups (networking practices) seems common in the USA among nonprofits; independent organizations networked under the same name and delivering essentially the, perhaps trademarked, services but registered separately based on geography, for rapid proliferation and dispersal (and also making it harder to track, when one set of accounts doesn’t list all the networked branches…). Wonder which country borrowed the practice from which…(UK or elsewhere to the US, or vice versa).

So for the SF-based (merged out in 2014) and now a separate version still stands under the name in San Diego, the Southern tip of California) Kids’ Turn (business name “Kid’s Turn” similar, but not identical) to be connected with this network, possibly (?) with royalties, and the Relate network charging clients for services (main source of revenues as you can see by one of the images), well, that’s a real accomplishment for the California organization.

But is this the model we still want domestically?

“Relate” was first registered or formed in 1952, with many amendments since (says the same overview page). For the far smaller geography (England and Wales) compared to, say, the USA and Canada, it’s clearly NETWORKED.  They acknowledge operating as a “federation” with occasionally some branch merging into the national. I’ll be posting on “Relate” and already have in part, on one of the subsidiary pages. However, I think the next two images say a lot.  The first, the organization’s goal.  The second, how LITTLE one is encouraged to look at the details of operations shown by how tiny the print giving its charity and company numbers… This appears to be two qualities-in-common (based on typical nonprofit website) with AFCC and its membership spinoff nonprofits operating (primarily) from the divorce/custody/family courts as a platform (marketing base) over here.  Here they are:

U.S. Citizens should know that family law professionals, particularly those working within AFCC, are internationally positioned to share practice, curricula. It “might” be good to learn more about this UK charity whose “market niche” is, as it says, everyone, and periodically throughout their lifetimes. It’s also DPW (UK’s Dept. of Pension and Works).

This website look, feel, and layout is big on graphics, letters, photos, and claims, and small on revealing where its financials might be looked up (the annual report where this is found only gives piecharts, nothing audited, substantial, or viewable as changing over time). Bottom, barely visible, line of print says its Charity # is 20714 and Company Number (in England and Wales) is, I think, 394221, giving searchable numbers on respective UK websites which may lead to more perspective on size, sources of funding, history, etc.

So for Kids Turn curriculum to have come to some understanding to be run through this network is actually a Very Big Deal.

(more details on Claire Barnes from her website) note: no institutions mentioned alongside her basic and masters’ or post-grad education listing; also (bottom) volunteer at the Suzie S, Thorn Fndtn which, in this context, was among the “Gold” level sponsors of the 2017 AFCC conference…

(more details on Claire Barnes from her website) — see bottom para. re: Schapiro-Thorn, Inc.

(Very fine print on the “My Favorite Teacher” footer said it “is” (co. 2017) a registered LLC in Nevada.  Perhaps the next images may explain why, once looking at a situation, I so often like to take just a extra few steps to check things out. In this case make that, My Favorite Teacher, LLC “was” (briefly, in 2014) a Nevada LLC … until its status became “revoked,” apparently for failing to file — in 2014— while the person involved on the website labeled “My Favorite Teacher SF” (but with footer referring to the Nevada LLC) proudly claims to have been marketing consultant for Schapiro Thorn in SF since 2014… “go figure.” (?? Claire Barnes’ name shows up years earlier on the Thorn family foundation board of (volunteer) directors…)

I’d almost feel sorry for this woman if she weren’t pushing Kids Turn internationally and it seems basing a career off co-dependency with AFCC and others exercising major power over children through their separate academic accomplishments, and positioning, such as family lawyers judges, etc. Kids Turn (the one in San Francisco) was in 2014 absorbed (non-serving entity in a merger) into the San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center (SFCAPC) I recently blogged, which only this past fall (9/26/2017) officially changed its name — and with this, website — to “Safe & Sound,” while, so far, no financials matching that name have showed up yet.

My Favorite Teacher, LLC in Nevada status “Revoked” searched 2018

It seems that after the Articles of Organization, nothing else was filed. I DNK Nevada Law, but apparently more was needed).

(Confirms that status-revoked (in Nevada) LLC is indeed associated with Ms. Barnes of Thorn Foundation, Kids’ Turn (SF, for 13 yrs so it’s said), International Commission of Couples and Family Relationships (British charity whose first US member didn’t come on its board (as opposed to the ICCFR Trust, which S. Thorn was on) until 2014…but by 2017 is referenced as a “Collaborating Organization” on the Boston AFCC Conference brochure) and “Relate,” not to mention Schapiro Thorn, Inc. law firm in SF..






I found a book published in 2009 (in paperback, 2002) exclusively to promote and “distill” the lessons from Kids’ Turn curriculum, as well as talk about its history, “Good Parenting Through Your Divorce” by Mary Ellen Hannibal  (Found by basic internet search for anything more substantial on Ms. Barnes).  It’s 272 pages with “0” reviews; here’s the summary, and some images from a section written by Judge Ina L. Gyemant (known to be one of the founders of the nonprofit KT), revealing a few more details of who were its original benefactors, and thanks to Suzie Thorn for letting it run out of their building since 1992..  No opportunity to plug other AFCC members’ books or projects should be lost, so there are more on Joan B. Kelly and Isolina Ricci…

The Hannibal book images EXCEPT the 2002 cover here are presented as a “slide show.”  Navigation  (forward, backward, pause, or click triangle to just let it play) makes it easy to scroll, left or right, through the series.  The image quality, unfortunately isn’t that great.  Book is easily searched on-line at Amazon or elsewhere.

I already knew about the Judge connection, and some of the attorneys’ names, referenced in the “foreword” as associated with the parent education curriculum that parents can be ordered into.  Until finding this (on-line book with preview available), I didn’t, however, know about who designed the curriculum (listed in slideshow).   It also contains specific references to being housed at Suzie Thorn’s building (apparently the building is owned by the law firm, or a related company, I DNR exact details), and on looking up who was Jeanne Ames (1926-2011), in her obituary (also shown below — it was extensive!), some of the direction courts were taking in the 1980s, as acknowledged to be instituted with help from the AFCC.

Although I didn’t live in San Francisco during the time of the late Jeanne Ames’ influence (1980s, 1990s, 2000s until 2011), I did live in the region.  Some of the practices instituted through coordinated influence of judges, family court lawyers, directors of family court services (incl. Ames), and the presence of private trade associations to spread, popularize and promote some of those practices, have had a horrible influence on my personal life and family line. The same people promising to REDUCE the conflict involved in divorce and custody are effectively doing the opposite — in part through the incessant demand to get parents and children into counseling (constantly), taking advantage of having literal jurisdiction over a divorcing family to refer businesses to colleagues — mandated by court order! — and in general, diminishing the handling of criminal matters AS criminal matters — continues the conflict the problem-solvers constantly claim they want to solve.

Even though the general concept is not new to me, taking time to look closely at self-descriptions of programs those involved are evidently proud of shows me some of the ongoing subtlety and salesmanship employed, it seems innately.

I comment on some of it in these images, and more (should I also include them) chapter in a book (see FPAMed.org images) put out by one of the designers of the KT Curriculum (Sikorski), which waits to the very end to bring up “Kids Turn” and does so failing to reveal one of the two chapter authors author was involved in its design (as does, last I looked, the earlier websites), but includes as a final footnote, the Hannibal book I’m quoting excerpts from.

Coming from a respected, and well-known in the area (apparently — I don’t hang out with psychiatrists, but judging from the faculty profile and some awards) individual (John B. Sikorski, M.D.), and depending on the distribution (which isn’t at this point clear to me — it was just an uploaded document on the FPAMED.org website), it must have contributed to promoting the unified voice:  Let us all create more and more programming that courts can force consumption of….).(Discussed more below this slide-show from the Mary Ellen Hannibal book)…and more images on Jeanne Ames mentioned in it and involved with Family Court Services and pushing for more mediation as part of her career path.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Of interest (and news to me), an MD Professor of Psychiatry at UCSF (University of California-San Francisco), a long-standing, well-respected one, John B. Sikorski, according to Judge Gyemant in her acknowledgements contribution to the 2009 book, designed the Kids Turn curriculum, together with Jeanne Ames and Dorothy S. Huntington, Ph.D. (who in the 1980s and while working at “The Center for the Family in Transition, Inc.” in the area, a nonprofit of either Judith Wallerstein (also referenced, plenty, in the book above) and in line with, in general, AFCC terminology and purposes.  My “sticky” posts deal with this nonprofit; … a May, 1984 writeup was found on-line. (but the upload reads “1982”), called “Parental Kidnapping, A New Form of Child Abuse.”  Where this was published or disseminated (and when) is unclear, but I see Nancy Faulkner, Ph.D., on the same topic and testifying before a special session (1999) of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (ABOUT parental abduction?), quoted Huntington.  Meanwhile Huntington, whose PhD (at this point, in what is unknown to me) was working for an AFCC-affiliated (in program contact, not fiscally) nonprofit pushing mediation throughout the family court system, and already made mandatory in 1981, in this state..

RE: KT Curriculum Designer (one of three mentioned), Dorothy S. Huntington, also known for:

(From the top of the article. Also any and all emphases (bold, italic, underline) in this or following two excerpts from this article are mine/added, not author’s. Original format was just as if a typed paper, B/W, without reference to any publication context or intended recipient/s or distribution list//LGH. If it were for a law review, I’d expect such a header, but none appeared.


by Dorothy S. Huntington, Ph.D. [1]

Parental child stealing–the abduction or unlawful retention of a child by a parent–has since the mid-1970s gone from being a virtually unrecognized problem to an issue of serious national and international concern. As the divorce rate and the rate of marital breakdown in this country have jumped dramatically, so have the number of cases involving child custody disputes and those culminating in parental kidnapping.

“Child custody disputes” minimizes the situations involved…

This omits relevant facts known back then, and in fact, probably still fresh in the news and among such professionals — no-fault divorce instituted in California (first), 1970s.  Women’s rights movement (NOW formed up only in 1966) following civil rights movement, and laws to protect from battering and domestic violence increasingly made known and visible.  NO-FAULT DIVORCE means that — the focus is deliberately shifted OFF, for example, felony behavior by one parent in the past (abandonment, mental cruelty, conviction of a felony, adultery, there were as I understand about seven causes) — making the parent who is dealing with and concerned about this the one now “stuck in the past…” as the courts wish to focus instead on “relationships” — initially, preventing divorce, and afterwards, continued co-parenting when it did at least happen.  And in the 1970s, AFCC discussed on its own website the “mediation explosion” (as though it had little to do with this, when it and its members did…as a focus) and talked about the desire to change the focus of words referring to criminal law — while inventing newer, better terms, incorporating a social science perspective. As Dr. Huntington was staff for a nonprofit (The Center for the Family in Transition, actually “The Judith Wallerstein Center for the Family in Transition,” known to be run by a major figure in AFCC leadership and often quoted in its literature, she must have known about the organization also, and its agenda of altering the language of criminal law into the “new words” from social scientists for the new future — within the family courts.

The damaging impact of child snatching on both children and parents has just begun to come to our attention.

{{“our” referring to ….?? Certainly the parents noticed, and the schools the children were suddenly removed from, friends, relatives, and when/if called in attempts to find or retrieve them, local law enforcement. What does this say about whatever cohesive group Huntington usedthe word “our” to refer to themselves here, that it took about a decade and a half to start taking the situation seriously to the point of studying it? Reminder — this was testimony before the UN CRC or similar body.}}

Despite the widespread public and professional interest in parental child stealing, there has been to date only one systematic research study (Agopian, 1979) on the topic, with only two other projects currently underway. One of these projects is being carried out at the Center for the Family in Transition and it is from this project that I will speak today.

The object of the child stealing project of the Center for the family in Transition has been to examine this until now almost invisible population of children and adults involved in child stealing, and to develop ways of helping the children and adults involved. ….

I looked for more on “Agopian.” He’s quoted often.  Perhaps this is why:  6 J. Juv. L. (1982) 1 | Legislative Reforms to Reduce Parental Child Abductionsby Michael Agopian and Gretchen L. Anderson as posted on HeinOnLine.com (pg1 only).  The * and ** by authors’ names give their backgrounds in the usual style, showing that a 2-year study on Parental Child Abductions was done at the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office (resulting in Agopian’s “pioneering book” on the topic).  Also that his degree was from (only) 1980, USC (a private university, not part of the state system) and currently (in 1982, that is) working on a Child Stealing Research Center possibly at a Lutheran College’s Justice Center.  … Agopian advised on the Federal Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act, and was influential in writing California’s Child-Stealing Laws. (See next 3 images.  Each has a caption; click the image to see the caption, I see you can also submit a comment on the image in this (Gallery) format.  Feel free…):

Huntington notes the goal (remember, the year is 1984…) — providing resources and training for judges, involved professionals, and of course parents, and children, incl. children after they are found and returned.  Notice which possible cause of “parental kidnapping” is mentioned first in the list… (Not on the list, but it should’ve been — financial motivations to reduce or eliminate obligation to pay child support.  Federal incentives for access and visitation date as far back as 1984 in that regard, and today are administered via the HHS/OCSE (Office of Child Support Enforcement) in the form of grants distributable, in each state (or territory) to a SINGLE agency to support the exact kind of programming this (crowd) has been promoting…  that means, federal grants to the states, which are then sub-granted to others (and in California it’s often been through the California Judicial Council, administered under the AOC/CFCC — where known AFCC members have been working over the years) to support such programming.

Just mentioning that now, but again, I’m quoting Dorothy S. Huntington, who was later associated with the curriculum design for “Kids Turn” which was intended and designed to be court-ordered (mandatory).

Are there certain family constellations or background patterns more highly associated with child stealing? Are there certain signs which could be recognized as warnings?

A final goal of the project is the formulation of information for the education of judges, attorneys, and court personnel specifically directed to their complex concerns, such as information on circumstances in which child custody might be granted to the “snatcher”; what sorts of visitation and under what circumstances visitation ought to be permitted after a child is  returned, and in what types of situations child kidnapping is likely to occur:family vioLence, extended and bitter litigation, cross-national marriages, cases where restrictive visitation rightshave been imposed, etc.

Child stealing is an issue that fits well in the context of The Center for the Family in Transition, which is a non-profit clinical and research center founded in 1980 to help families with children cope resourcefully with the problems and possibilities that are part of family transitions, such-as divorce and remarriage. The aims of the Center are to ameliorate distress and significantly reduce the psychological toll of divorce on families, with special emphasis on the children; to evaluate the efficacy of brief preventive services for these families; to generate new knowledge about families in the process of change; to catalyze needed supports for these families; to act as an advocate locally and on state and national levels for programs that support families during times of stressful change; and to join in the education and training of personnel who work with families in transition.

1 Dr. Huntington is Director of Research and Evaluation, Center for the Family in Transition, Corte Madera, California, and is Project Director of the Child Stealing Project. This work is supported by the James Irvine Foundation and the Morris Stulsaft Foundation.

This information goes high, wide and deep (for example, intersecting with the Hague Convention, US laws re: parental kidnapping, and related legal publications, some of them reminding readers of the impact of such conventions on the potential safety of women with children fleeing abuse, whether FROM or (back) TO the USA.  I found a helpful and extended article (although dated back in 2000) Fordham University Law Review on this topic, by Merle H. Weiner, called “Escaping Domestic Violence.”  This will become a separate post, with some of the above material from Huntington’s article, related.

RE: KT Curriculum Designer (one of three mentioned), John Sikorski, M.D. at UCSF:

Next, I include several images from a chapter uploaded to FPA MED website (<== the chapter, without annotations) Forensic Psychiatric Associates Medical Corp.), apparently a small-to-medium sized firm in Mill Valley, CA (just north of SF) only incorporated, I see, only in 2006.  Three images from FPA MED website also show it is tailored in part to testifying in child custody hearings, whether by forensic psychiatrists or by forensic psychologists. Black’s Law definition of FORENSIC is brief: for use in courts of justice. Or from US Legal.com:

Forensic Science Law and Legal Definition from USLegal.com

Also notice that in USLegal Definition of “Forensic Science,” while it does, below this, have links to “Forensic psychology” and “forensic psychologist” (but not “psychiatrist”), in explaining the term, as applied to criminal, first, or civil, it makes no reference to anything psychological or psychiatric — but to traces, physical evidence linking to either association with a crime, or (as to civil) things which might lead to damages, neither of which particularly describes the family courts or their purpose.

This time, the image is the link. Basically means, in public place, in common sight, based on “forum.” For psychologists in particular, it’s a prestigious term, helps with the “R.E.S.P.E.C.T.” although the debate over whether psychology is even a science continues. For some, it’s a “no-brainer” (like this guy in “Why Psychology isn’t a science” (who has a doctorate in microbiology), 7/13/2012 in the Los Angeles Times.

The underpinnings of family law, or so we are to believe in the realm of “no-fault divorce” and the “holistic approach” to helping people co-parent children in common, was to get rid of the concept of “guilt or innocence” as relevant a basis for divorce and custody, but focus more on the marriage, or once that’s beyond repair (“irreconciliable”) then the parenting, and co-parenting relationships.  However, effectively “guilt” or “innocence” once the “old” definitions are thrown out, can be then re-written, re-arranged, and re-framed from the psychological/behavioral viewpoints, transferring (significant through not 100%) authority to experts in that field.

This also matches neatly with the paradigm put forth within and by the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, and for which its decades of conferences are ongoing dress-rehearsals and mutual (private) working out within that membership family, differences, then working it outward (i.e., as activists) to have this policy, and framework, become the new laws governing children and families — essentially, governing the entire country.

Sikorski was co-author, and after looking closely at the content, references, and particularly conclusion — even though AFCC and Kids Turn only mentioned in passing in a long chapter, I may include those images also.  It’s clear the FPAMED team are often involved as expert witnesses in child custody cases.  It took a close reading and taking time to annotate it to realize how subtly the authors promote straightforward AFCC policy, particularly in the concluding paragraphs, while avoiding mention of personal involvement.  Framed in respected, psychiatric/ psychological terminology, well, it’s still a sales pitch and has “framed” the conversation failing to represent the interests of battered women or abused children, and includes subtle references to things outside this reference but known to be associated mostly with mothers (such as an “underground network” of “parents” [cf Faye Yager, the term used was “underground railway”] who don’t feel the justice system is fair).  If there is an underground network of fathers, I’ve yet to hear about — typically, custody-switch and forced reunification when children opt to run away rather than live with their fathers — seems to get the job done sufficiently….as an “above-ground” network of legitimized through the family courts, essentially, kidnapping.**

**Disclaimer on that last comment:  This “above-ground” court-facilitated kidnapping happened to my children and myself years after I left the abuser.  Meanwhile, lack of sufficient protections to move on in in life (and I was not interfering with HIS visitation, ever; in fact my hope at that time had been that respect for court orders would make the difference.).

John Sikorski receives UCSF Psychiatry award. This is the link or click image(s) to enlarge.

the link or click image to enlarge just what’s shown on it.

Dr. Sikorski (Psychiatrist at USCF Medical School, apparently since 1971) is well respected and won a Gold Apple Award this past summer. His specialty is child and adolescent psychiatry. (Two images; fine print under the second describes the department). He must have then designed the Kids’ Turn curriculum, alongside two others, one of about whom we can find almost nothing other than her references in the context of child abduction and by a Nancy Faulkner about who not much else is known (I did find her C.V., but it was a real hunt, and that was only until 1993.  DNK if she is still alive…) perhaps 14-15 years after being hired at UCSF.

I see he was also (at least in the 1990s) involved in international associations as well, one of which was run (at the time) by a director from the Yale Child Study Center; a 13th annual conference had been held in San Francisco in 1994; their (about to retire) president had died, leaving Donald J. Cohen (of Yale) in charge, and Sikorski mentioned as helping with the arrangements:  http://iacapap.org/wp-content/uploads/IACAPAP_Bulletin_April1995.pdf

In fact, here’s as late as July, 2007, from The New York Law Law Journal/Matrimonial Law (by  Harriet Newman Cohen and Gretchen Beall Schuman, a faded reprint of a single article from that journal? found online at “squarespace.com”), a single article STILL talking “Gardner” and with a series of footnotes that, where not primarily AFCC personnel, are citing to cases in which some mother was punished, financially or with removal of custody, for some version of “alienation.”

Included here because its Footnote #2 shows John Sikorsky, M.D. (sic — name ends in “i” not “y”) alongside an unidentified task force on what to do about alienated children, presenting at a 2001 GERMAN conference of an International organization for supervised visitation.  The pattern of the footnotes (some of which also shows up in the FPA MED article I’m getting to below… for the patient among readers!…) shows: citing several known (but not so identified) AFCC members, usually in groups (co-authors, or one citing others), and citing to divorce cases in which (I’d be willing to bet) one or more such professionals had a role, plus a few “ibids,” and eventually getting back to some quotes from the 1980s, in this case, some from <>Richard Gardner (who committed suicide in 2003 after about two decades of talking, writing, and also testifying in individual cases as an expert about parental alienation, and along the way inspiring the career track of Richard Warshak (according to Warshak’s bio on his own website — and this NYLaw Journal article was  2007) and<>Judith B. Wallerstein/Sandra Blakeslee’s famous** book on the long-term negative effects of divorce, and its update.   **Famous because it’s so often quoted and promoted among these ranks (!).

“Birds of a feather flock together,” and this does seem to be in part where our UCSF Psychiatrist has been supporting the overall concept of alienation as a diagnosable disorder to be treated somehow (or why agree to be on the unidentified (but not too hard to guess) “task force” referenced in Footnote 2 — as a dissenting voice, about fifteen years AFTER having designed a curriculum still in use designed as “early intervention” for parental alienation?  Hardly…)

In the next gallery there are seven images including the banner (title) and the rest is footnotes, annotated. While reading, remember that the year is 2007. Some of the print was so fine images may need to be “zoomed in” to read.  Some of my markings in the text near a footnote are identifying its authors.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Looking for anything more descriptive on Dr. Sikorski, although he shows up plenty in medical listings, I searched with the additional phrase “Kid’s Turn” only to find an (obviously out of date by about 3 years, as KT has since ceased to exist through merger) that it’s still being run, says the website, out of “Children’s Home & Aid Society” in Illinois.  The website calls KT “early intervention,” references Sikorski, and seeks donations to run its $400 class, because most parents taking it (note: Probably as forced to…) are low-income, under $30K. (!!).   Children’s Home & Aid (Website footer address is Chicago: Note, AFCC is also an Illinois Corporation; side address lists Bloomington, IL) has consolidated operations, and shows it’s basic level of receipts is around $63 million annually — most of it (per those statements) government grants for services to clients.  In case you haven’t already guessed yet, the major activity is foster care.

I went looking for the “financials” page (at very bottom left sidebar) and noticed that while they post 990s, annual reports, and audited consolidated annual reports (good for them), the so-called “2016” 990 is not complete as posted, and, while technically “2016” is actually for Fiscal Year 2015, meaning, they’re slow to upload their financials.   A few images pertaining to the Kids Turn part, including the “history of it” and as referencing Sikorski, who by now is probably in his 80s… (A 3-image gallery follows. Two images contain a link for follow-up (i.e., where I found it).

This next gallery (these 8 images) from FPAMEd are best viewed in original page order.  I’ve tried to reproduce this within the gallery.  Images are not identical in size.  Cursor forward or backward once any image is displayed full-size. I didn’t indicate “slide show,” so they should not move on their own accord. Take time to read the annotations if possible and use “full-size”! I was working with an older pdf image to start with, so the clarity wasn’t that great to start with.

On the “resources” page above, anywhere you see ‘Family Court Review’ — the officially the journal (mouthpiece, “voice”) of AFCC as co-published with a private law school in New York (Hofstra).  Rough estimate, about 8 footnotes cited to this (or to  it as “Family and Conciliation Courts Review” and one simply to the AFCC itself. While the FCR in content and appearance looks like a regular law review in many respects (and it indeed is managed out of a center at a law school), and has obtained publishing on-line through a respected publisher, it still remains, officially and by definition, the voice of a small private membership association targeting the family law system, and seeking to dominate and define it.

It is not the voice of the American people, or even particularly of those representing and validating the US Constitution and associated state legislatures’ legal systems.  Their interest as judged by activities (words AND deeds) is transformation to better international alignment of systems and promotion of interests not just of US member, but those overseas as well — and that includes financial interests. With time, names of prolific (i.e., publishing frequently over the years — or their publications, even if the individuals, such as Judith Wallerstein, are by now deceased, are so well distributed, including promotion through government (court and other) websites becomes familiar.

In the above example (from FPAMed) within the first 9 footnotes, the Future of Children (Brookings/Princeton collaboration and deeply embedded with fathers’ rights, marriage promotion, family values (Ron Haskins) and Welfare Reform is quoted FOUR times.

Others in the first 9 included I see Herma Hill Kay (as “HH Kay”) well known, at UC Berkeley, and on the board of 2012ff nonprofit FVAP I referenced above); and that H. Rodham 1973 FN probably is to our former Secretary of State and First Lady (and US Senator), currently last name Clinton. Similar, but not identically named reference (and there’s no other listed under her name on from that publication):

This 1992 Editorial Opinion by a man from the University of Toronto, and a woman from University of Michigan, “What Hillary Rodham Clinton Really Said About Children’s Rights and Child Policy” (for journal and more information, see link) confirms that the Harvard Educational Review article was hers (although we know her undergraduate university was Yale, not Harvard), and says her position was essentially conservative.  The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child also comes up.

The late (2017) Herma Hill Kay, and late husband psychiatrist Dr. Carroll M. Brodsky

Page 2 of this 2016 Annual Report shows she was also an Honorary Board Member (one of only three) on the Family Violence Appellate Project (FVAP) which seems to be modeled, California-style, after DV LEAP (Post upcoming) in DC, formed in 2004, and founded by George Washington University law professor Joan Meier.

For a clean (and complete) page see here: FVAP 2016 Annual Rept

My image here does not show full board of directors, which would leave the font too small.  It shows some others (including co-founder Nancy K.D. Lemon and other co-founders (law students), and affiliation such as “Break The Cycle.org” (it’s been a project of the Tide Center I was looking at (its archived) pages recently, as DV LEAP had provided a number of “extinct links” including this one, or such as “Family Violence Law Project” (which itself is housed out of the Family Justice Center, which also has a representative on the board).  Several are major players in the statewide domestic violence apparatus (incl. people with backgrounds at the CAADV and elsewhere, incl. Lecturer Nancy Lemon) (although, noticeably, no one from Futures without Violence, also part of it, is showing up here).

(logo from the organization, outside its home page banner context, for which see main website). To their credit, they do give (in very fine print) their own EIN# 95-4582664, although I also see that Forms 990 are labeled “Financials” and the latest posted 990 is about FY2014, and the Annual report, only 2013. (Click here)

Correction: (above, strikeout) I mixed up (when recalling by memory) “StopFamilyViolence.org,” about which the strikeout portion is true, with the (still around) BreakTheCycle.org which focuses on healthy relationships.


StopFamilyViolence.org, a (now defunct) website many abused, “custody-challenged” or otherwise so-called “protective” mothers may remember from earlier this century,  was started in 2000 to push for full funding for VAWA (first passed only in 1994) and, as it turns out, operating as a project of the Tides Center, meaning, it used a fiscal agent.  My eyes were starting to cross, looking at “Wayback Machine” internet archives for just how long was this website (and others on the list) even functioning, in part from seeing DV LEAP website (itself new only in late 2017) was posting under “DV Organizations / Legal Resource Library/ (scroll down for…) National Resources” (feel free to check, I have an upcoming, hopefully, post on this) a number of extinct or broken websites, which is less than helpful for people who actually needed timely help.

As late as 2006 it was still operating without incorporating (though showing a NYC address), and calling itself “The People’s Voice for Family Peace” with a classic pink, white, and purple color theme.  I’d realized years ago it was not a legit organization, but was collating articles along certain lines, and was reminded of it recently. Some may remember the mothers who went before the IACHR to protest US Policy of human rights violations around mothers in the custody courts, including Claudine Dombrowski, and ten others.  Stop Family Violence publicized this. I see the petition has been preserved at a blog in the form of an archive from StopFamilyViolence.org, and now remember that an Irene Weiser was associated with the organization (or I should say, project). Notice who else was involved (from 2007 Press Release, with side-links to the petition and supporting organizations clearly showing the state “CADV” ones also, who are on the HHS and/or USDOJ grants).
[Image gallery and quote briefly posted here, then removed. Gallery may show up in another place, and you have the IACHR petition link (an archived from the defunct website) //LGH Jan. 28, 2018]

Herma Hill Kay’s iconic — and the word applies — life, and her early mentoring (helped kick some doors open, although she was obviously brilliant on her own…) Justice Traynor  are closely linked to the history of family divorce law and family courts NOT just in this state, but also nationally, since the 1960s.

Otherwise I’d off-ramp this extended section. It’s relevant, so I left this unanticipated (on my part) section in

Herma Hill Kay

I just discovered that Herma Hill Kay died last June (2017), <== age 82 after 57 years at UC Berkeley its second woman law professor and its first Dean (in 1992). I am sorry to hear this!  It was covered also in the New York Times, the Times Higher Education Section, the Wall Street Journal, the ABAJournal (of course), SFGate, AbovetheLaw and other places, as it should be for the history-making professor, and dean.

Relevant to this topic is not just her breakthrough as a law professor and the first female dean (of the law school) in its history is also her influence on the original no-fault divorce law. I believe I have previously (several years ago) posted and reflected on this:

Iconic professor, former (UCB) law school dean Herma Hill Kay dies at 82. Set out to, and effectively disproved her school mother’s opinion (no reference to input from minister father, in SC). Note Roger Traynor hired her to California Supreme Court — and (separately) his major role within the state on both the role of government and tax systems, but also family law (intent to remove the “recrimination” from divorce process) and considered one of the state’s most influential justices.(see Wikipedia)

[From Law.berkeley.edu] A co-author of the California Family Law Act of 1969, Kay also served as a co-reporter on the state commission that drafted the nation’s first no-fault divorce statute. She later co-authored the Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act, which has become the standard for no-fault divorce nationwide.“

It was never undertaken to achieve equality between men and women,” Kay said during a 2008 interview. “It was undertaken to try to get the blackmail out of divorce and I think it has accomplished that…. Marriage is no longer the only career open to women.”

Well, I don’t believe the blackmail has been taken out of divorce.  It may have moved from one sector to another….

Next, The Wall Street Journal on Herma Hill Kay.  She and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg became friends (while Ginsburg was at Rutgers) back in 1971. She was among the first woman leaders (deans) of an elite law school.  At Chicago Law School (grad. 1959), she was one of only four women in the class.

Law Professor Herma Hill Kay helped usher in era of “No-Fault” Divorce : She led Berkeley law in an era dominated by men and became a pioneer in legal teaching. By Nicole Hong.

WSJ Herma Hill Kay (1934-2017) obituary, click here

…Ms. Kay, who married three times, was particularly focused on making marriage and divorce safer for women. In the 1960s, she helped draft and lobbied for a new law that made California the first state to allow couples to get divorced without showing a “fault,” such as adultery. Within the next two decades, nearly every U.S. state enacted similar laws

WSJ mentioned Kay’s late husband was Dr. Carroll Brodsky (1922-2014).  His legacy.com obituary mentions he was a psychiatrist, and that Kay had been his wife for 39 years. (2014 – 39 = 1975; so Kay had divorced or outlived two husbands by the time she was about  41?). Who was the mother of Brodsky’s three boys (see upcoming image on her Lifetime Achievement Award), and which wife was Kay for him at the time (#2, #3)? (12 year age difference…). Someone else.

You can see interests in common (next image shows only about half the obituary).

. . .

Dr Caroll M Brodsky (1922-2014) was 3d husband of Herma Hill Kay (1934-2017) Iconic UCB Professor. **COMMENT about her marriage MY ERROR (image bottom left, in blue): My math was off: 2014-39 =1975, not 1955!!) Read More@Legacy.com obituary

Dr. Brodsky, a psychiatrist at UCSF (see bio at nearby obit. image) published a book The Harassed Worker, and was influential apparently in defining workplace harassment.  1/5/2016 in Forbes, Is Your Workplace full of Corporate Bullies? by Dan Pontefract:

Similar experiences to my encounter with the neighborhood bully seem to be cropping up in today’s workplace. According to Dr. Carroll M. Brodsky in The Harassed Worker, workplace bullying refers to “repeated and persistent attempts by one person to torment, wear down, frustrate or get a reaction from another. It is treatment which persistently provokes, pressures, frightens, intimidates or otherwise discomforts another person.” It sounds a lot like my former neighbor.

 Sounds also like a diluted description of an intimate partner bully, i.e., batterer/spouse-abuser, etc.  Also referenced in WorkplaceViolence911 (2011) as a 1976 book based in workers compensation appeals: The Mobbing Syndrome – Emotional Harassment and Bullying © 2011 Gail Pursell Elliott:

The mobbing syndrome is a malicious attempt to force a person out of the workplace through unjustified accusations, humiliation, general harassment, abuse, and/or terror. It is a “ganging up” by the leader –organization, superior, co-worker, or subordinate — who rallies others into systematic and frequent “mob-like” behavior. Because the organization ignores, condones or even instigates the behavior, it can be said that the victim, seemingly helpless against the powerful and many, is indeed “mobbed.” The result is always injury — physical or mental distress or illness, social misery, and often, but not always, expulsion from the workplace.

…Unfortunately some human resources professionals participate in the mobbing/bullying of employees. Some actually are under orders to do so, while others are inexperienced in handling conflict resolution, mediation or grievance procedures and trigger covert retaliation on the part of coworkers or supervisors. Dr. Carroll Brodsky, a psychologist and anthropologist, opened the discussion of workplace abuse in 1976 with his book The Harassed Worker which was based on claims filed with the California Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board and the Nevada Industrial Commission. These claims stated that the workers were “ill and unable to work because of ill-treatment by employers, co-workers, or consumers, or by excessive demands for work output.” He uses the term harassment as a behavior that “involves repeated and persistent attempts by one person to torment, wear down, frustrate, or get a reaction from another.

It is behavior that persistently provokes, pressures, frightens, intimidates, or otherwise discomforts another person.” Today, this behavior is aptly called bullying or mobbing and the environment in which it persists, toxic. It is important to distinguish between organizations that use mobbing as a strategy, i.e., top management participates in the mobbing, and those in which mobbing happens without the intent or knowledge of leadership.  [[Note: website is for the National Institute for the Prevention of Workplace Violence, presenting a trademarked training, and featuring W. Barry Nixon: “The NIX Model for Preventing Workplace ViolenceTM provides a framework for our work, which is a comprehensive approach to addressing occupational violence….The Institute is composed of a consortium of professionals with specialized expertise in the multiple disciplines impacting workplace violence (e.g., security, behavioral psychology, safety, human resources, law, anger management, conflict resolution, etc). Each consultant has experience working with companies of a variety of sizes and has held significant positions during their (sic.  Alternate to using “his/her”) career.

Website is notable for no financials, no board of directors, and no geographic location under “contact us.” It does not claim to be a nonprofit and is not seeking donations. Nixon’s bio claims he is “workplace violence consultant for the state of California.”  The website has a password-protected login. Oh well.

Re: Carroll M. Brodsky, MD, Psychiatrist, and author of “Harrassed at Work,” I found this ca. 1985? appeal for review of a denied petition before the WCAP (Workplace Compensation Appeals Board) interesting.  It’s in the form of a “Google book” (read the opening paragraphs, search for Brodsky by name).  The Petitioner was the individual who worked masking silicon chips for only about six (functional) to seven (span of employment) weeks for “Signetics Corporation” in 1978.  He seems to be claiming environmental pollution or perception of it exacerbated his psychiatric condition.  Brodsky here is representing the respondent, the WCAP of California.  This is Answer to Petition for Appeal.  Section describing schizophrenia (by Brodsky) is interesting. Note: I provided a link but no images.  Next images relate to something else.


Click image to enlarge or here for (unannotated) speech from the California Review. Image 1 of 3

Click image to enlarge or here for (unannotated) speech Image 2 of 3

Click image to enlarge or here for (unannotated) speech Image 3 of 3

You can see references to Kay’s early decision to concentrate in Family and Conflict law, focus on inter-disciplinary teaching (with both psychiatry and law, fields her husband was then schooled and engaged in), and “making clinical education the mainstay of the curriculum,” thus facilitating long-term mentoring of especially women lawyers and framing the feminist issues.   January 3, 2015 presentation in DC by Associate Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the AALS (American Association of Law Schools) Section on Women in Legal Education’s “Ruth Bader Ginsburg Lifetime Achievement” award to Herma Hill Kay (in California Review, posted apparently 4-7-2016…). The presentation is only about 3pp, but I’m still showing images which show relevance to the subsequent handling of the field of family law especially when it intersects with domestic violence issues.

~ ~ End, Herma Kay Hill and late husband Carroll M. Brodsky, section ~ ~


Back to the FPAMed article, footnotes. See gallery of images above, or main document (unannotated). Based on the footnotes, the document was probably written after 2005 (FPAMed incorporated in 2006, but that doesn’t mean the article couldn’t have pre-dated it). I am looking at it thus about a dozen years later.

Then, references go to multiple AFCC authors interspersed occasionally with others known specifically for fathers’ rights and/or involvement in the PRWORA Welfare field (such as Paul Amato — see Oklahoma Marriage Initiative, or Michael E. Lamb).  Another one references “M. Pruett” (for Marsha Kline Pruett), also well known for her emphasis on fatherhood (see materials on “OCAP near the top of this page” — State funding is involved. She has been recent President of AFCC (See 54th Annual Conference brochure, “Message from the President” on this page) and is associated with Smith College of Social Work.  The Pruetts and Cowans (associated with UC Berkeley) have been collaborating (see “PapasSFI.org” website although it’s not current) on strengthening fatherhood involvement as  preventing child abuse for many year now.

In the above example, of a total of exactly 92 footnotes, meaning cites from the main text, the authors: <>J. Johnston (for Janet Johnston, Kelly (Joan B. Kelly), (multiple references; FNs 10, 13, 15, 16, 17 and (Kelly/Lamb) 48, and in one or another combination, FN 52, 58 etc. ).  <>P. Stahl (Philip Stahl, FN#49), and, in close association with the “Center for the Family in Transition” (N. California also named after Wallerstein) is Vivien Roseby  — most are AFCC members and/or presenters and or involved with nonprofits to promote the various causes with which AFCC is frequently associated.  (I DNK specifically about Roseby, except for her stalwart involvement in the project named after major AFCC guru/author/awardee Wallerstein). Roseby/Johnston cited in FN 20 & 78.

AFCC member news 2002 (from a Newsletter) includes Pauline Tesler, Isolini Ricci in association with her nonprofit (at some point she was also working for Calif. Judicial Council/AOC), Warshak, and others.

Also P. Tesler (for Pauline, FN#86 on Collaborative Law, who has a Harvard JD, but an LLM from a UK University (possibly Cambridge), and is now operating out of SF Bay Area, just north of the city).  One of my upcoming subsidiary page on parental kidnapping documents this and goes into some detail on it as she was cited training family law professionals in the UK in a “radical new way” to handle divorce (i.e., “collaborative”), and of course a footnote to R. Warshak (Richard).  (see ‘AFCC Member News” to left.  I believe this is from 2002).

Incidentally, on the image to left, re: Isolina Ricci, she was also, as I recall (that’s a conditional) staff at the California Judicial Council/AOC/Center for Children, Families and the Courts, which itself was formed a bit earlier (around 1999-2002) through merger of two separate statewide service centers. See note below the double-line on “Holistic Divorce, LLC” (marketing her Co-parenting toolkit, only $15.39, offices on both East and West Coasts).

(2nd posting this image on this page; the first was within the FPAMed.com gallery above, John Sikorski (w/ co-author) article…

In addition, near the end of footnotes, representing also near the end of the article, is reference to the Mary Ellen Hannibal book citing Sikorski as one of the designers of the Kids’ Turn curriculum, and to the Kids’ Turn website, now merged into another organization in the SF area.  Yet the article makes no reference to his involvement (i.e., is written as if a distant, neutral, referral).


Coast-to-Coast Marketing of each others’ products by AFCC members (The Recipe?  *~>Someone in authority within the family court system or training next generation of lawyers, with emphasis on clinical, experiential education (i.e., mentoring, and the use of law students as interns to help a cause) *~>One nonprofit to promote and/or sell the product.  *~>Miscellaneous extra LLCs to sell the product (friends will help too).  *~>Control of media (ex: Family Court Review) for professional-sounding propagation and promotion (add in conferences, and academic centers with untraceable finances within local universities wherever possible and practical).  *~>Go overseas to train others and reference what good one was doing back home, or if overseas, how important the out-of-country visitor must be to represent such interests in another country.  http://holisticdivorce.com/brand/isolina-ricci-phd/

The “About Us” page of said LLC tells next to nothing about the LLC. It does have a very large photo, however. The bottom window frame tells a bit more (next two images):

Click image to enlarge

Holistic Divorce “About us” home page features a giant photo, and evasive self-description. Its two registered founders both work for Mavrides Law Firm (only a visit to MA Dept. of Corps and actually reading the Certificate of Incorp, 2014, produced the last name “Mavrides.” Julia Rodgers, there “Mavrides-Rodgers” may be a daughter. Meanwhile partner (30 yrs in the field) of the all-woman firm (judging by the website lists) acknowledges AFCC membership (Marcia Mavrides) and shows other symptoms of being AFCC-friendly (like featuring Parental Alienation, and minimizing DV, which will often come up in divorce, as they well know).

Not to mention: *~~>Minimize, forget, and hope others forget foundational concepts such as representative government, individual legal rights of citizens, such as the US Bill of Rights, where countries laws, policies, practices, and philosophies (religion, the role of women, the role of government, amount of taxation, TYPE of government, and protections (privacy rights, nationalized healthcare, etc.) may actually differ, and for reasons related to foundational, constitutional beliefs).

(Images from HolisticDivorce.com findings overlap with this previous section on Jeanne Ames).

RE: KT Curriculum Designer (one of three mentioned), Jeanne Ames (1926-2011):

I put this one in a different color because the long life, one of the marriages, and the continuing involvement in the family court system (again, San Francisco, California area) by Jeanne Ames, still signifies personal opinions and preferences having been allowed to drive the system — which should NOT be how we are doing government in this country.  It is not to be the rulership of the very few UNelected and organized in “secret” societies (not that they’re entirely secret, but it takes considerable “drilling” beneath the surface to discover where the connectivity is — again, symptoms more of cults, tribes, or gangs, than up-front, above-ground representation and government by INFORMED consent of the governed.

The multiple offices may be, as the SF one seemed to be, virtual offices or executive suites for rent (owned by Regus.com).  Other AFCC-author books for sale via this “resource” include a kids’ version of Mom’s House, Dad’s, House, some by Benjamin Garber (searchable on this post — he’s very emphatically involved), etc.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Above (another gallery, sorry! 8 images, most from Mavrides Law, and an app it’s promoting, but two also from Holistic Divorce LLC Massachusetts Sec of State/Corp Div filings, and two individual images near this para.). Also a bit odd on the Mavrides Law Firm is its listing under “Resources” not the above website (a disconnect seems intended), but instead three apps, the first one a “2Houses” co-parenting app (sounds similar to Our Family Wizard, above, and founded by a father a few years after OFW) whose home, and staff, is in BELGIUM and having strategically ?? picked only 2 US partners, one in Virginia and the other in California.  Meanwhile, Mavrides acknowledges her AFCC membership (though not membership in the local chapter).  I’m aware there’s an ongoing push to get co-parenting apps distributed internationally, and take dispute resolution more on-line, but an all-woman Boston Family Law Firm promoting a Belgian-based app designed by a father?  While helping, POSSIBLY with her daughter, push AFCC materials on-line as a sort of side-line business also?

Note: I think you should look at “MyMicroInvest” which is a crowdfunding platform (helped 2Houses S.A.) with its startup in 2012, it seems, pairing professional investors with “the crowd” to help early startup entrepreneurs.  This app is now also on ITunes.  I should follow up separately (before there’s a readers’ riot for too many images!).  However, I just now learned of this (through the usual means — inordinate curiosity).  Again, where’s the domestic loyalty to THIS country?  This is a useful app, I’m sure, but its owners are based in Europe, not even North America, and only started up in 2011, but are being encouraged — at least through Marvides Law Firm (how many others across the USA?) to market for a Belgian startup, privately owned, profiting from “divorce distress” scenarios and forced co-parenting where parents may not do so voluntarily…and alongside people seeking to penalize, engage in name-calling (parental alienation, high-conflict) the necessary process for MANY parents of distancing themselves from dangerous people, if not prevent it.

MyMicroInvest explains on its website (as I said, look around) that it provides a tax shelter (up to 45,000 euros a year) for investors; it issues its own securities and simplifies for the entrepreneur to dealing with just ONE interlocuter (i.e., MMI). If the crowdfunding goal isn’t reached, MMI then lends the money to the entrepreneur, minus expenses.  Etc.

MyMicroInvest (helped 2Houses S.A. crowdfund through Belgian company-based platform) website — FAQs | Investors | tax shelters

MyMicroInvest (helped 2Houses S.A. crowdfund through Belgian company-based platform) website — FAQs | Investors | Why Invest?



Obituary, in gallery form: (Obituaries often tell life stories and are sources of places to find further, or previously unknown information on individuals). I’m providing from more than one source:

From SFGate (SF Chronicle), Tues . July 19, 2011 by Carl Nolte, Jeanne Ames Dies:  Mediator headed SF Family Court

Jeanne T. Ames, a professional mediator in child care disputes for many years, died July 8 of multiple illnesses at a rehabilitation hospital in Kentfield. She was 85.

Ms. Ames was the director of the San Francisco Family Court Services agency until she retired in 1985. {{starting when?___}} She then went into private practice as a mediator in children’s care cases and worked until within a few months of her death.

Ms. Ames was a fourth-generation San Franciscan. Her ancestors came to California by sea around Cape Horn during the Gold Rush. She was born on Feb. 3, 1926, in San Francisco. Her father was Robert Toner, who was the San Francisco public defender.

Ms. Ames attended local schools, graduated from Stanford University and married San Francisco Judge Fitzgerald Ames. Judge Ames died in 1970, and in 2002, Ms. Ames married Sam Kagel, a nationally famous labor arbitrator and mediator. || The two had been companions for years. “He wanted to elope to Reno, but I talked him out of it,” she said. “Instead, we eloped to Sam’s Grill.” Sam’s is an old-time San Francisco restaurant, and the couple were married in booth No. 4 by retired Judge Isabella Horton Grant.Frank Morelli, a waiter, and Gary Seput, who owned Sam’s at the time, were the witnesses.

It was a bit of a May-December marriage. The bride was 76 and the groom was 93. Kagel died in 2007 at the age of 98.

Sam Kagel (1909 – 2007) was written up in the New York Times; he married in 1933, they “separated” in 1971, but possibly didn’t ever divorce (she died in 2002), and had three children together.  He was obviously a powerful figure and featured in some major negotiations, as the article shows:

Sam Kagel, Mediator of the 1982 NFL Strike, is Dead by Douglas Martin, May 31, 2007 in the New York Times.

…Mr. Kagel married Sophia Hornstein in 1933. They separated in 1971, and she died in 2002. He is survived by their sons, John, of Palo Alto, and Peter, of San Francisco; their daughter, Katharine Kagel, of Santa Fe, N. M., five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his wife (since 2002), Jeanne Ames.

“..a good mediator never mentions that he might have made a mistake…” (top para.)

Here’s a more extended version of Ms. Ames’ obituary written by people who obviously loved and respected her. I have annotated in part because it gave me more insight into at least into the life and marriage/divorce habits of another person with whom a family court system focused on mediation and conciliation effectively dismantled domestic violence protections for women such as myself, when the one thing we most desperately needed AFTER separation was safe boundaries within which to reconstruct our OWN lives — and not necessarily after the government dependency, forever, model. In essence, many of us took the abuse because were were already independent in nature, competent (and knew it) and able to hold our own ABSENT ongoing criminal activity, or harrassment by those prone to it.

There were three marriages for Jeanne Ames. Her first husband is barely mentioned (or how long any marriage lasted). The second one, a judge, died not long after they married, likely providing some good sustenance (traveling the world is mentioned). It’s hard to find much on him (some, but not much) but I did see that he must have been born in 1904 (died at age 66 in 1970), which for comparison, shows that Jeanne had a tendency to partner with considerably older men, and men in power, and outlive them; in the case of San Francisco Judge Fitzgerald Ames, someone about 22 years older.  No sooner (almost) had he died (or Sam Kagel separated from his wife of many years) then she took up, 1971ff, with him, and remained (again being about 12 years younger) faithfully as a partner to the end of his life; however, it seems he never divorced his first wife (?); she died in 2002, and Jeanne Ames married him the same year.  I also learned (though not showing it here) that at one point in his (famous) career, he apparently was working for Jeanne’s grandfather (Timothy A. Reardon), who like her father (Robert Toner) who was in public works and commissioner of the State Highway System.  A descendant, also Timothy Reardon, I believe, is now a Justice also. But her passion for mediation / arbitration in the family courts MAY have been picked up in part from her third husband, who like the second, was born before women got the vote, in the first decade of the 1900s (!).

These are in gallery format. Click on any image to start the sequence; if there are not visible navigation keys (as in “slide show”) format, click on the image to move to the next one. Thanks.//LGH.

Essentially, it seems that very little respect for the law flows through this private society and membership association AFCC  targeting public institutions with a view towards privatizing them (esp. through referrals to “community services” — from the start.  As a society and in some of the chapters, and it is frequently noncompliant with state laws regarding incorporation, tax-exempt registrations, and essentially, commerce. I am not the first or only person to note this, yet it still continues publishing, conferencing, and collaborating.


Written by Let's Get Honest|She Looks It Up

December 11, 2018 at 6:25 pm

Posted in 1996 TANF PRWORA (cat. added 11/2011)

Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: