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

'A Different Kind of Attention Develops Sound Judgment' | 'Suppose I'm Right Here?' (See March 23 & 5, 2014). More Than 745 posts and 45 pages of Public-Interest Investigative Blogging On These Matters Since 2009.

Acknowledgements, Executive Summary (Current Projects | Rolling Blackouts) and What Makes This Blog “What You Need to Know” (July 31, 2019).

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ANY post may be further edited (as in, condensed, or expanded, or both) after publishing.  Blogger’s privilege!

You are reading: Acknowledgements, Executive Summary (Current Projects | Rolling Blackouts) and What Makes This Blog “What You Need to Know” (July 31, 2019). (Shortlink ends “-auh”, marked sticky, this is currently 9,900 words.  That includes two lengthy footnotes, one of which I expect to remove to its own post.)

Most of this post’s content has been moved from: 58 More Essays (Pages) on Essentials** of the Family Court Arena. **IMHO, as expressed 2009-2019. (Published July 31, 2019; Short-link ends “-ar9”) after both posts were published “sticky.” Because of that, there’s an element of “patchwork” in the post; but each part I hope communicates.

This post describes current projects in process, re-iterates my rationale for the blog and gives some key examples, “clues,” with links to where more may be found and that such clues have been around for a VERY long time.

My blog in general alerts people (it cannot fully cover, solo) the existence of a major information gap in reporting on family court-related matters which it seems has been maintained by those wishing for global restructuring of family law (nation by nation and apparently under also the UN / WHO standards) to go a certain way without addressing what, in fact, happened in the United States of America, and how we now have an allegedly secular (or at least no-national-religion) government but somehow want to maintain official fatherhood policy — moderated by “family violence services.”

BOTH the “Pro” and the “Con” sides on any issue seem to be profiting from it.  With this type of prolonged conflict an obvious question is, who stands to gain what from refusing to resolve it according to law, or common sense?  How genuine are the causes being put forth as put forth?

I see this as more than just a power struggle for the role and place of women regarding men.  It’s also a power struggle for control of future generations of workers, i.e., population regulation, and it’s a power struggle for economic dominance through infrastructures that continue to supersede and undermine from within (any jurisdiction, including country), the rule of law specific to that country.   So, I’m going to continue testifying in this media, if not allowed another, to what I have not only experienced, but also witnessed and have been documenting for ten years now (and taking historical look-backs by government agency, nonprofit organizations, where available, and also reporting changes “in action” as they occur).

Just two post sections reflected in post title:  

  • Acknowledgements
    • A significant part of the landscape, i.e. “The Problem” is a  “Rolling Blackouts” situation // a sarcastic thank you to those generating a need for this blog. it’s also in part a statement of the problem; could’ve gone under “Executive Summary” where I see the title has it.
  • Executive Summary
    • “Current Projects” just names a few themes (geographies of interest) I’m working on now, of enough significance they got onto this top-ranked (pinned) post.
    • Executive Summary contains quick summaries directed at people who may not “get” the role of the U.S. Congress in the current family court problems, and some exhibits (images).
    • While I might expect that from people who don’t live or work in the USA, it’s a sad testimony that it continues being under-estimated or ignored by so many who do. (See “Rolling Blackouts” reference).
  • Any footnotes to the same (or, they may be integrated into main text, if it flows right).  Right now I have one referring to the State of Pennsylvania only.

These categories were added after I wrote the material. They provide a handy title, not hard and fast rules.

This post despite its beginnings as a placeholder is I feel appropriately still near the top of the blog (right now, in Position #2) because it references currently developing events in different states (USA) and countries, some of which demand urgent attention from people who may not be aware of them, or of what seems like a coordinated strategy across different countries and in different states, frequently involving people and organizations I’ve had to report on, and at times personally deal with regarding those strategic cover-ups.

I have been reaching out (through social media) to specific people, some associated with specific organizations, others may be protesting them, especially in the United Kingdom, to communicate in layperson’s terms about similarities and differences between our systems, as well as an “alternate” report from street level about favored organizations and individuals based here, but oh-so-fascinated with developing (and having already developed) personal ties, connections, and even legislative influence in our respective countries.

I hope some understandings may be reached, despite us often not knowing each other professionally or personally. I believe that looking at other systems often provides a mirror — contrasts and similarities are taken into account, not just ignored — on one’s own and help understand it better.  This is especially true for who or what is the “family law” system, and it has occurred to me recently that one roadblock to international understanding (with people more focused on issues such as womens rights, domestic violence as handled in the family courts in the UK) may just not understand the accountability expected with the US tax system, particularly regarding the IRS, the Internal Revenue Code, and requirements to produce tax returns a public can read.

Our whole government is organized, in fact, around giant economic forces, much of which is organized tax-exempt across several categories — and they are constantly interacting with each other.  I know this to be true also in the UK (Nuffield Foundation,[1] Joseph Rowntree, Leverhulme Trust, come to mind) but what I do NOT know is the level of reporting required.

[1] https://www.nuffieldfoundation.org/revisions-uk-government-expenditure-plans [2] Nuffield Family Justice Observatory pilot study 2019-2023 (Just saw / footnoted below); [3]  May 18, 2019 article being published in an August, 2019 Oxford University Press | in “International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family (Oxford Academic) (Introducing Social Science Evidence in Family Court Decision-making and Adjudication: Evidence from England and Wales: (also just found; the Abstract shows it was based on a Nuffield-funded scoping study) (etc.).  I see this journal, while editorial board is from the UK (Universities of Oxford and Cambridge), the “Overseas Editorial Board” lists three from the USA (with no affiliation or from which state (or university, if applicable) mentioned — names only, and one each from German, Spain and France).

I’m familiar with companieshouse, some charitable registration places — but nothing the equivalent of what, here, we have, for example, ℅ databases (as imperfect as they may be) such as “FoundationCenter.org/find-funding/990-finder” which link to tax returns.  Or other sources of Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports by the UK governments (the GFOA standards are tied to Canada and the USA, not the UK, Mexico, France, etc).  An obvious geographic size applies, not to mention government organization and financing policies. (I reference this on the other top post also).

For example, more specific to these fields:  In 2015, the UK  passed a control criminalizing “Coercive Control” (and seems to already be running into issues with enforcement).  That term comes from a book by that name, and a Rutgers Professor Evan Stark, who I understand has had British ties early in his career (1980s?) through a Fullbright(?) fellowship (excerpts on my massive home page — just type “FamilyCourtMatters.org” to get there).

Like most of the “family” or “domestic” violence prevention movement in the USA, which our federal government basically controls (economically) and has regionalized into specific, higher-paid “resource centers” tying into the state-wide coalitions, there are major things this book — which I have and have begun highlighting, but the introduction, table of contents, and index already confirm, just does not divulge, while people like myself are left scrambling to publicize (not having connections to Oxford University Press (used by many), SAGE (with its social science focus and interesting history/co-founders), Wiley (used by AFCC) or TandFOnline.com (“Taylor & Francis, an Informa plc company”) (a number of different journals in this field), i.e., special societies promoting our cause to the point of publishing journals),  the more realistic/comprehensive account of the field from the street level and cross-sector, USA.

This “street” level has to include the input from our major federal agencies as developed in the last fifty years. Screwing up policies through withholding of key evidence in the USA, then running over to the UK, Canada Australia even more intensely after the word starts to get out here, is not responsible, or ethical behavior.  It’s utter arrogance, and callous indifference, and that’s what we, here, continue to deal with, nationwide.  The closer I look at this, at the earliest phases, the fewer people seem to have been collaborating in key organizations which have been accepted to run several different fields.  Variance from key themes taken for granted is NOT tolerated; these themes have been now embedded into policy such that to address that is to take on all those who’ve made a living in the field(s). (SEE “A QUICK SUMMARY” section near bottom of this post for more explanation).

There seems so little interest in hearing from us except as we** serve to legitimize the collective agenda (behavioral modification, “prevention treatment and services” emphasis) and can be used for PR due to the drama, tragedies, or headline-making destructions we’ve  endured by way of the family courts.

(**”protective parents,” a phrase coined to start a movement possibly; individuals harmed by the family court fiascoes after or while also trying to protect our physical persons, property, lives, and often also minor children, from both the former (or current) abusers/batterers AND the abusive systems in which we found ourselves simply trying to get free).

The level of betrayal of trust, in my opinion, is far greater by those promising help, but withholding information which might lead to understanding those help SYSTEMS, than it ever was to men, or in some cases women, who simply behaved like animals in their home domains — and observers were either cowed into, or already groomed into “it’s someone else’s problem” non-reporting assent.  Another level of betrayal of trust, for women in particular, is to live here, and see so-called feminist leadership, or seeming to be “feminist” simply roll-over… or summons/invite in, open season… any and all male leadership to run the field of “stopping violence against women.”   They may do this in a very nice, verbally civil, friendly “we support women” voice — but it’s still attempting to dominate the field and frame it to protect vested interests.

One of my particular “beefs” complaints is why “batterers’ intervention services” must be integrated into a “coordinated community response.”  Along with supervised visitation services, I think these two created professions have done much harm — while supporting the conferencing and publishing careers of some.  Probing deeper, many (not all) have a religious basis originally, which concerns me as having experienced the battering while married in a Christian-rationalized context.

Incidentally, the titles & sections above and any explanations of them are tongue-in-cheek.  I’ve read so many “Annual Reports” “Executive Summaries” (sometimes while looking for their “Highlights from Financial Statements” section after the organization is clearly not going to volunteer such audited financial statements easily), one’s got to find some humor along the way.  There’s a good cause for such formats, I just borrowed some headings and applied them to what had already been written.Besides, acknowledgements, footers, and bibliographies are in more formal publications, good places to pay attention to.  They reveal author’s points of references, authorities, or authorities they (he or she) may wish to debate.  In some sponsored projects (the public/private kind) you can also find out acknowledgements of which organizations or foundations help with distribution, which may differ from those who helped sponsor the author’s work.

In moving narrative from one post to another, the post needed a name, so I figured those section titles would do as well as any.  And calling myself a CEO or the blog’s executive, has got to be a joke, although in some respects it’s true.  I am calling the shots on what gets published, and what I chose to investigate, project themes, and all that.

FOR NOW ONLY: The next several paragraphs are extemporaneous chat, regarding the topic.  I included below that only a sample of what’s to come, marked by this text between two lines.  When they come up the second time, that’s some of the Acknowledgements/ Executive Summary (Rolling Blackouts) text transported here.  The extra text includes footnotes, so it may take several actions to complete the transfer.

So understand that the next few paragraphs will disappear and this post change its appearance, size, and contents incrementally within the first few days of August, 2019.  Thank you in advance for your patience while it’s a post “under construction.” //LGH.

Family Court Reform is being worked as a “field” while the family courts themselves aren’t even that old.  The groups helping run and control them (private associations with civil servant memberships including current and sometimes retired judges, not registered to do business in every state, etc., often with business ties to other members running court-connected corporations (often not always nonprofit) or operating as individual professionals under a trade name (dba) — harder to track because registered at the county level (USA) not usually state) are also running conferences on reforming them, which seems like a split-persona stunt.  The stunt works when one doesn’t realize who pushed for the creation of the courts in the first place.

One internationally connecting factor has been the private societies / charities / associations.

I call them more often simply “tax-exempts” or “nonprofits” or, if based here and it applies, “501©s” referring to their IRS designation as exempt under that section of the IRC (internal revenue code), where rules differ for 501©3s, 501©4s, and 501©6s (the most common types I run into) and whether private or public (whether filing Forms 990 or Forms 990PF). Bottom line, they ARE tax-exempt from the exempt-purpose related income.

A favorite phrase of mine is, “the main purpose of tax-exempt foundations (corporations, entities, etc.) is tax-exemption.” Why I say this becomes more clear the more Form 990s you read.

I realize some of my readers are not from a country where charities must produce these, but I still encourage you to consider the ramifications when groups which know they MUST produce them here, have been (increasingly, it seems) moving operations, publications, collaborations, and strategy-making to countries, such as the UK and/or Canada and/or Australia (about which I do not know so much, charitable registration-wise) which do not have to, and probably have a public which (therefore) is less likely to be prying into those records.


“Acknowledgments” refers to both this post, and the blog in general (whether posts or pages).  You are looking at considerable personal time spent looking up and writing up, linking, formatting, organization (as best possible) any graphics shown, learning as I go.

All pages (and posts) (except where quotes are identified) are my voice and my writing; not basic re-posts of someone else’s. Therefore no one else can be blamed or credited for their contents…

..although I personally credit (so to speak) all those who have engaged and still engage individually — and in journals/on-line resource centers or public debates intended for: parents, legislators, the media, and the general public — massive, continuing coverup in family court reporting and advocacy, the equivalent of, “rolling blackouts” for why I had to even write this blog (and still be able to live with my conscience), let alone the motivation of what my family** also went through needlessly at the hand of a local family court system, and spanning about a decade.

(** In situations involving domestic violence, sometimes called (properly) “family violence,” my usage of the word  “family must be clarified .

**”my family” meaning, children (now adults) so far; elderly mother in the final decade of her life, and myself, so far.  Some family (and my husband), family by marriage, were perpetrators of “what we went through, so their having “endured” any resulting inconvenience, doesn’t bother me one bit, nor in any way was this blog written for them or their benefit. I am concerned for the forms of extended family, including people I worked for and around who were also affected when I at times couldn’t make it to or from work in one piece, or trauma-free, for work that required being trauma-free.  When flesh-and-blood (or, “intimate partner/by-marriage) “family” attacks, someone else typically supports, as the protective/supportive function of family becomes a farce through abuse.  Such abuse STINKS, and the stench cannot be contained always.  It impacts larger communities, too.  It impacts usage of social services, the courts, it impacts work lives and of course it impacts the next generation who grew up witnessing that level of chaos.  And it for damn sure impacts next generation to witness authorities, such as those in the family courts (etc.), whether or not they fully understand how — and/or law enforcement (the most direction interactors at times) do NOTHING when known violent or felony crimes take place; eliminating the non-abusive parent from their lives without stating a legitimate cause of action, or proving it.

“ROLLING BLACKOUTS”: Perhaps why the phrase came to mind:

Like utility rolling blackouts, the type I’m referring to seem designed to keep some essential (inequitably managed) power grid operational.  Like rolling blackouts, intention and planning, OR sudden drastic measures to provide some catastrophe in a different kind of power grid can be involved in media blackouts, too.

~ June 3, 2019, by Lily Jamali in NPR, California’s Largest (bankrupt) Utility (PG&E) warns, expect rolling blackouts this summer to avoid (more) fires. ~ April 6, 2019, by Norimitsu Orinishi in The New York Times, “South Africa Crippled by Rolling Blackouts, Weeks Before an Election” (See first few paragraphs: “Why is there load-shedding when we’re surrounded by power plants?”) ~ August 18, 2017, by Megan Geuss in ArsTechnica, “Scorching heat, rolling blackouts: The West is changing how it does summer.”

And don’t blame it on former US President Obama (though it seems Rick Santorum tried to): “Is the US suffering an epidemic of rolling blackouts?” (March 14, 2012, by Louis Jacobson in Politifacts” (No, it’s the weather..):

A “rolling blackout” occurs when a utility intentionally “shuts off the power to an area, turns it back on, and then shuts the power off in a different area,” with outages in any given area typically lasting 60 to 90 minutes, according to the California Energy Commission. A utility would do this as a last resort, in order to avoid an even worse situation — a total power blackout.  ||new paragraph|| This makes it distinct from an uncontrolled outage that occurs when power is disrupted without warning, often by weather or accidents..   {{Italics added}}

The family court/domestic violence advocacy and reporting media blackout I’m talking about doesn’t seem to be “rolling” — it exists for certain sectors and certain types of communications, consistently — and in those, it seems to be nearly total. Makes me wonder what type of unseen power grids might shut down if the truth got out about what really powers our systems — economically, socially, politically… 

My blogging documents this LEVEL OF SILENCE ON POSSIBLE ALTERNATE CAUSES OF THE PROBLEMS BEING “SOLVED” IN A CERTAIN WAY and I’ve witnessed it for ten years now:  I am a voracious and diligent reader/investigative blogger on these topics; only half what I write is posted, and much more is digested before even getting into draft status.

I know what I’m seeing and have seen where it fits into the other pieces — which can readily be seen once it’s looked at!

The massive coverup effectively has a “divide-and-conquer” impact upon grassroots organizing along anything other than pre-set lines:  GENDER, race, politics, faith-based or not, and of course social class. The massive coverup means that each time I open my mouth to connect with another person my age, or younger, dealing with the same issues and sometimes even the same state’s or even local county’s court system, that person is generally in an entirely different system of meaning, paradigm and, generally, ignorant of — not just minimizing the importance of — the very things I’m referring to and talking about.  The points of reference are entirely “other” and the language to describe them also “other,” typically in legal only or psychological only, and without reference to where and how both of those intersect with the economic at the inputs end.

So if you like this (blog), thank them —  those who engage in massive, continuing coverup in family court reporting and advocacy, the equivalent of, “rolling blackouts” — and perhaps also my parents for having and raising children through to adulthood, and planned sufficient for college educations too, all of which has given me plenty to think about over the years when my decision to exit abuse through filing for legal intervention (protective order) with half-grown kids somehow disturbed that two-generations (only) college-educated family line far more than the violent abuse and battering itself, which was known about years prior — and we weren’t even raised particularly religious or in any way officially “faith-based.”**

**I pursued and explored faith/grace/scriptures in my own way as a young adult, without abandoning my professional work or passion. I never abandoned that line of work, but when forced out, had to admit and deal with it. I also resolved that if it’s not even safe for a grown woman who also happens to be a mother, with clients waiting, cannot even safely engage in sustainable profession through family courts’ and my own government’s  personal policies towards single mothers, it definitely had my attention, and was going to be exposed.

“Executive Summary”

The blog (and post) has one administrator, so I’m its “Chief Executive Officer” / CEO. I’m also its one investigator/’reporter.’  And maintenance/housekeeping (in addition to the people at Automattic, who still own WordPress, I think….(Cal. Bus. Entity #C2804985 <~ shows it incorporated March, 2005, in Delaware and registered as a foreign stock entity Oct., 2005 in California). You’ll quickly realize FamilyCourtMatters has no copyeditor, although I do try to keep some standards in mind, and for some reason (maybe the pay and no professional resume perks, this isn’t part of any “CEU” program leading to a degree).  I haven’t yet developed a full complement of humble but talented interns or even domestic violence survivor colleagues willing to look up enough to prove me wrong (argumentation with supporting documentation and logical statements)  which every good cause needs: who wants to be fully committed to “wrong”?  I know I don’t!

That’s why, being solo and unsponsored, I take so much effort to look, document, report, and compare, and in large part why I don’t hang consistently with people or groups whose lack of interest in sound statements and argumentation with supporting documents will, eventually, besides driving in circles, drive people who demand or function in that manner, crazy.  I tried for a brief period (nearly ten years ago), I check back in periodically, and notice subsequent events when they hit the press, or grapevine/s, but ongoing communications with “crazy” eventually affects one or the other.

One can also see a method to the seeming “in-anity,” if not at the follower level (which can and does include smart (? in other fields), white-collar, college, sometimes even PhD’s (women), some who become spokespersons and active promoters of the perspective, at some point, censorship by leadership has to be acknowledged and noted.


I’m currently investigating and reporting (blog, Twitter, private networking: I don’t have a “Press Pass”) on specific state-level, governor-appointed work groups (Maryland) or ongoing gender-based initiatives (Connecticut) and organizations (both),  also just noticed, though not yet documenting (just tweeted) in Pennsylvania** certain people, including the bill’s sponsors, pushing for legislative changes to the “custody decision-making” processes. I’m also aware of legislative processes also under way in at least the United Kingdom and Australia in addressing abuse and (of course, 2015ff) “Coercive Control.”

Then there’s the issue of the World Health Organization (“WHO”) getting involved, too..

Like efforts to promote parental alienation”** as a disease/crime/key factor in family-court-venue (i.e., judges’) custody decisionmaking, the opposition to exactly that standard shows (not in question: read the studies and their bibliographies, notice who’s been sponsoring them) international collaboration. I don’t recall having ever seen so much coming together both pro and con that ONE topic, internationally in a long time.  It is NOT something a lone individual can keep pace with, and mainstream media almost never analyzes the nonprofits involved:  they look for the story line and the closest opposing experts.  Good story line with conflict = promotes the publication.  May not be so good for the public, though.

**Also discernible (if you follow the nonprofits referring to each other, interspersed with key professionals such as William Bernet whose nonprofit “PASG” has an association with Vanderbilt University in Tennessee), to mention just one).  I’ve done look-ups and drill-downs, Tweeted often; but posts take longer to produce.

** (See the bottom of this post, “FOOTNOTE:  Pennsylvania Still-pending? Legislation/My Embedded Tweet”  for a sample Tweet for the attachments and bill#; my second response to a UK situation references.  In that embedded tweet, one of the media attachments obviously refers to Maryland but the other two to Pennsylvania legislative changes in process.  Ms. Meier of DV LEAP (George Washington University-housed nonprofit formed in early 2000s) testified for both. Explanation provided below the embedded Tweet; consider it a general alert which I know mainstream media wouldn’t pick up on, or likely report if it did).

Specific practices, common in different countries, are puzzling only if all authors’ arguments and sincerity is taken at face value, while on-lookers try to figure out who is more correct than the others, on the specific issues.  Once you start noticing particular organizations involved, and how professionals may cite one affiliation, but not the one in common with people on both sides of the debating, that 20/20 vision starts to set in.  The underlying organization comes into better focus.

Just one clue (dating back nearly 20 years). Or, several images and one small organization’s newsletter (in pdf format) which is, actually, “chock full of” clues:

This is a pdf of the whole newsletter without annotation.  Click on the blank page icon to open if the first click doesn’t do it (I’ve found this necessary on the blog). AFCC ‘KIDS COUNT ON’ US Newsltr Summer2002 Vol21No3~CustodyEvalSymposium on CSA+FV (pg1 LH) + AFCC’s ‘5th internat’l Congress (sic) on Access & Parent Ed~ ~SeeAlso 6 imgs 2019July27 Sat (The long title is just my filename).

I chose an older newsletter to make the point about what’s NOT making headlines: the organizations who have known all along about the availability of federal grants; organizations featuring “parental alienation” discussions.  There’s no question that many professionals who speak as though AFCC never existed and still doesn’t (while at times presenting for them), certainly also know about the federal grants connection it’s long known, if not boasted, about.

From that one newsletter, a few annotated (mine) images showing it’s not just the USA involved, although certainly our federal government’s grants are featured in this particular one.  NB:  This isn’t the ‘Family Court Review” (AFCC’s professional journal) but a much less formal newsletter.

Notice the logo, which highlights “AFCC…US” although the full title is “AFCC KIDS COUNT ON US.”  Does this mean “AFCC (in the US)” or “US knowledgeable, multidisciplinary, international assembly of professionals truly concerned for kids” (The motto strikes me as arrogant..)

With luck, perhaps it can be dismissed for a few more years while appealing to WHO,** protesting the classification of Parental Alienation as an international disease, as just not of any relevance who was a key organizer and convener around USA’s HHS-administered  federal grants involving the office of child support enforcement with parent access concerns (which are under state, NOT federal jurisdiction), and who else was presenting about the “trauma-informed” approach to handling allegations of domestic violence or child abuse within the family courts, i.e., I see one lawyer, over time a regular presenter at a Battered Mothers Custody Conference (2003ff, in NY, then D.C.), which organization and its professionals loudly protests the use of “parental alienation” as a consideration in the family courts, but references to AFCC, so far as I’ve been aware, this past decade-plus, and (and still, when bringing it up, dilutes the data, adds assumptions, and continues on original course as if the real problem was lack of judicial understanding of the dynamics of abuse — and of course, that scientifically unsound theory) .

So did the conference organizers and favored speakers, including consistently those from state-sponsored DV coalitions and NCADV (<~list of membership coalitions) leadership which brings up legitimately, regarding those organizing around BMCC and its professionals (not including battered mothers who just do not know what’s been withheld from them, or how significant it is– but including those who do, and keep it up anyway), whose side are they really on — the protective parents’ — the taxpaying public’s? Or are there other as yet unidentified interests (“sides”) here(<~~See my recent Twitter threads, including one pinned tweet, wait for next upcoming post, or ask me for more links. LGH, July 30, 2019).

**Collective Memo to WHO about parental alienation was dated July 10, 2019

Found at “LearningToEndAbuse.CA (“The Centre for Research & Education on Violence against Women & Children” or CREVAWC at WesternUniversity in London, Ontario, Canada).

20 Years of Research, just Not exactly about the AFCC connection to the PAS issue… see URL at the top of window  Collective Memo of Concern

It seems that despite also more than 25 years learning such things and impressive studies and initiatives (see image) and collaborations, someone forgot to “learn” or at least show and tell who involved had AFCC affiliation, an organization known (once you take a closer look) to be on the Pro-PAS-Prevention side of the debate.  (next image).

IF PAS promotion is the problem, then the organization AFCC as part of the perpetrator of the theory, is part of the problem.

Yet somehow this  obvious connection constantly escapes mention as a topic of discussion or even interest/mild curiosity by the same authors.  There must be a reason why.  Lack of awareness of the existence and nature (agenda) of AFCC has to be rued out as a possible reason when some of the authors are found presenting at its conferences.  Ignorance of court-connected professional associations among court-connected lawyers, psychologists, (with PhDs and JDs) who’ve been publishing on it and testifying at times as experts, writing amicus briefs collectively, and obviously interested in the training of judges, lawyers and custody evaluators (which AFCC seems to specialize in)..

Could it be “vested interests” or financial motivation for silence?  Fear of professional repercussions? (Welcome to OUR world, then….).  I have my own “probable cause” hypotheses in the absence of any official statement by those involved.

A closer look at the CREVAWC staff shows a well-known name in the DV field in Academic Director, Peter Jaffe PhD. I read constantly in this field, his name comes up often, and usually seeming like a nice guy when it comes to protesting violence against women.  But I still cannot discount the affiliation/colleague factor:

His multi-paragraph biography admits to involvement in the (US-based) NCJFCJ as faculty since 1997 — just not, particularly, to any AFCC. Incidentally, that’s immediately after the USA passed a drastic restructuring of its own social service delivery system (a.k.a. “Welfare Reform”) with the domestic violence grantmaking care of its Department of Justice (USDOJ/OVW) having just been established care of the Violence Against Women Act (“VAWA”) in 1994.

Jaffe’s long career (see next image from the WU page) shows he is a Canadian clinical psychologist whose involvement with the NCJFCJ shows interest in “enhancing judicial skills” in this field — i.e., things psychologists are often into — more trainings:

…Dr. Jaffe received his undergraduate training from McGill University in Montreal (1970) and his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Western Ontario (1974). For over 30 years, most of his research and clinical work involves women and children who have been victims of abuse and involved with the criminal, family and civil court systems.

He has co-authored 10 books, 29 chapters and over 80 articles related to children, families and the justice system including Children of Battered Women, Working Together to End Domestic Violence and Child Custody & Domestic Violence: A Call for Safety & Accountability. He has presented workshops across the United States and Canada, as well as Australia, New Zealand, Costa Rica and Europe to various groups including judges, lawyers, mental health professionals and educators.*** Since 1997, Peter has been a faculty member for the US National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges‘ program on “enhancing judicial skills in domestic violence cases”.

**”Gee — any organization in particular come to mind prone to running those types of workshops in those particular four countries (plus Costa Rica and Europe) featuring an audience of: “judges, lawyers, mental health professionals and educators”??  Hint:  it’s not the NFCJFJ…


Search that phrase “Enhancing judicial skills in domestic violence cases” on this blogwith quotes produces about five results, including an earlier one quoting Liz Richards (of NAFCJ.net, in Virginia) who submitted testimony to yet another hearing on a fatherhood bill, who titled it “An Expensive Remedy in Search of a Problem.”

Enter the same phrase without quotes (<~you’ll get those and about five more results, in a different sequence. Just another quick way to survey how this country’s (I’m in the USA) been handling domestic violence for decades, not to mention how and why I put together this blog.

That second search link (without quotes) I notice brings up summaries of not only the domestic violence organizations and networks but also of the more structural distribution/investment setup exhibited by things such as the CNCS/SIF (Corporation for National and Community Service / Social Innovation Fund. The SIF idea appears to have specific organizations in specific British individuals, another interesting history — and caveat when applied here.

Next quote is my voice:

Add more training, collaborate better.. Or should we say, “let the NCJFCJ and others with whom it may wish to collaborate and share resources add more trainings…and don’t forget to add a full measure of fatherhood-engagement protocol, mix thoroughly til fully blended and of a thick consistency, divide into bite-sized portions, add decorative icing (stenciled “evidence-based” or “promising practices” while the ingredients (ideas) still half-baked, distribute throughout social services, health, education, family court, child support and child welfare systems, with help from protective nonprofit agencies, family court facilitators’ offices, etc. Distribute continually with roadsigns and referrals NOT to stray off course...

When consumers complain (and before they do), continue conferencing privately how to derail complaints with new half-baked ideas and comment upon how “further research is needed.”  Carryover through change of any federal or top government administrative changes as “bi-partisan.”  Perpetuate intergenerationally through mentoring and privately sponsored university centers (whether public-run or private), and brook NO opposition to the basic recipe.

I excuse the above sarcasm having read alternate versions of no more legitimate stories (accounts) of what’s been taking place and who’s been naughty, who’s been nice, for many years now.  Given the economic and organizational backdrop, much of it’s been just storytelling from “Day One.”  It helps telling stories if one has the advanced degrees and platforms to do it from; they may also eventually become reality, but that doesn’t change whether or not it is, in fact, essentially storytelling, complete with a certain framework and perspective.  There are even professional coaches and coaching organizations (<~~Google search one with key involvement on the Harvard Center on the Developing Child) on how to frame ANY story (this one, the neurological science of early childhood development, etc.) for public policymaking.


QUICK SUMMARY:  (for more, see my post containing other impromptu “summary” sections extracted and compiled). Or, stay here, scroll down, and view the page titles below, several of which also summarize specific aspects.

Much of the insight from this blog comes from starting at the HHS grants level (initially, most directly family court related in a few specific categories, then following through to look up, where possible, those grantees’ tax returns:

Some key categories: Marriage/Fatherhood promotion, access and visitation grants (see nearby image from 2002, in an “AFCC Newsletter”), and domestic violence or child abuse prevention grants.  Also, where it comes to protecting children from abusive children (i.e., dependency courts), there’ve been movements (from the private sector) and funded processes to combine the policies in both jurisdictions: i.e., basic divorce and custody/parenting matters, no abuse reported or noticed — with courts designed to handle child abuse.  Abuse of women but not limited to, including women who are mothers,  sort of tagged along (as to funding, when it comes to the U.S. Health and Human Services agency (“HHS” as it’s been called since 1980 only) under CAPTA — Child Abuse Prevent and Treatment Act. … So we have one agency funding:

<1> “marriage/fatherhood” public relations and service campaigns;

<2> access and visitation handled via the (HHS) Office of Child Support Enforcement and by definition going only to a single state agency (no private agencies, nothing below the state level when coming from federal government) to, basically, support alternate ways to increase noncustodial (translation: “fathers”) contact as (allegedly) reducing public welfare debt — because more involved fathers are more likely to pay their child support, and, also through HHS, and also under the earlier “mid-1970s, like the Family Support Act to go after fathers for child support), CAPTA

<3>FVPSA (1984 amendment, the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act) when it comes to, as it says “PREVENTION” and “SERVICES.”  Same funding agency.

<4> Then, separately, and especially after the 1994 VAWA act was passed (somehow not addressing the existence of the 1984 FVPSA in its literature, than I can see, or making it public knowledge at the street level or on-line), the US DOJ gets involved.

The continued backing since (as it applies) 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and til today, of specific key organizations designated (especially per FVPSA) to be “resource centers” along with the fairly recent development of specialty divisions of family courts themselves under the state, or sub-state level in, from what I can see, the 1990s, there’s major incentives to get onto the grants streams of BOTH the US HHS (massive) and the US DOJ (DNK, but smaller) as nonprofits promoting either fathers’ (men’s) rights or women’s (rarely, in policy terms, called “mothers'”) rights.  These nonprofits then can and do take the private funding, have a more “flush” megaphone than, say, individual parents unaware of this organization, but plenty aware of how destructive the family (and/or Child Protective Services) process can be, regardless of whether one is abusive, or not abusive.

For example only: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/ofa/resource/acf-acf-im-18-01-integrating-approaches-that-prioritize-and-enhance-father-engagement

Speaking USA: DV organizations work with fatherhood organization to legitimize them.  In turn, fatherhood organizations get to run their “healthy relationship” programming through some of the state domestic violence coalitions, which is discernible at that link.  In the fine-print (list of references) at the bottom you’ll see at least one referencing Lamb, M. (i.e., Michael E. Lamb, University of Cambridge, known supporter of (US – Texas-based) Richard Warshak, well-known here for his fathers’ rights orientation, particularly in divorce situations).  etc.


(Below here is one “Embedded-Tweet” Footnote and my comments on it),

…and a second footnote, resulting from my curiosity about a journal I’d just discovered and the specific USA “Overseas Advisors,” —  “FOOTNOTE: NUFFIELD FOUNDATION (involvement in Family Law-related projects, UK).”  The second footnote I hope to off-ramp to its own post in the near future. (Hope =/= Guarantee, however….).  The second footnote also stems from simple search results which led to a journal article:   International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family (Oxford Academic) (Introducing Social Science Evidence in Family Court Decision-making and Adjudication: Evidence from England and Wales.

Int’l Journal of Law, Policy and the Family (OUP), home page, recent issue

John Eekelaar biography (incl. degrees and work history: NB Rhodes Scholar (NS here, born S. Africa), Publications List

I like to see who are the editors (and where from) on journals affecting this field, which led to the second footnote and some surprising finds: Out of three USA editors, one is already known to be substantially involved with fathers’ rights in a state very friendly to this theme:  Arizona.  The other two spent several decades at a Jesuit college in New England, i.e., Boston College.  Both (one woman, one man, both very well known and respected it seems) graduated from University of Chicago Law School (one, in the 1960s, the other, not shown but he retired in 2015…).

But Footnote 1 deals with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

FOOTNOTE:  Pennsylvania Still-pending? Legislation/My Embedded Tweet 


FROM “CURRENT PROJECTS” SECTION, I REFERENCED THIS CURRENT CONCERN BUT KNOW that as to Pennsylvania, I’m unlikely to be able to provide the follow up (personal time and limits constraints).  

Could you? It was disturbing enough I found myself mentally drafting official letters to the Representatives involved, cc’ing to others. It illustrates a serious ongoing pattern in those protesting the assignment of custody of children to known abusers.

I have standing as a member of the class, and familiarity with the organizations reporting (by investigation, and in some cases regarding the collaborating organizations, some of them based in California, more than through investigative drill-downs only). I would like such an effective letter to be written, but at this point have a personal safety policy which involves not revealing my physical location (i.e., mailing address), which is itself already complicated enough.  Because of my blog, reporting and understanding of how systems can go “off” I have not (yet) signed up for any “Safe at Home” status in my new (geography outside California).

In the last few days (before July 31, 2019) I tweeted (but did not post) with more specific links and images on the Pennsylvania situation only). This is my first mention of it on FamilyCourtMatters.org.  This may not be the best example, it was the most recent one, and comes in response to an arrest for “coercive control” headline, in fact, from Gloucester, UK — not the USA.

I do not yet have a smooth system (the “Cloud” isn’t doing it) for moving and labeling screenprints taken on my cell-phone (generally at night) onto the laptop, where I’m more likely to be working while the sun is still up. Otherwise, I’d have the saved link to the hearing the Tweet refers to (and excerpts images from) handy. I will try to add this later (right now want to get this post published first), BUT another point to be made — media coverage of this event could’ve either posted a direct link, or told readers where to find it, i.e., “searchable at.” It wasn’t that easy to find, although having an exact bill number certainly helped.

One of many ways standard reporting on family courts, custody issues, proposed legislative changes, and governor-appointed workgroups, while referencing these things, impedes individual follow-ups. Too many basic terms are omitted, encouraging dependency on that media and/or existing search engines. It wastes readers’ time.

Embedding Tweets: I should’ve been doing this more often; hadn’t realized how simple it is (as to the involved html). I hope there’s no issue with showing to whom it was sent. Why I chose this one will make more/only make sense after you click on “Show Media.”  Don’t worry: there are no offensive media image attached; only text, and no cursing, scatalogical terms or graphic sexual references in the text, or accompanying article  I wouldn’t want such things on my blog anyway; my concern is government and public/private systems, and when at times I seek to offend deliberately, there are other ways to do it….

…Like simply posting what’s been concealed, but is still public information, and pointing out what’s been withheld improperly from the public where we have a right to know.  Sometimes, sarcastically. I’ve had to deal with PTSD for years (especially the closer it is to significant incidents involving my — not his — family members, and not just a former batterer and parent of our children), and do not seek to communicate in ways to trigger others’…  In Tweeting, usually my content is as much in the media, often annotated, than the tweet itself. So click on “Show media” if necessary to understand why I included this one.  Further explanation is below it.


re: Pennsylvania-(Maryland)- referencing TWEET embedded above: The annotated fragment (attached) from a LONG VAWNet article by Professor Joan Meier, submitted — by WHOM is unclear because her name was not on the witness list, nor was (other attachment that Tweet) Richard Ducote’s,** on a Sept. 2018 hearing regarding the PA House Bill 2058 — has a call-out quoting two authors well-known to be AFCC (Johnston & Kelly) on their PAS beliefs, and AFCC is well-known to be promoting the use of parental alienation (while also running trainings on domestic violence with key providers historically associated with organizations on the USA Federal grants stream, or initiatives run by them (i.e., Battered Women’s Justice Project was run for many years as a key initiative of another organization, but under that brand, thus deflecting attention to its owner, until a spinoff into its own entity around the time a key founder, Ellen Pence of the organization taking grants, primarily (cost-wise) to run BWJP as a program service (IRS term), died prematurely, as I recall of cancer, in 2012)  BOTH these submissions totaled the bulk of the testimony.  An actual mother (whose daughter had been MURDERED as facilitated by family court decisionmaking) only had two pages to say.  

Between Meier (two long documents) and Ducote (more than one), (in that order), there must’ve been five dozen pages AT LEAST.  

PCADV (another gov’t controlled resource center, i.e., by way of who funds it) also submitted.  The hearing showed “0” comments… These practices of circulating from state to state (though Ducote’s office reads “Pittsburgh” and so was in-state) of the “protective parents” professionals and tactics such as deluges of studies and publications complaining about PAS without referencing AFCC, needs to be addressed by parents.  Clearly the professionals aren’t going to, and I doubt the incumbent legislators are going to compromise their existing political support, whether in the DV or FR (Fathers’ Rights) sector, which — anyhow — are mutually embedded at this point, by the time it gets to street/service/programs run levels..  ||**Possibly PCADV submitted all this.  IF SO, it’s essentially a federal and state government-funded nonprofit testifying to state government legislature about state (family) court judicial employee practices.  BUT any published submission ought to make it clear WHO submitted it; this website as I recall did not.  REMINDER.  I am only one person, two arms, two eyes, two legs (thankfully all the parts still functional) and am not working Pennsylvania activity right now.  I’m far more concerned about Maryland; however on this blog for a season I DID scrutinize (and learn much by doing so) that State’s activities from several different angles, whether Kids for Cash (Luzerne County), FBI raid on Lackawanna County Courthouse after parents complained about conflict of interest (AFCC/NACC involvement there clear enough), the Legal Aid setup (“PLAN”) in the state, the MacArthur Foundation-funded “Models for Justice” with Lead Agency “Juvenile Law Center” (doublecheck; as I recall), Frank Cervone, and more..


TO GO BACK TO THE TOP OF THIS POST, CLICK THE TITLE AGAIN~~> Acknowledgements, Executive Summary (Current Projects | Rolling Blackouts) and What Makes This Blog “What You Need to Know” (July 31, 2019).

Written by Let's Get Honest

July 31, 2019 at 6:12 pm

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