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

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“AFCCnet.org/About/About-AFCC” is (Still) Long on Labels, Short on Content, Cleverly Obscuring What Its (Only Eight) Featured  Collaborators Have in Common… (Publ. Nov. 23, 2019).

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As a blogger, I more typically referenced the “History” page of the AFCC.  This time I’m talking about another, shorter, secondary page accessible from its “About” page drop-down menu.

Per The Wayback Machine (Archive.org : “archive” is singular), this “About-AFCC” page has been around in its present format  and with it seems the same text since at least August 26, 2014.  It easily may have been around earlier, unnoticed by the WayBack machine. That page was crawled by The Wayback Machine 31 times since 2014, the “History page 48 times since 2012, and the main page (AFCCnet.org) only 488 times since 1998.  That’s (488/21 yrs) an average of only 23 times a year, less than two times a month.  Somehow I think the website isn’t being publicized much to family court litigants!

AFCC Website, WayBackMachine (EARLY!) ~~>2019Nov22 Fri PST #1 of 3. Notice the street address at the bottom!

Here are three AFCCNet.org images from  the very early years. From looking at the earlier versions, I also saw that the original “Family Court Review” (produced then and now by Hofstra University but controlled by, and it is the journal voice of, AFCC, not the university) was at first called, like the organization AFCC and like my own blog “motto”, The Family and Conciliation Courts Review (“FCCR”).

Of these three images my only annotated one (#3, mostly text not pictures) is from a very early FCCR.  Those facts and features can be found at Archive.org by copying in the url as a search string; they are time-consuming to display, and being such fine print don’t display well, so, except for these three images, I leave it up to readers to repeat the search if they are curious. Along the very top of the images you can see a sideways bar graph and time-line.  That’s from the Archive, not the old web pages. I happen to think the theme “Kids COUNT on Us” is a bit narcissistic, and a call to a “rescue / intervention” mentality.

AFCC Website, WayBackMachine (EARLY!) ~~>2019Nov22 Fri PST #2 of 3 (redirect to Hofstra.edu upon click on previous link to ‘AFCC Journal’ as shown in Image #1

CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE.   AFCC Website, WayBackMachine (EARLY!) ~~>2019Nov22 Fri PST #3 of 3 (I annotated with 3 comments in yellow, two others not highlit, and any arrows, underlines or ovals you may see! About “Family and Conciliation Courts Review” (See Image #2).

I trust this post’s breakout of labels and claims from AFCC’s self-description on its own website will reveal some less obvious traits of the organization, as judged by having allowed this type of self-description to be posted on-line for now at least five years with the same words.

Given the high level of authority in decision-making over families’ lives AFCC’s “interdisciplinary” membership taken as a whole holds (individual types shown in an image below), the sloppy, incomplete list, incomplete description of activities, and poorly sorted single-paragraph summary of “Collaborative Leadership” organizations is disturbingly “off”  which my post title reflects:

AFCCnet.org/About/About-AFCC. (This time I’m focused on the fourth heading, although only the first one shows in expanded” format. I do quote “History” paragraph, but my interest is “Collaborative Leadership”)  LGH 2019Nov20.

TITLE: “AFCCnet.org/About/About-AFCC” is (Still) Long on Labels, Short on Content, Cleverly Obscuring What Its (Only Eight) Featured  Collaborators Have in Common… (Publ. Nov. 23, 2019).. (short-link ends “-bFi“). . [Tags and AFCC’s latest (available, that is) Forms 990 added w/ commentary Nov. 24, now about 11,700 wds (incl all captions for its many images).

See nearby image with “The AFCC Membership Network” as the first of the four headings expanded to show its two paragraphs.  The image caption holds link to the same page (url also as shown in the post title).

These headings all presumably refer to “in the family courts” or (judging by the organization’s motto) anywhere internationally “family conflict” needing resolution may exist, worldwide… providing substantial business opportunities for AFCC’s membership.

My post focuses on the single paragraph under the fourth section, describing  its “Collaborative Leadership.” That paragraph basically just lists with whom AFCC collaborates “To Improve (sic) Practice and Policy.“##  

To Improve” or do anything else indicates only intent, not necessarily accomplishment!  Like many other public policies, in a nonprofit organization such as AFCC’s home page no actual improvements seems necessary, just statements of shared good intentions to do so.  That’s implicit in the word “to,” which indicates purpose (as in “in order to _______”).

I noticed this from other descriptions of legislated public policy for some of the family courts programs (such as “increase noncustodial parent contact” or “prevent abuse before it occurs” etc.  Policymaking and public funding of each policy is full of such phrases which show intent but are not held responsible to produce results as a condition of continued appropriations…).  Here, AFCC on its self-description page takes credit for the good intentions behind its collaborating in order to lead behaviors. It also in the motto claims intent to “improve the lives of children and families.” (See Footnote “To Improve” or do anything else indicates only intent, not necessarily accomplishment at the bottom of this post, the first one there.  Each Footnote has light blue background, orange borders.)

The Mission History and Values page, though short, also uses the word “collaborate” in three different forms (adjective, adverb and noun) to describe how it intends to “improve the lives of children and families…”  (Collaborative approach, work collaboratively, collaboration and respect — among the professionals involved if not particularly with the parents themselves…)

For this post I also quote but don’t focus on the one-paragraph “History of Innovation and Positive Change.”  Both sub-titles (the second and the fourth on “About-AFCC” page) embody claims some of us parents subjected to that leadership and aware of these changes believe might well be challenged as being neither positive nor improvements.  To some of us parents (aware of AFCC) the means used to justify this “improvement” compromises due process, legal rights, and — the results seem clear — personal safety where violence and/or abuse have been involved. It is a form of “therapy” as in “threat therapy” (coercive control by the court-connected networked professionals) very much reminiscent of what we refused to put up with, at some point, from the other spouse, partner, or parent.

Whether or not it was “positive” or “improvement” dodges the obvious: both those words are broad, vague and subjective: the opinion rests in the eyes of those making value-judgments against a standard without openly stating the standard in plain words, where it might be compared with existing law and any rights under (typically, for the USA) state constitutions — which handle such matters, not federal.  Basically it’s just self-promoting “PR.”

The “About-AFCC” page is so short — five very short paragraphs and the following short introduction — that subtitles aren’t really needed:

AFCC is the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts – the premier interdisciplinary and international association of professionals dedicated to the resolution of family conflict.  AFCC members are the leading practitioners, researchers, teachers and policymakers in the family court arena.


I’ve added this next part post-publication.  I was going to add it at the bottom, but might as well remind us of it here:

True as this is, AFCC is a private business corporation with limited funds, limited (through international) representation on its board of directors (compared to entire states, regions, or countries) and operating tax-exempt, meaning it is required to file tax returns the public can read with the Internal Revenue Service to give an account of itself.  These can (and should) be found, but the entity certainly doesn’t make it easy.  AFCC functions like many other tax-exempts as a “society.”  Private societies and corporations should be clearly differentiated from any forms of legitimate government to which any people are by agreement as willing (naturalized) or (born-there) citizens subject for mutual benefit and welfare.

As usual, it took two searches at Candid.org to get three results because the two most recent tax returns for AFCC had been, somehow, mislabeled (a function more likely of Candid.org than AFCC).  My three screenprints here show that.**  Always locate the EIN# and repeat a search for this particular database, although it’s a pain in the neck.  The three images** are followed by an interactive table which I create (throughout, on this blog) by simply selecting the table (which picks up the links to underlying tax returns) and copying it into the blog so I can discuss or at least show it for readers:

(**The second/by EIN# search I marked up a  lot, so I provided a clean copy as well to show the typos, probably by Candid (not AFCC) which complicate even the most basic look-ups on this database, at least for non-subscribers which I am… I wonder if a paid subscription would result in greater accuracy, but don’t feel like taking that chance, and I doubt it). 

AFCC NameSearch (its EIN# is 952597407) at Candid.org brings up older return only ~~> Screen Shot 2019-11-24 (see two nearby images of EIN# search)…

Total results: 3Search Again.  AFCC is EIN# 952597407.  After some preliminary comments.

The latest year’s tax return shows only 7 employees, but 19 board members.

There are some internal inconsistencies between supporting details page and statements (Part VIIA total vs. Part VIII).  The 7 employees, judging by total “Salaries” would be paid about $100K each except Exec Director (ONLY Pt. VIIA Paid person) got $230K (+ benefits) for FY2017 (top row).  Also, as I’ll continue to point out, it claims to be, but most likely still isn’t, a Wisconsin legal domicile entity, nor did this particular entity start in 1963.  That’s two, continuing, wrong claims on the Header alone.  One mis-states geography as out of state, the other exaggerates by about a dozen years when it actually started.  Again “it” means the reporting entity — not a predecessor entity which was suspended for non-filing and skipped legal domiciles to start up again elsewhere before it got caught (non-filing) again.  

This aspect of the current entity AFCC has been researched  and documented before I came around and is one very disturbing character trait, i.e., lying to the public about itself and maintaining the lie for decades.

I’ve post that before on this blog, but this last time I went to look and found the CyberdriveIllinois.com has been set up differently and is missing a link to search exclusively the business registry (which I complained about on Twitter and posted as a footnote below, yesterday Nov. 23).

Another minor (?) detail I’d like to mention is that it’s listing substantial income (as I recall $913K) on its “Statement of Revenues (also reflected on Page 1 summary, and reflected historically on “Schedule A” making Line 2, “Program Service Revenues” appear to be about double what it really is — for the past five years (which Schedules A show).  Line 1, “Contributions” has a category for “Membership Dues.”

There may be a legitimate excuse for this practice (I’ve seen it before), however it makes the organization overall seem as though it’s main function is providing services, as a 501©3 when in fact its main function is charging fees to its members and charging (next big expense) fees for its conferences, which include trainings for some of its members and others of similar professions (i.e., lawyers, judges, psychologists, etc.).  AFCC is not claiming tax exempt as a “Business and trade” organization (501©6?) which it probably should, but a 501©3 non-private foundation (i.e., public charity).  Entering such a large source of revenues as “Program Service Revenues” rather than what it is, Member Contributions in exchange for privileges of membership, I believe imbalances the profile and is misleading.  That said, I’m not an accountant.

Given WHO its members tend to be, most of these fees are going to be passed on to the public one way or another anyhow…

Total results: 3Search Again.  AFCC is EIN# 952597407 and its fiscal year ends June 30.

Association of Family and Conciliationcourts WI 2018 990 37 $4,332,375.00 95-2597407
Association of Family and Conciliationcourts WI 2017 990 38 $4,137,304.00 95-2597407
Association of Family and Conciliation Courts WI 2016 990 33 $3,731,286.00 95-2597407

(My copied table’s different color scheme, besides being irrelevant (it doesn’t change the numbers), just comes from an older version of the same provider color scheme which I made boilerplate html to add the (same, i.e., older) colors, making these tables easy to identify no matter what year’s post on FamilyCourtMatters.org you’re reading.

From its tax returns (the “mother ship” with a Madison, Wisconsin, USA address) one can see that it basically runs conferences and trainings, and promotes the interests of its members.  The conferences switch locations (even countries) from time to time, meaning that interested parent litigants for the most part couldn’t afford to attend most or all of them, unlike our representative forms of government which have elected persons and must maintain local offices. As such it’s intentionally elitist and offering privileges to its members that people who are forced (often by the judges or by administrative rules of practice) to sit through its programs and sometimes PAY its professionals (beyond any pay they may already have a civil servants), cannot partake in.  This encourages arrogance among the membership and group loyalty while building relationships with each other and those in power locally, not “constituents.”  (Parents run through the courses and courts aren’t AFCC’s “constituents” either; it does not own us — just seeks to exercise ownership control over us and our youngsters and extended families in the name of a particular blend of shared values.  

AFCC may have members in every state but it certainly doesn’t have a chapter or a street address in every one…

It seems like they have also, with outside help from other nonprofit associations and to a degree, government funds, figured out an arena where they are “premier” and on top of the decision-making heap – – – the leaders.  Given that AFCC represents a limited number of professions compared to the number of professions, practices, and “arenas” people operate in nationwide (and worldwide), I’d say that designating or facilitating this subset of people with a shared mindset does NOT represent the best interests of society as a whole, or any nation in particular, based on that shared mindset that “we are the ones…”   When it comes to kids or individual citizens with civil rights — no they aren’t!

If somehow the acronym “AFCC” representing the business name “Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, Inc.” is unfamiliar to you, you’re a very new reader of this blog!  Go back to my front page, sticky posts, or blog sidebar for more information on it; some recent links  here:

For more on who/what is AFCC from this blog:

Several sidebar links (further down on it) also feature  earlier (1980s – 2003) newsletters across the organization’s history and in a few recent posts I mentioned how it’s been claimed in a document commissioned by the Ohio Supreme Court (1997, in surveying) as a contributor and possible creator of the family courts themselves in the first place, which document also shows how the family courts as separate jurisdictions and dockets are still a recent development.

Here’s that Sept. 15, 2019, post and a related one addressing current “family court reform” movements and buzz-words, key themes, specifically the “protect children.”  They ask, if family courts were designed with the purpose of “protecting children” then what was the purpose of dependency/child welfare courts (and legislation to go with)?  Why criticize family courts’ failure to do things they weren’t initiated and never claimed to be organized to do in the first place?

This “Builders and their Blueprints” post

Builders and their Blueprints: Who, Really, Designed the Family Courts, How, and Since When? (“The Evidence Speaks”) [Started Aug. 17, 2019, Published Sept. 15].(short-link ends “-aI6” — the middle character is capital “I” as in the personal pronoun or “Idaho; with post-publication addition, 8,800 words.

….explains a key theme of an earlier one,

Reform, Solutions, Enhancements, Adjudication Improvements Built on WHAT? (Unproven Because Unspoken Assumptions about the Deliberate Design = the Deliberate Purposes of the Family Courts in the USA)., (short-link ending “-9PC” started May 2, 2019, revisited and expanded June 6-8, “sure hope to publish soon” status, Aug. 6-7,  and finally (!) published August 29 ,

i.e., common sense says, before choosing Reforms, Solutions, Enhancements or Adjudication Improvements, ask, and find out who were the builders and show the blueprints which show purpose/design, intent.

(end, mini-section “For More on Who/What is AFCC from this blog.*”

(*My blog consistently provides links to sources outside the blog, so what I say will not be just opinion or hearsay, i.e., unsupported.)

One of my key exhibits in my ongoing assertion what family courts were NOT designed to do for historically in this blog came from the entity Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, Inc.’s own “About Us/History” web page, along with ongoing publications of its own prominent or not-so-prominent but devout  excuse me, devoted and loyal members.

The History page features sections “Divorce with Dignity” and “Mediation Explosion,” and commented on the improvement of introducing the new words of “behavioral science” to replace the old words of “criminal law,” although the family courts aren’t designed to handle or prosecute criminal behavior.  As I recall this is shown on the Front Page or linked to from that page.

In fact one unique quality of family courts (USA at least) is that being accused IN them (unlike when accused of crime and being prosecuted for it by the state) a litigant is NOT appointed a defense counsel when he or she cannot afford one — after all, it’s a problem-solving, dispute-resolving conflict between citizens, not “the state and the accused.”

Imagine how that might go when blended with parents who, in fact, do commit the standard variety of crimes impacting their parenting, marriage (if applicable), divorce, and visitation issues. That hasn’t particularly stopped or that I can see even slowed the fatalities and criminal behavior surrounding separation and “estranged spouse.” If anything it seems to have intentionally muddied the definitions of crime based on context — if you can get the case OUT of criminal prosecution INTO the family courts, being criminally inclined, so much the better.  Not for the targets, but for the perpetrators…

The “AFCCnet.org/About/About-AFCC” web page, again, holds only four sections, subtitles, each of them just one or two paragraphs each.

I write here to review how AFCC describes its own “Collaborations” and ask (after showing this) what kind of mentality would be so slipshod (incomplete) in summarizing them and fail to make any concise summary statement on how it collaborates?  Why waste reader time with incomplete presentation?

Was there a need to conceal just what quality of collaborative partnerships, by type, it’s involved in, and where they are located? After looking at the list again, I’m thinking… yes.  I’ll provide missing parts of labels, and objective classifications by type, as well as missing commonalities among the types, for even this short list.

BLOGGING CONTEXT: This “About-AFCC” web page of self-assessment comes from another draft post taking well over a week to get out (more information keeps “emerging” (as I dig further) on yet another obviously AFCC-affiliated author’s (career psychologist, academic context, in Arizona) failure to mention (her) AFCC affiliation while writing up, under grant from the USDOJ and with four other co-authors, most of them working at the University of Arizona-Tucson, a 238 page study on “Intimate Partner Abuse and Divorce Mediation:..

I started that post about Nov. 11. The challenge in completing it (after three or four off-ramps already) is what to cut out so as to include an image series making the main point.  (The context, I’ve covered well enough for a single post).  Meanwhile, I’ve learned a lot on who’s been funding the fields of “Mind, Brain Sciences and Behavior” and how:  put bluntly, corporate wealth expressed in tax-exempt foundations setting up regional planning and (of course) university schools, centers, institutes, endowed chairs, etc.  The usual cast of public/private characters….

Moving on….

Next Mini-Section:

OTHERS who certainly know but rarely talk about AFCC at all — not as an organization, not its obvious agenda once you read the conference materials and websites, nor its membership types, nor (which it most certainly doesn’t call attention to), it’s speckled history of functioning openly and legally under the US (IRS) or local state incorporation laws:

Judging by what these are publishing, ongoing, at-length, sometimes (for some of the following) US doing so DOJ NIJ-grant-supported and what they also are advocating for….

  • Professor Joan Meier (George Washington University in D.C. and Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment and Appeals Project, Inc. (“DVLEAP”) housed there, EIN#201076297, since 2004 per its tax return) and acknowledged* supporter of Dr. Linda Nielson’s (Canadian) July, 2019 “Collective Letter of Concern to WHO re: classification of “parental alienation” as a parent-child disorder (*in FN1 of the same; I posted on it this past summer).  DVLEAP is also listed as a member of the Washington, D.C., domestic violence coalition.
  • Dr. Joy Silberg (Leadership Council for Child Abuse & Interpersonal Violence, Inc., in Michigan, EIN#510392011; works with DVLEAP and has collaborated on some projects taking US DOJ grants) website “modestly” called “LeadershipCouncil.org(<~Link under “PAS” to Sept. 2009 (i.e., ten years old) short statement on “DV by Proxy” and naming who used it first.  This page is directed towards mothers who may be tempted to use “parental alienation” to describe what their ex-batterers are now doing to them.)  (One example: Grant No. 2011-TA-AX-K006 (more than one report shown on DVLEAP page).  This is a pdf to it:DVLEAP, supp by USDOJ|OVW Grant No.2011-TA-AX-K006 ‘Rates at Which Accused & Adjudicated Batterers Receive Sole or Joint Custody’ (2013 Compilatn by JoanSMeier see Footnotes!) prntd 2019Nov25  While this one (some others do) doesn’t talk about Leadership Council in the (short) text, or footnote it, its website is the last Reference cited — only with a typo in the URL: http://www.leadershipcouncil.org/1/pas/dv.htmal,  which is easily corrected to end “.html” only and then leads to a long page of cites, including (near the top) several IN a known AFCC journal, by known AFCC authors (such as Depner) ensconced at the California Administrative Office of the Courts, but not mentioning this, that I can see….

This one was so hard to find (something I’d broadcast several years ago on this blog), I think it deserves a footnote on how I located SOME tax returns this time.  I’m posting two images here.//LGH (Nov. 25 post-publication update). See Footnote “LEADERSHIP COUNCIL Tax Returns Hide-&-Seek” or similar title.  It’s now the second footnote at the bottom of this post.

THIS Mini-Insert (to a bulleted list of individuals with their associated nonprofits who typically don’t want to acknowledged AFCC’s role, or existence, in their publications and advocacy) has three images and (last paragraph) one link to a one-page pdf.  The EIN# is a searchable field at the IRS.gov EOS website; link “SearchAgain” for the Candid website shown below on this post so I didn’t link to individual search results here.

Also see three quick images here which show just HOW small it is (One from IRS “EOS” (Exempt Organization Search), one using the found EIN# from Candid.org, and the third showing header page of one of the found Forms 990EZ on Candid.org; total receipts that year only $21K.

Leadership Council for Child Abuse & Interpersonal Violence, Inc., in Marquette, Michigan, EIN#510392011, IRS shows it filed Form 990-N only for the above years. (Imaged Nov. 25, 2019: Where is FY2018 return?)

I also noted that the its Forms 990EZ wrote N/A on website every year when in fact there IS a website with a lot of articles on it and links (though not all that current) on it and has been for many years now

Leadership Council for Child Abuse & Interpersonal Violence, Inc., in Marquette, Michigan, EIN#510392011, Forms 990EZ filed (as shown from Candid.org) for FYE 2012, 2013 and 2015 (nearby image shows top of FY2015 return). WHY SUCH A TINY ‘TOTAL ASSETS’ COLUMN?

It’s been filing alternately electronic post-cards only (revenues under $50K = that’s all that’s required) and did so for FY 2013,2016, and 2017.  Forms 990-N.   Having now the EIN# I was hopeful to find a more substantial tax return, but it filed only Form 990EZ (which doesn’t ask the filer for legal domicile OR year founded); and found these for FY2012, 2014 and 2015

Leadership Council for Child Abuse & Interpersonal Violence, Inc., in Marquette, Michigan, EIN#510392011, Forms 990EZ, FY2015 (header info only) showing N/A in “Website” when it has had a website for years; gross receipts of only $21K that year, and that was a ‘good’ year compared to the surrounding ones.

Also see (found and printed to pdf so long as I was looking for entities with key words “Child Abuse” within Michigan) how many there are under that name. Mich Bus Entity Srch (LARA) Keywd ‘Child Abuse’ produced 26 results (two basic titles, CA&Neglect, CAPreventn) by Geography but no LdrshipCouncil ~~2019Nov25 to pdf (<~Link to that list of 26 registered organizations found by a LARA search at the State of Michigan; they are organized by two basic titles (Child Abuse & Neglect [Geography: County]) and “Child Abuse Prevention” (by county, also a foundation with no geographic reference)).   Look at the names, then ask yourself, with all these, why would the NIJ be funding a partnership with DVLEAP as a sort of “Task Force on Child Abuse and Custody” which, apparently (from DVLEAP.org website) it has been?

  • ;
  • Ms. Kathleen Russell (Consultant/Public Relations (and a B.A. in psychology from U.C. Berkeley), original independent consultant for, then Exec. Director,* for Center for Judicial Excellence, Inc., since about 2005ff in California) (*see website or current tax return for Ms. Russell’s current position at CJE);

like for the most part,

  • Ms. Connie Valentine (California Protective Parents Association, Inc., 1999ff); and associated others**),
  • and several internationally-involved nonprofits and/or professionals*** claiming concern specifically about the family court systems’ handling of abuse — particularly child abuse and up to and including incest, as well as domestic violence issues,

**Such as Mr. Barry Goldstein [Stop Abuse Campaign, Inc., Florida, about 2011, 2013ff] & Mo Hannah, Ph.D. … of The Battered Mothers Custody Conference (2003ff) in which most of the above list has also participated or presented, frequently, and editors a certain “tome” (fat book) published by Civic Research Institute in 2010 and another version more recently ***David Mandel (Safe & Together Institute), Rutgers Professor (emeritus?) Evan Stark (Coercive Control book, now legislation passed in the UK criminalizing that behavior), Peter Jaffe ((Ph.D.?) Canadian with US ties as judicial faculty since 1997, to the US-based NCJFCJ — and AFCC, though his web page on Western Ontario University’s “CREVAWC” (I blogged this recently) doesn’t admit it) 

  • AND most of the USA’s coordinated community response to domestic violence organizations (the “CADVs” and the larger “Special” or “National” Issue Resource Centers, all (I believe) US-based, private tax-exempt corporations with legal business names also ending in “Inc.” and all taking public (and as available, private) money) as far as the debates and practices are concerned, year after year after year and amid ongoing reports of domestic violence- or “just separated”-related murder/ femicide/ infanticide/ familicide/ suicide fatalities nationwide, 

AFCC just possibly may not exist, or if it does (mentioned in passing) — certainly not in any significant way. Some collaborations with it may surface from time to time, but that it might be a contributor, rather than a problem-solver, to these issues doesn’t seem to be a permissible topic for debate. This “don’t ask- don’t tell– ignore others who do — distract, derail, deny do NOT discuss” situation is truly odd, and it’s also unacceptable given what AFCC claims to be doing positively for the world and what, when its own website and conferences are considered, it claims to be doing.

Given the volumes of output over at least three, in some cases almost, four decades from the US-based tax-exempt, federally-funded (US DHHS, US DOJ) DV organizations, and all the consistent (if not so widely distributed) publications and journal articles, social media activity, postings on the related organization websites, and where made available, even testimony before legislative task forces about possible family court reforms by some of those mentioned in the previous paragraphs (i.e., Family Court Reformists originally from the USA (except Jaffe), failure to reference the AFCC more than occasionally given its own stated specialty arena is, well …. no accident!

Meanwhile, check out the website — that’s hardly how AFCC describes itself and its members here regarding its impact on families and family courts (including handling of domestic violence issues IN them), after a half century of members serving as “catalysts for generating major reforms

…The ripple effect can be seen in courts and communities throughout the world.

Notice, no qualification or limitation of the word “courts” to “family courts” in mentioning it…and expanding the ripple effect to “communities.”  Sounds a bit narcissistic for such a financially small and non-representative (unelected, etc.) 501©3 (if taken alone, and even with its few chapter financial filings).

Unfortunately, that visible “ripple effect” seems to be true… just ask your local homeless or borderline homeless mother or father, and/or their post-custody-switch runaway kids…to be hunted down and run through reunification camps or programs… OR, get a professional’s name (or several) in these individuals’ related family court cases, and screen for where the AFCC connection was, whether to lawyer (his or hers), mediator, custody-evaluator, local presiding judge, court administrator, supreme court justice (for Texas, that has applied for years), or otherwise.  Notice whether or not the AFCC connection was even admitted in the case paperwork.  Some of these may be visible on-line, I’ve read other parent’s dockets and some of the paperwork as well as my own.  (Summary of some Examples at “FOOTNOTE:  Once You’re Aware AFCC Exists, You’ll find it Not Hard To Find!”)

Finding out “after the fact” one was in an AFCC-dominated court or case, is as much of a wake-up call as is finding out (in my opinion), “after the fact,” being a biological mother, that our own country spends millions of dollars a year to promote fatherhood as “social services” and an apparent counterweight to the unfair balances Moms have in divorce and custody issues…. or to persuade men to become more emotionally involved with their children (while paying reduced child support)…

Yes there’s a major ripple effect, and it’s devastating to those caught in the riptides.  Those caught in the riptides typically are not surfing these waters as involved professionals, who often can returnsafely home most days, maintain stable income streams as civil servants in the courthouses, or through referral businesses whose setup was supported by federal grants to the states for “access and visitation” alternative decision-making processes in child custody matters (running family-court-connected, often nonprofit corporations/service-providers), or writing up studies on either of the above’s impact upon families as academics taking, at times, federal grants small or large to do so..

AFCC’s website still withholds posting any of its financials or revealing its EIN#.

Too bad….because that’s basic information relevant to it being a PRIVATE interest association (and not even a “membership” association — it’s a 501©3, not a 501©6). I may provide these in the post as a sort of counter-weight to the “ripple felt throughout the world” talk, but only after looking more closely at its list of Collaborative Leadership and (as the paragraph says) “partners” some of which by definition cannot be partners as they are programs, and others because they aren’t entities.

I’m wondering, judging by what’s included, what’s omitted, and how things are labeled in an organizations whose stated membership includes these types of professionals… (see ‘AFCC MEMBERS ARE ~ JOIN/RENEW ~ LOGIN ~ DONATE’  image again)

This list is neither alpha, nor chrono as developed by the association (although note how close to the top “Mediators” Is, reflecting I believe it’s priority in the agenda), and mixes obviously regulated white-collar professions (such as lawyers, psychiatrists, psychologists and to a degree judges) with simple job descriptions, some fo them (Custody evaluators, Parenting Coordinators) probably devised/ promoted, pushed by AFCC itself… Members which are likely to work most directly WITH or IN the courts (Court Commissioners, Court Administrators) are not next to each other. Psychologists and Psychiatrists (though some are both and the fields are closely related) are not next to each other. The word “Researchers” could mean almost anything, “Academics” (which some PhD, JD, and PsyD also might be during some point in their work lives) typically means some sort of university employment, whether or not professor (or associate/affiliate professor, etc.) and “social workers” generally denotes employer (Public sector).

…how trustworthy might the same members be such important and at times life-and-death matters as court cases that come before them? When the group dynamic of their own association, under the same Executive Director (Peter Salem) for MANY years, omits key phrases (half-labels) just eight of its own featured “Collaborative Partners” …

That’s a  basic written communication failure of the “sort, categorize, order” skills we are taught, generally, in kindergarten as important to navigating life as future adults. Sort, Label (properly), and put in SOME kind of relevant order.

If nouns are names of a “person place or thing” (not the best definition, but it’s been used for years), why include SOME place names SOME of the time for such a short list but not for others?

Does the writer (for that web page) have any sense of parallelism, order, or even who or what named, or is the point just to toss out a random flurry of names which, as a verbal gesture, is to show how important and well-connected it is.

And, I wonder (since it’s not stated),

How, in fact, does this nonprofit (see “DONATE” link in the image) collaborate with its listed Partners?

Though just one paragraph, it still fails to mention HOW it collaborates with them. Is it financially?  Through providing Pro bono services? Mutual self-promotions?

In what world(view) would that “how” not be important?  Are readers who eventually get to this page just supposed to absorb how well-connected it is, be impressed, and forget about the mechanics of the “how”?

Yes some other pages show means, but this is an “About Us” summary page which references “Collaborations.”  If this was a basic paper by an adolescent not  yet out of high school summarizing something, and it missed referencing key elements in the opening paragraph, that’d be pointed out.  It’s a flaw.

(Parallel? For a business plan, “Executive Summary” page should cover the basics.  This summary page doesn’t.)


I’m also wondering how new this web-page is and why it only mentions institutions and nonprofits based in the USA, when by now it’s at least a year-old news (coming up on two years soon), close collaborations and common board member Teresa Williams, MsC, with the UK’s “CAFCASS” — not to mention, throughout its history having maintained and acknowledged board of directors from other countries:  Canada, Australia, New Zealand, England ….

Picking this up where I began writing it as an “addendum” to my “Oh Arizona!” post still in the pipeline which just won’t show its natural closing point…. I’d written (sarcastically, in that context):

[My voice this paragraph:] Is it possibly relevant that those helping run the courts are part of a membership association** which, from the 1970s and 1980s focused heavily on promoting mediation, and that in California by 1981 it became basically mandatory for modifying (not just “establishing”) any custody and access order, and by 1984 the U.S. Congress had started the “access and visitation” concept, to then be funded starting 1988, and further funded with authorization of “welfare reform” PRWORA in 1996 (at ten million dollars a year nationwide, by definition grants go to government — not private — agencies).

For nearly half a century, AFCC and its members have served as catalysts for generating major reformsDispute resolution processes such as child custody mediation, parenting coordination and divorce education are just a few of the innovative ideas developed by AFCC members. AFCC has developed Practice Guidelines and Standards for family and divorce mediation, child custody evaluation, parenting coordination, brief focused assessment and court-involved involved therapistsTask forces and special projects address the ongoing challenges faced by AFCC members and the families they serve.**  AFCC actively disseminates innovations and ideas to its members.  The ripple effect can be seen in courts and communities throughout the world.  [all emphases added, except the internal link for “Practice Guidelines…”]

**Yes, AFCC members “and the families they serve” are facing on-going challenges.  The AFCC members and AFCC as an organization supposedly are not themselves part of the challenges faced by “the families they serve” (a.k.a. as the families who come in front of them, many of them forcibly — i.e., “mandatory” mediation, or custody evaluations, or life-restructing as an ex hauls the other parent into court to challenge custody or otherwise file some complaints. This can be made to happen repeatedly until one or both parties are exhausted, disgusted, broke, or thoroughly defeated and just burnt out.

If that’s “service,”  No Thank You!

The next / third section, not expanded for this post, is “Family Court Review: An Interdisciplinary Journal.”  An image above on this page shows all four titles, or visit the page to see.

[From AFCC website “About/About-AFCC” page, section expanded under this title]

I’ve color-coded parts of this paragraph:  teal bolded = a nonprofit; light-yellow background &  underlined = a law school (where shown in the text; one is represented there but not shown in the text), and I underlined and bolded a few parts.  The internal link on “AFCC Center for Excellence…” was included on the website).

After reviewing some of the components, I’ll come back to this quote in this (approximate) format for a review further down on the post…

AFCC plays a leadership role and collaborates with leading organizations on major reform initiatives and training in family law and domestic relations practice and policy. Through the AFCC Center for Excellence in Family Court Practice, AFCC places an ongoing emphasis on issues including case management, domestic violence, family law education and the integration of research into practice and policy. AFCC partners include the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, Hofstra Law School Center for Children, Families and the Law, Battered Women’s Justice Project, Werner Institute for Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, University of Baltimore School of Law Center for Children, Families and the Courts, Loyola University Chicago School of Laws Civitas ChildLaw Center, Resolution Systems Institute [Donate Page] and Marquette University Law School Dispute Resolution Program.
[all emphases and the “[Donate Page]” words & links added where a nonprofit was listed, to call attention to their being nonprofit entities.**] 

**Universities (including public one) also tend to function nonprofit (tax-exempt), but being so much larger and with real-estate/student tuitions/faculty and other-involved operations account for themselves differently to the IRS, as may also be seen by websites ending “*.edu” in the US, not “*.org”]

Let’s look at this list of Collaborative Partners, as described above, and what is and isn’t mentioned in the labeling, although any look-up (search) would show this quickly.  Why were certain names presented fully, others partially, and why were entities mixed with non-entities with a course of study?

In the above AFCC “Collaborative Leadership …. organizations” list, obviously the last item, a Dispute Resolution PROGRAM (Marquette Law School) is not a (corporate, business or government) ‘PERSON’ therefore not a PARTNER.  See my tag on this topic, a key theme in the blog and a key mis-leading characterization when and wherever it’s found; the purpose is to cloud the entity (or entities) behind the program.  Also not shown:  Marquette Law School is in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Werner Institute is at the Creighton University School of Law in Omaha, Nebraska, “minor detail” which this paragraph omits, although, strangely, it didn’t forget to include the words “School of Law” for  (‘in order of appearance): Hofstra, University of Baltimore, Loyola or Marquette (highlit this color).

Creighton, Loyola (Chicago), and Marquette (Milwaukee, Wisconsin?) are all Jesuit universities.  Hofstra is private, nonsectarian (New York), and the University of Baltimore School of Law, part of the public university system (obviously, Maryland).  Werner Institute only began in 2005 and as funded by the generous (rich) family of a university alumna:

The Werner Institute was established in 2005, thanks to a generous gift from the family of Creighton University alumna Gail Werner-Robertson. The goal of the institute and our faculty and administration is to build a bridge between conflict resolution (through alternate dispute resolution, or ADR) and the issues facing all of us in this increasingly complex world.

Only 3 of the 8 (NCJFCJ, BWJP, and RSI) are nonprofits. To review (none is new to this blog):

In the order shown:

(1) The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (“NCJFCJ”) is a private nonprofit in Reno, Nevada with operations or a subsidiary in Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh), called “NCJJ,” (National Center on Juvenile Justice) which was repeatedly cited in an Ohio Supreme Court 1997 “Family Court Feasibility Study” I referenced in my “Blueprints” post, and which I’d also covered in “drill-down” fashion several years ago.  The “Blueprints” post called attention to acknowledgement of AFCC along with other organizations in pushing for (as I recall; post listed on my 2019 Table of Contents) a “Model Family Court Act” nationwide in the USA.

(2) Battered Women’s Justice Project (“BWJP”) is a small, private nonprofit, a still-recent spin-off from another Minnesota nonprofit (Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs, Inc., “DAIP” — I’ve posted often on it) which from the start, 1980, was government-funded and still is a primary part of the “DV industry” federal-state coordinated network.  Keywords:  Ellen Pence, “The Duluth Model,” and “Coordinated Community Response”).  DAIP’s size remains medium in the constellation of special-issue-resource-centers taking HHS grants under 1984 FVPSA (Family Violence Prevention and Services Act). NCJFCJ and Futures without Violence are far larger; Futures especially since it became also a real estate owner around 2010, acquiring property on the San Francisco Praesidio and at that time changing its former recognized name, ‘The Family Violence Prevention Fund”

BWJP’s (or I should say, DAIP’s, as DAIP was controlled by its own board) decision to utilize that name for years in domestic violence advocacy fields and on such websites without operating as its own entity in effect was a ruse:  deflecting how little else DAIP was doing and deflecting attention from that organization by name.  Generally, while private, nonprofits are dependent upon their funders, and DAIP’s primary funder (as I recall) was the US government, or at least “government grants” with TAGGS.HHS.Gov showing many of those grants.  For more information on the overall setup of the DV organizations, see my sidebar near the top right for a long page on this, compiled in Feb. 2018).

(3) “Resolution Systems Institute” (Illinois) as I recall [at first, drafting this post] is a private nonprofit or a dba of one.  Reviewing its website, I see it’s at a certain address and suite number (11 East Adams #500, Chicago, Illinois) shared with another nonprofit Center for Conflict Resolution, Inc. (<~at “CCRChicago.org”) with similar goals, but a different name.  I expect looking at, looking up, and posting on this (briefly) will be a key part of this post.  While reading that section of this post,  readers should keep in mind that AFCC (despite its telling the IRS otherwise) is legal domicile Illinois, not Wisconsin.  See Footnote “CHICAGOLAND” at the bottom of this post.

Resolution Systems Institute website says it was founded in 1995 (right before Welfare Reform 1996) and views itself as a change-agent of society.   Nonetheless, RSI also says it’s a private nonprofit — but doesn’t post what EIN# and doesn’t show its financials of any sort.  Also note that, separately, Chicago-based “Loyola University” Civitas Childlaw Center is listed as an AFCC collaborator, making two within the same urban area.  [[The FY2017 IRS return I just viewed says it was formed 17 years later, in 2012]}

Not listed (though it ought to be) as AFCC “Collaborative Leadership” — the California Judicial Council/Administrative Office of the Courts/Center on Children and Families in the Courts.  This is subdivision of the administrative sector of the ruling body for California Judicial System (!) is every bit as much “AFCC” as the University of Baltimore Law School “CFCC”; but just a part of state government, not a public university system)… I’ve documented this time and again on this blog and recently found a website “FamiliesChange” on their promoting a Canadian charity’s work and, under the very few “resources” listed, ‘coincidentally,’ several by AFCC authors from different states, including Ohio, Maryland, and elsewhere.

That’s pretty blatant influence.  But in self-summarizing, AFCC’s still fails to mention this, either on its “About-AFCC” page or on its “History” page under the same title.  

Perhaps it was felt that the control on the California Judicial Council’s “Center” wasn’t total enough to qualify it as a “collaborator” — or perhaps the control was there, but the desire to admit to it wasn’t. (Names over the years include:  Charlotte Depner, Isolini Ricci, Diane Nunn, and some others.  Of these, Isolini Ricci’s books are often marketed through AFCC circles (nationwide).

Of the above “partners with list of eight names in no particular order, any ones labeled as “Center” or “Institute” within another school are not partners if/and when any such Center is not its own entity.  Rather, the “entity” is the school it’s in.

The statement says its partners “include” but doesn’t claim to list them all; so those which made this list are likely significant.  This list shows it partnering with law schools within specific private Jesuit, and just one public universities, one private association NCJFCJ whose ruling membership are JUDGES (as some, but less exclusively, of AFCC’s also are), and one token “DV advocacy” group BWJP which operated undercover for a few decades before spin-off (possibly only because of Ellen Pence’s death in 2012) and which for the first years of existence (as spun off) didn’t even file full-sized tax returns but Form 990-N postcards.

At that size and with this history (long-term incubated project masking the function and discouraging following the money behind another Minnesota organization), how in the world could it claim to be representative of the larger public’s interests?

For that matter, AFCC itself is small in size, even when taken together with the registered chapters in other US States.  I’m unaware of AFCC registrations in other countries but if such exist other than what I’ve already shown in Canada (AFCC-Ontario), please comment or show me where!

RSI, Inc. & CCR, Inc. in ILLINOIS

RESOLUTION SYSTEMS INSTITUTE, INC. and CENTER FOR CONFLICT RESOLUTION, INC.  both in ILLINOIS represent what looks like two nonprofits (?) out of the exact same street address and suite number with similar purposes, but AFCC only mentions one of them.  Why?

(Note: I presumed there’d be an “Inc.” and intended to check.  On going to check at the Illinois Secretary of State supplied website for this type of check, I found it no longer functions right.  The tax returns do not include the word “Inc.” and it’s possible that one or both of these may be a dba.  Without further re-checking, I do not know for sure.  However I DID find that both have separate EIN#s.  I expect that RSI may have grown out of CCR or a similar organization).

Here is some of the evidence of which entity is which from their websites and from state and/or IRS filings, assuming I can find them.  (Nov. 22 began looking).

~ | RSI | ~ 

A name search of “Resolution Systems Institute” at first came up empty.  I went on-line separately to look for its EIN# and found it on a “mightycause.com” fund-raising page.  RSI’s EIN# is 46-1068004 according to that page.  Here’s a search for tax returns under that EIN#.  As you can see its “Total gross assets” over the last three years have declined.

Total results: 3Search Again.  Resolution Systems Institute, EIN# 461068004, FY= Calendar Year.

It’s now Nov. 2019, so where is FY2018 tax return for FY2018? 

Resolution Systems Institute IL 2017 990 32 $591,245.00 46-1068004
RESOLUTION SYSTEMS INSTITUTE IL 2016 990 35 $721,388.00 46-1068004
RESOLUTION SYSTEMS INSTITUTE IL 2015 990 27 $829,409.00 46-1068004

(Annotated) Image of the same search results done the same day.  One is a screenshot; the table above (with links) was a straight copy of the text & numbers (including active links):

RSI Resolution Systems Institute in IL (EIN#461068004) ~~Searched 2019Nov23 Sat PST


I had researched RSI several years ago, and on reviewing its first year of operation’s Form 990 (only 2013, as well as 2015) I see how it was started up — that several judges were involved (3 board members employed by JAMS, Inc. (which promotes mediation), and two (including one of the 3 employed by JAMS, Inc., Hon. Allen Goldberg) were also judges in Cook County Circuit Court. Notice that the final sentence on Schedule O (Cont’d each year that I saw) was “Governing documents and financial statements available on request for a valid reason.”   … who decides what’s NOT a valid reason?

RSI (AboutRSI.org) (EIN#461068004) FY2013 (YEDec) Form 990 shows RSI is the dba + ‘Court ADR Services NVP the name~about 5 SShots 2019Nov23 Sat PST (Read the Fine Print!) Sched O last entry also of interest.

I’ve read enough tax returns to know that this is a bit unusual.  It’s one obstacle to only provide (at least the audited financial statements) on request, but to demand a “valid” reason indicates that someone may decide to deny them… yet the organization clearly intends to promote ADR and operates to influence court systems, ideally, statewide…

Above: Three Images compare Pg.1 Header (only) of three different Tax Returns (obtained by EIN# search from Candid.org), the Header Info only.  It also captures the single-sentence organization purpose at the bottom (please note). look at Header Part C, first line, second line… The pictures show:

FY2013 — Resolution Systems Institute is the name and Court ADR Services NFP & CAADRS are the (two?) dbas, while the website is still AboutRSI.org.

FY2015 (just two years later) these are reversed:  Resolution Systems Institute is the DBA and Court ADR Services NFP (only) is the name.

FY2017 (Just two more years later) there is no dba and “Resolution Systems Institute” is again the entity name.

I also see that its only liability remains categorized under “Other Liabilities” and as detailed from the start, $589K (“A refundable advance”) — from whom?  

From the start it had also $164K of government grants and more of private.  The tax return for 2013 header which it says was only a half-year of operations, shows “Resolution Systems Institute” as a dba, but two years later (Tax Return FY2015 (also middle row of the above table) Resolution Systems Institute is the entity name and the other two were the “dbas” although knowing which is which is a BASIC part of filling out the header of any tax return (!).



~ | CCR | ~ 

Center for Conflict Resolution in Illinois is EIN# 36-2997680.  There are similarly- or identically-named organizations in other states, based on a name-search from Candid.org, some have now 0.00 assets, one (in Kansas City, Missouri) had changed its name from “Mediation” to “Conflict Resolution.”  This one in Illinois seems to be the largest but as the table shows, its total gross assets are declining, not growing:

Total results: 3Search Again. EIN#362997680 is CCR in Chicago, 1978ff  (CCRChicago.org).

Fiscal yr. ends May 31; so top row is  FY2017.  It’s now Nov. 2019, so where is tax return for FY2018?

Center for Conflict Resolution IL 2018 990 43 $370,752.00 36-2997680
Center for Conflict Resolution IL 2017 990 40 $382,144.00 36-2997680
Center for Conflict Resolution IL 2016 990 35 $490,056.00 36-2997680

CCR searched by EIN#36-29927680 Nov. 23, 2019 (Chicago, Illinois), annotated.  The “$126K” of occupancy expenses (Pt VIII) which I’d recited by memory, on double-check was $126.8K.

(From FY2017 (top row underlying Tax Return, above), Supplemental information (after looking through the return):


Quick comments (not at all complete): In addition, per the return, $175.5K of direct “government grants” show on Pt. VIII Line 1, Revenues, and Part XI (Reconciling Form 990 to Audited Financial Statements) states $118K of donated services or facilities for the year, which would put its “gross receipts just over $1M.”  In other words, the Tax Return doesn’t show this, the financial statements do.  Schedule A of Support for the last several years has a line for services provided by a government unit at no charge: the schedule shows this is ongoing.

The major non-salary expense shown on the tax return (by far) is $126K for Occupancy, out of total $300K “Other expenses.”  Are these the donated services in addition to the $175K gov’t grants.

It also shows $26K of rental income with “no expenses” which makes me wonder, from whom — there being two entities out of the same street and suite# in Chicago, the other being RSI.

…Copied with active links to underlying tax returns from the database provider (image of search results page), notice Candid.org footer shows its EIN# (some organizations do, others don’t) while soliciting donations.  Warning: Before executing any search from this page, a pop-up warning 
“non-secure” shows on my computer; DNK if it would for all viewers.


A tax return is always a start to better understanding any organization, especially when compared with and combined with any website self-descriptions.

Looking at the website (recommended — not that many pages) you can see a 40-hour training with simulations and commitments to serving 18 months.  The mediators are volunteers.  The “STAFF” page topped by a photo of ten people (eight women and just two men) plus descriptions of their brief bio blurbs show some with experience or degrees from Loyola University, prior experience at Resolution Systems Institute and (one person) prior experience with the UCLA Courts.  Executive Director Cassandra Lively (per the tax return) is the only paid officer, and is probably underpaid.  The tax return claimed 16 (not 12) employees.  Doing the math from Page 1 summary (without subtracting for the Exec Director’s $87K), the average pay is only $37K/year — for employees.  There are NO independent contractors shown.

Cassandra Lively, Ph.D. has been on staff at CCR since 2005 in a variety of roles, and now leads the organization’s staff of 12 and dedicated group of more than 180 volunteers in providing the highest quality mediation services and training to the Chicagoland area. During her time at CCR, Cassie has mediated over 350 cases and assisted in the training of more than 250 new mediators. Cassie serves as a Tri-Chair for the Association for Conflict Resolution’s Community Mediation and Restorative Practices Section. She earned a Ph.D. in Sociology from Loyola University Chicago in 2010 with a focus in work, family and gender.

Whitney Trumble (look at Staff page — her photo is not shown.  The following person’s photo is shown next to her bio blurb instead.  Misleading, careless or intentional? (Books are in ℅ Ms.Trumble per the Form 990).

​Whitney Trumble has more than 16 years of experience volunteering, interning and working in the non-profit sector, with a specific focus on international relations, women’s human rights and conflict resolution. After completing her Master’s program from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs in 2009, Whitney returned to her home state of Illinois to work in alternative dispute resolution, first with Resolution Systems Institute and then with CCR. Before assuming her current position, Whitney worked with the Cook County Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program as a case manager and then Supervisor of Case Management

CCRChicago.org (Center for Conflict Resolution) Staff member Rae Kyritsi (J.D. Loyola and adjunct professor there, certified in several types of mediation and as a trainer). for my “About-AFCC” post Nov. 2019 (cf. Resolution Systems Institute at the same address.

The page is short enough to review all staff bio paragraphs, but the above image just point out another, Rae Kyritsi, Programs Director with Loyola University connection (J.D. 2012, BA from UW-Madison 2005) (AFCC is in Madison, WI, or at least its Executive Director Peter Salem is, and the street address), and adjunct professor there, certified mediator for:  civil, criminal, elder, and family disputes and a certified trainer.  Pls. review the tax returns for the overview.

I just went to look up the entity registration, at the state level, only to find a significant roadblock on the same database I’ve used for years on this blog to show certain Illinois entities (including AFCC) and for more in-depth look at their business registrations.  Because of the new (to me) obstruction to completing this basic search now, I tweeted an alert on it (incl. to the Governor of Illinois and the Illinois Secretary of State website (Twitter account) which features the same “Cyberdrive”).  I also find that Twitter now doesn’t let me just “link” to a Tweet only “embed” it.  So I’ve embedded the first (of a thread) as a footnote here, and may not be able to completely my own lookups (for state registrations) on the Illinois secretary of state-affiliated database for either CCR here, or RSI as I had before and also for several other organizations.

If this is a new “status quo” (I hope it’s not!) — that’s a major roadblock in public accountability delivered in time this year for a holiday season (Thanksgiving) in which, physically, plenty of people will be travelling and engaging in business in the state.  Suddenly the database for validating registration of in-state corporations (including nonprofits) goes haywire — or was restructured to pretend to deliver without actually doing so, functionally?  If so, that’s on the Governor’s Office, as the Governor is responsible for the Executive branch of government in this state. I find this interest ingbecause Gov.Pritcher and his wife are also heavily involved with some entities in North Carolina in the early childhood education (Universal preschool for all, universal home visitation for all, cradle-to-career etc pipelines — that is, establishing and maintaining them)…

My embedded Tweet is on a Footnote (under “ChicagoLand” one), I’ll call it: “CyberdriveIllinois.com, WTF?” Be sure to read the whole thread so it makes sense.

OK, now let’s look at the eight listed AFCC “Partners” (it does call them that); I’m copying my (color-coded) quote from above, but now will list in bulleted or (as possible) chart format so we can get a look at the overriding characteristic/s, or at least summarize, having looked at the strangeness of the “Resolutions Systems Institute” (EIN#: 2012ff; website claims: 1995ff) with its changing dbas and co-location with (not mentioned) Center for Conflict Resolution (dating back to 1978).

For a statement that the RSI actually started in 1995 to be true, the meaning of the name would have to have changed somewhere in there (or, the database I was able to look at — IRS tax returns via Candid.org) somehow wrong.  For example, if RSI was first a program, then eventually someone decided it was time to spin off and register as its own entity (or, as an entity wiith some name, as yet undetermined, and at least two dbas, and utilizing a loan of nearly $600K from somewhere (classified as a “Debit – Other”) and having by FY2013 several judges or retired judges on its board of directors, three of them employed by JAMS (promoting mediation internationally), well…

This time, I’ve completed the labeling for Werner Institute by adding its related Law School, and because it’s a law school, adding that background-color.  Anything I added (not shown in first quote, above) I’ll also put in red font.

As before, I’ve color-coded parts of this paragraph:  teal bolded = a nonprofit; light-yellow background &  underlined = a law school (this time including the one housing Werner Institute for Negotiation and Conflict Resolution), and I underlined and bolded a few parts

….AFCC partners include the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, Hofstra Law School Center for Children, Families and the Law, Battered Women’s Justice Project, Werner Institute for Negotiation and Conflict Resolution at Creighton University School of Law (Omaha, Nebraska), University of Baltimore School of Law Center for Children, Families and the Courts, Loyola University Chicago School of Laws Civitas ChildLaw Center, Resolution Systems Institute [Donate Page] and Marquette University Law School (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) Dispute Resolution Program.

In list format, that’d be (this times segregating the (centers within) law schools from the straight nonprofits):
  • National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, (Reno, Nevada, ca. 1975ff)
  • Battered Women’s Justice Project, (Minneapolis, Minnesota, ca. 2013ff)
  • Resolution Systems Institute [Donate Page] (Chicago, Illinois) (Tax returns say, 2012ff)

I also reviewed the NCJFCJ web page and its most recent (available there) Form 990.  There are three related entities to NCJFCJ, but one thing I wanted to comment on (not show — I want this post out; you can look it up) is that its grants (NOT major portion of expenditures) to others included to just 11 entities, one of which was (mis)labeled “Center for Court Innovation” in New York (that’s a project:  Last I looked the recipient EIN# holder was “Fund for the City of New York,” started up in 1968 by (either Ford or Rockerfellers, and I keep forgetting which). It also granted a small amount to the BWJP.  Of note:  NCJFCJ’s PRIMARY source of revenue (grants) of about $9M that year included $8M — $7M from the USDOJ and $1M from the US DHHS.

So given that AFCC likes to “partner with” both NCJFCJ and BWJP, it could be said objectively based on just this list that it likes to partner with nonprofits taking a nice dose (if not dependent upon) U.S. Federal government grants and (as to both RSI and BWJP) belatedly declaring themselves as actual entities filing tax returns.  The Canadian chapter of AFCC (Ontario, not discussed here but it exists) I also looked at and posted on this summer; its funding was harder to track, but some could be found). As to NCJFCJ you can read their web page for distinctions between voting “Active” members ((mostly judges, but “Life and Sustaining” members, sometimes judges but possibly other private entities who “Sustain” enough can also vote).

I have also been thinking recently, with NCJFCJ starting about 1975, why was there even a need for AFCC also, in the mid 1970s (which is when it began to incorporate as the State of California started leaning on it to do so….)…? Anyone have any ideas?

It also clearly likes to partner with law schools…. that is, with universities (the Centers aren’t “entities” so any partnership would have to be with an actual entity.

  • Hofstra Law School Center for Children, Families and the Law (See Hofstra but likely before late 1990s per Archive.org)
  • Werner Institute for Negotiation and Conflict Resolution at Creighton University School of Law (Omaha, Nebraska), (2005ff, website says)
  • University of Baltimore School of Law Center for Children, Families and the Courts, (about 2000)
  • Loyola University Chicago School of Laws Civitas ChildLaw Center, and
  • Marquette University Law School (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) Dispute Resolution Program.

How odd that no one from the West Coast USA, or even any Western states (except Nevada) was listed…. Perhaps not wishing to draw attention to close to home “stomping ground” which California certainly was, has been, and in many ways still is for AFCC operations?

Of the five law schools involved, three are Catholic and Jesuit (Hofstra is nonsectarian).

Marquette is one of only two law schools in the state and the only private one.  It’s got an interesting history and some very large donors in recent years. (Wikipedia remains available and the university’s website).  ALL of these centers seem to be (like AFCC itself) focused on promoting dispute/conflict/mediation including for family court disputes and training others (if not certifying) them to do this.

One nonprofit and one (Jesuit) law school as well as (legal entity itself) AFCC are in Chicago or Chicagoland.  Look at your map of the Great Lakes area:  Milwaukee (Marquette) and Minneapolis, MN (BWJP) aren’t that far a drive away..

Another look at an early tax return of Resolution Systems Institute (or WHATEVER is its real name) describes their activities.  I can’t expand the image large enough (or it’ll be too wide), so I’ll quote it.  You have the link above.  This might help explain just how big and coordinated the push to get everyone OUT of the courtrooms and settling their differences without a paper trail, through third parties of dubious neutrality (when the courtrooms themselves were set up in part by some of these partners)…. This is from page two (Part III Line 4a) of its FY2013 tax return, describing its “program services.”  Incidentally, there are NO program service revenues…

(Code ) (Expenses $ 117,768 including grants of $ ) (Revenue $ {none})

Mediation Programs – RSI works with courts to develop, improve and sometimes conduct ADR programs as an adjunct to traditional litigation These programs free courts to focus on cases that require judicial attention, while enabling disputing parties to reach resolutions faster, at a lower cost and in a more satisfying manner RSI’s work often starts with a contact by a leading judge from an interested jurisdiction Services vary by program, but typically include reaching out to mediation proponents, providing expert guidance for stakeholder meetings, drafting or refining court rules, providing sample forms, and designing program monitoring systems In some programs, RSI also provides specialized training of neutrals, on-site program administration, and monitoring and evaluation services RSI partners with courts, attorneys, mediators and other community members to develop mediation programs for major civil litigation, including foreclosure, small claims, including landlord/tenant, family, including child custody and financial issues, and criminal and juvenile cases In response to the foreclosure crisis, RSI has been leading the way in foreclosure mediation research and program design since 2010

But “RSI” it says is a d/b/a, and the organization’s own tax return says it wasn’t founded until 2012, it shows no funds received until 2013, makes it clear that’s when operations started (keep reading) — so under whose umbrella was it operating “leading the way” (and under what name?) in 2010?  Also note it began with foreclosure activities as a focus.

In the summer of 2013, RSI was one of three recipients of large, three-year grants from the Illinois Attorney General to incubate foreclosure mediation in Illinois In partnership with Northern Illinois University Law School, RSI is collaborating to design, implement and conduct foreclosure mediation programs in three Illinois judicial circuits – the 16th Judicial Circuit (Kane County), the 17th Judicial Circuit (Winnebago County) and the 19th Judicial Circuit (Lake County) These are part of a statewide program of ten pilot programs for which RSI developed and is conducting foreclosure mediator training, is developing a statewide case management and program monitoring system, and is collaborating with the University of Illinois College of Law to conduct two statewide program evaluations…

From parallel place on the FY2015 tax return, it reads similarly:

Mediation Programs – RSI works with courts to develop, improve and administer ADR programs as an adjunct to traditional litigation These programs free courts to focus on cases that require judicial attention, while enabling disputing parties to reach resolutions faster, at a lower cost and in a more satisfying manner Services vary by program, but typically include reaching out to mediation proponents, providing expert guidance for stakeholder meetings, drafting or refining court rules, providing sample forms, and designing program monitoring systems In some programs, RSI also provides specialized training of neutrals, on-site program administration, and monitoring and evaluation services RSI partners with courts, attorneys, mediators and other community members to develop mediation programs for major civil litigation, including foreclosure, small claims, including landlord/tenant, family, including child custody and financial issues, child protection, and criminal and juvenile cases RSI is currently conducting foreclosure mediation programs in four Illinois counties Kane, Lake Winnebago and Boone

“and financial issues” probably includes financial and/or spousal support issues; the former are known to have federal support for “increased noncustodial parenting time” incentives since 1988.

It’s probably also fair to say that AFCC likes to be around the money, and get in the middle where there’s something to be made of it — negotiating, training, diverting things OUT of the courtroom, and establishing ITS people (or its partners’ people) in the middle.  Creighton University Werner Institute has a single paragraph expressing appreciation for the rich gift of the C.L. Werner family:

…thanks to a generous gift from the C.L. Werner family, creating the most richly endowed program of its kind in the country…

As I recall, that’s a nationwide trucking/transportation industry wealth.  I do not want to re-research it, but to get this post out.  (The longer any post is, the more cumbersome the writing and editing process)..

AFCC also likes to operate at times openly and at times not so openly, over the decades, which lesson I hope all understand as significant!

As a tax-exempt entity, it keeps a low profile financially; but its members are well-positioned to leverage power over the involved courts. Oh yes — and there seems to be a built-in element of dishonesty while saving the world (especially the kids), when it comes to reporting like grown-ups on things other grown-ups deserve to know. Like the truth about their own home legal domicile, and just how often they’ve started illicitly right out of county buildings, including court-houses, etc.

If you do not come with power and money (or willing to exploit others for the benefit of those who do, as many of the professionals — male and female both —  seem to do when characterizing single mothers) and are not too particular about complying with “domestic” (that is USA-specific) laws, this just might be the career for you.  Get on that conference circuit, join up, pass the costs on to your clients and enjoy conferences in distant locations internationally, which can then also be listed on the resumes as (if) a sign of talent and being in demand among colleagues.

Also, how odd that the AFCC About-AFCC page here didn’t feature one single school of professional psychology center — only law schools!


For now, then…///LGH Nov. 23, 2019.


Footnote “To Improve” or do anything else indicates only intent, not necessarily accomplishment

In reality, generally and for AFCC HERE, the claim to intend to ‘improve’ justifies attempts to steer, direct, and commandeer control the means by which to improve. Where AFCC is concerned, “training” is a primary method. Generally overall, the larger theme is privatization of government functions (placing them beyond the reach and consent or objections of most people, i.e., common people who have most at stake and have invested up front in programs because they work and pay taxes and because where they may not affect individuals directly for any specific policy (i.e., not all people have children, divorce, file for protection (or child support), or approach social services for help paying basic household bills), these policies will affect their communities, neighbors, etc..

FOOTNOTE: Leadership Council on Child Abuse & IPV Hide-&-Seek in Michigan

Footnote “LEADERSHIP COUNCIL Tax Returns Hide&Seek

Continued from an 11/25/2019 insert, above.
I could not find the Leadership Council as a registered business under “LARA” any more in Michigan (where I looked because years ago, I had) after many searches, so I went to the IRS “Exempt Orgs. Select Search,” word-search “interpersonal” and came up with only three results, including this entity, to find its EIN#.  The organization is disturbingly small (and a bit evasive) as to its filings — see below.  It files alternately electronic post-cards only (revenues under $50K = that’s all that’s required) and did so for FY 2013,2016, and 2017.  Having now the EIN# I was hopeful to find a more substantial tax return, but it filed only Forms 990EZ (which doesn’t ask the filer for legal domicile OR year founded); and found these for FY2012, 2014 and 2015. Knowing at least a few officers or associated professionals’ names, I searched for them (Silberg, Dallam) without results, back at LARA, and then searched for the identified leadership at the IRS (Last name “Stien” (Not found), and then “Stein” in case it was a mis-spelling (deliberate or typo) and found one coffee shop in Midland, Michigan — not this organization.  I was unable after several guesses to tweak the existing url for the Forms 990EZ (℅ “Candid.org” as usual) to an earlier year and unwilling to do the “needle in a haystack” routine with variables:  “Form 990EZ or not” “different Fiscal Year Ending” etc. to get back to a year which actually claims a founding year.  Thus I do not know what year it was organized.

I do know pretty much where it stands on exposing (or not exposing) AFCC over the years while seeking a platform and megaphone by virtue of actually having a nonprofit name to cite for news media or on blogs it’s hoped battered and/or protective mothers will continue to re-post, re-tweet, and refer to.  This organization and its collective viewpoints as found on-line does not pass my basic “Smell Test,” that is looking for basic honesty on what it’s doing and why.  I also did (via email and/or content many years ago) asked bluntly why, given such a concern and protest of “PAS” as a key theme, it won’t handle the existence of a key organization promoting the theory and policy and practices to counter-act it IN the family court systems.  My email as I recall had located a Belgian university (in “Liege”) offering training in countering “PAS.”  Seems to me if the genuine desire was to protest or stop usage of this theory, it’s only logical to address who’s been sponsoring the expansion of the specialty…  As with many other organizations I’ve asked the same basic question:  No Answer…Silence.

FOOTNOTE:  Once You’re Aware AFCC Exists, You’ll find it Not Hard To Find!

Once anyone is aware that AFCC EXISTS, it’s not hard to see where one appointee in any jurisdiction (or individual case) calls in another, to add credibility to the “stop parental alienation” (or sudden-custody-switch etc.) case.

One of the first ones I noticed on a high-profile “stop alienation” case in New York (the Mom even got jailed for alienating this time…fathers’ rights groups were gloating over this) about a decade ago, involved (by recall): Pegge (or Peggie) Ward, Demosthenes Lorandos, and one other H. Benjamin J. Garber, Ph.D., J.D., ABPP (of the many initials), though I may not have it exactly right.  See two nearby images). (Short section as I quickly look this up, post-publication.  Added section is background-color light-pink and has some good links to pdfs again illustrating when AFCC may or may not be mentioned, references are often drenched with authors known to be AFCC.  See also “Family Court Review” cites or (in the 1990s it was apparently “Family & Conciliation Court Review.”  I’ve seen “Court” in both singular and plural when cited, so suggest omit the “s” in any document search.//LGH Dec. 2&3, 2019.

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

Last name, Benjamin, Parenting Evaluation/Training Program. His LinkedIn (checked Dec 2, 2019) shows he got both JD and PhD (in Psychology) from the Univ. of Arizona btw. 1980-1985; a PETP website website has a reference to Arizona AFCC (though mis-labeled; see “Annette T. Burns” on this page, under “Testimonials from other presentations” (one of just two, near the bottom)

(My Media Library Search discovered one book on co-parenting by a Benjamin D. Garber and an image from a certain newsletter of an APA Specialty Association, different initials, DNR which was associated with the other two. looking it up now (update Dec. 2, 2019)….

G. Andrew H. Benjamin J.D., Ph.D., ABPP (left) DN show AFCC on his CV, (<~~link) but is found quoted with plenty of PAS materials (2010) in an article?  published online from American Journal of Family Therapy which is filled with references to AFCC and quotes of authors who are.  This piece has about 30pp of single-spaced references, which start around p. 149 (before the short Appendices A & B).  Only found looking to clarify which “Benjamin” was which, at ‘Parental Alienation:  DSM-V, ICD-11, by Wm. Bernet, Wilfrid von Boch-Galhau, Amy J.L. Baker, & Stephen L. Morrison’ (2010) in The American Journal of Family Therapy, 38:2, 76-187 https://doi.org/10.1080/01926180903586583

(Routledge/Taylor&Francis On-Line 12March2010 (ParentalAlienationResearch.com). Knowledge of who are William Bernet (and Amy J.L. Baker) may help navigate this piece; 24 Refs to “Family Court Review” and 6 to “Family & Conciliation Courts Review” (Earlier version of the same)….

AmerJournalFamTherapy ~~ParentalAlienationResearch.com, 2010 (Wm Bernet et al), refs p 156 show Benjamin D. Garber (4 cites incl one in FCR) ~~Screen Shot 2019Dec02

Its only mention of G. Andrew Benjamin is in references, p. 162, “Hysjulien, C., Wood, B., & Benjamin, G. A. (1994). Child custody evaluations: A review of methods used in litigation and alternative dispute resolution. Family & Conciliation Courts Review, 32(4), 466–489.”

Four mentions of “Garber” (i.e., Benjamin D. Garber, above right image), at least one in “Family Court Review” occur in same document, right before page after page (1970s, 1980s) of Richard A. Gardner, obviously next alphabetically in the PAS panorama (see nearby image or page 156 of the above reference).  Benjamin D. Garber probably the psychologist associated with the PCANH I referenced also in this footnote, and probably the one I was thinking of originally as associated with the others (D. Lorandos and P. Ward).

Another situation I discovered in New Hampshire (again, MANY years ago) was how the PCANH.org (Parent Coordinators Association of New Hampshire) trained – literally-rehearsed through a “typical” case the “bad-Mom” routine.  The list of recommended parent coordinators happened to also be mostly AFCC members.  Their model was apparently drawn from one in Indiana, a midwestern US state known for its conservatism and (if you follow such things) repeated attempts to pass more fatherhood legislation (“Julia Carson Responsible Fatherhood” act). I posted a series on this at the time (Evaluate, Coordinate…Call out Alienate) and have referred to those posts at times in my sticky posts as significant finds on the blog.  They revealed  HOW the collaborations took place.

I have seen also instances where officials from Pennsylvania traveled TO Indiana for ideas on “Changing the Culture of Custody” and more.  Over the years I also blogged these as I could between court cases, missing my own children, changing households and changing degrees of personal economic survival, access to ANY internet (or input device, i.e., functional computer)…  Indiana, like Kansas, is known for its conservative (and patriarchal) tendencies overall.

Even in my current post (Stuck long-term in “draft”) on Arizona, the AFCC professional involved (perhaps conflicted about whether or not to admit her affiliation for an NIJ_funded piece.  Or perhaps NOT too conflicted — it was glossed over), the individual mentioned “friends in Indiana” and indeed there are some academics at Indiana University also where you might expect (psychological / “brain science” centers) (Search Holzworth-Munroe on this blog).

These very much fathers-first (patriarchal) values often trickle down into policies.  AFCC practitioners seemed to love ’em, too, as they seem to love (a) exercising their own collaborative power (“leadership”) and (b) ongoing access to vulnerable kids.



Not news to most people, but still I’m mentioning the reminders.

Chicagoland as a large metropolitan area and Illinois as a state seem key power-houses in leadership in the “responsible fatherhood” movements (Jeffrey Leving, Esq.) and within recent memory had a senator who became U.S. President, another legislator who was incarcerated for attempting to sell the vacancy created by that Senator, and many other interesting elements of corruption in various spheres of public institutions.  Current governor Pritzker has jumped on the “early childhood education” bandwagon, First Five Years Fund, LLC and Ounce of Prevention, Inc. (Double check legal domiciles)

Footnote: CyberdriveIllinois.com, WTF?  

Added Nov. 23, 2019, on finding and to explain a database I suddenly found dysfunctional. If those asked for feedback respond, I should find out soon whether it was my error (on wrong site) but I have a strong feeling it’s not.

(You may need to click on a media “icon” below to see the media I attached to them.  It’s about a 4 or 5-post thread all dated 11/23; the last one asks those tagged (addressed) to check it out for me and get back to me on whether it worked for them or not.  I’m especially curious if anyone overseas can do an (individual searches only — there are warnings about using the site for anything unauthorized, including bulk downloads, etc.).


To go back to the top of this post, click on its title: “AFCCnet.org/About/About-AFCC” is (Still) Long on Labels, Short on Content, Cleverly Obscuring What Its (Only Eight) Featured  Collaborators Have in Common… (Publ. Nov. 23, 2019). (short-link ends “-bFi” published without tags).

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

November 23, 2019 at 7:07 pm

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

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