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

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“AFCC-aligned in the UK (and Australia)”: CAFCASS, Relate, Resolution First, (And in Australia: add AIFS & ANROWS) w/ help from The Nuffield Foundation Incubating a ‘Family Justice Observatory’ (With Easily Identifiable CAFCASS, AFCC and Fathers’ Rights Connections) through 2023 [Drafted Oct-Nov., 2021; Publ. May 12, 2022].

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Before you read this post perhaps read the lead-in, at The Widening Credibility Gap between the Long-Term, Chronic Family-Court-Beleagured and the UNbeleagured FamilyCourtReform/ist + DV Advocacy Experts Reporting on (Us) [May 4, 2022] (short-link ends “-eus” which seems appropriate to the topic here). …. if I’ve published it by then.  If not, read it soon after: these are a pair and (I hope) go public within one day of each other.

Post Title: “AFCC-aligned in the UK (and Australia)”: CAFCASS, Relate, Resolution First, (And in Australia: add AIFS & ANROWS) w/ help from The Nuffield Foundation Incubating a ‘Family Justice Observatory’ (With Easily Identifiable CAFCASS, AFCC and Fathers’ Rights Connections) through 2023 [Oct-Nov., 2021 draft].. (case-sensitive short-link ends “-dd3”).

Preview, “Where I Stand” and Disclaimer (not too long).

Don’t get too excited on “Disclaimer” — it only applies to inter-post copyediting to check points of reference — not fact-checking on the content itself.

On reviewing this post right before finally publishing it mid-May, 2022, I diverted its section on the coordinated use of mantras, but my related Widening Credibility Gap post may still refer to it.  My staff of (so far) no one doesn’t edit for cross-coordination of internal references among related posts. The purpose is to publish enough information on every post to provoke some deeper thinking and to exhort (urge, beg, warn, plead with) people to be wary of passive consumption/absorption of the theories, presumptions, and pre-fabricated Family Court, Domestic Abuse/Violence/”Coercive Control” and Child Abuse “fixes” coordinated internationally and, as to state-jurisdiction matters within the USA, nationwide.

This “preview” section addresses that practice — the coordinated use of shared mantras to conform governments more and more with each other, despite different constitutions and the different values expressed in those constitutions over the decades or centuries. Below this preview, my post content (marked by another headline) documents what its title describes:  some of how this is done, naming specific entities. So the preview does summarize the more detailed content below. That’s where more colorful images, links, uploaded media and quotes begin.  Right here:  this is my thinking and opinion.


Coordination of those mantras among at a minimum the organizations mentioned here is international, as citations among academics and advocates within governments, within university centers, and people running advocacy charities and/or the curricula and trainings those charities promote  repeatedly show.

My next sentence has a long subject labeling the single word “preference.”  It is still one subject with one verb “reveals” and just one direct object “agenda” which is also described as “much larger” than an alternate agenda obviously NOT preferred by certain people and their organizations speaking in internationally-coordinated mantras.

The preference of selling “mantras” delivered by experts over encouraging ALL of the public to acquire the needed skills and with those skills consistently exercise independent analysis based on independent observation reveals an agenda much larger than solving the named problems: including some of the original problem-solving courts.  The more I read and learn, the more I must acknowledge that choices were made long ago to limit access to independent analysis to only certain classes, ALL of which relates to the nature of government and social control tactics employed by it. I have however been basically saying (and blogging) this now for over a decade.  

Above, I mentioned the “Nuffield Family Justice Observatory.”  Look through its website — or Cafcass — or similar ones –and notice how graphic, visually engaging and how full of blank white (or other background color) primary colors or very bright colors, their home pages and most of their content is, even the “annual reports” or strategy statements.  Are we all now to be watching cartoons and thinking in such images? Are we to be treated like infants with short attention spans and who need pretty colors to stay on topics pre-chosen for us by overseers?

The question “internationally coordinated mantras” raises is: how much globalization is acceptable?

How much of the world should be setting national (or NGO member states’) government policy to match (for just one example) UN Sustainable Development Goals?  

Why is “global” now glorified among advocates (including “#familyCourtReformists”) and a constant gesture, while the specific “domestic” (internal to this country) or “local” (meaning, in the USA, sometimes an entire very large state such as California, Texas, or (geographically) Alaska basic information never makes it significantly to the top publicity level, media messaging, or advocacy rhetoric?

I’m well aware of the United States’ shortcomings (it’s where I’ve lived), but I debate and reject the practice of integrating the values systems sold under specific symbolic and innately self-contradictory branding (mantras) of former empires and colonizers with monarchs, official, designated caste systems, and national religions — or the opposite, official state opposition to religion/atheism/socialism. Here’s how I feel about all of it:

I’m sick of what I call “FamilyCourtReformists” including but not limited to  the United States Federal government-controlled (through strategic centralized public funds) but privately exercised within the states and regionally “DV Industry here:

I’m sick of their rhetoric, policies, self-descriptions, their withholding on almost EVERY website their own financials and typically even EIN#s, knowing well taxpayers fund them; their withholding on almost EVERY website, their documented collaboration (as if a GOOD thing) with known fathers-rights (more technically, when it’s phrased according to their funding sources, “fatherhood-promoting”) organizations and entities.

I’m sick of such people, talking of their various entities and too many non-entities, such as the National Family Violence Law Center (at George Washington University) or the “National Safe Parents Coalition” at (God knows where — “it” doesn’t specify: there’s a website, but no legal domicile mentioned) and others, such as and/or even at University of California, Irvine, an “EndFamilyViolence.UCI.edu” center:  exploiting their residence or connections here at top U.S. universities) claiming concern for us (who have been battered and abused and somehow are still “alive and kicking” and to our children — especially any little (still minor) children, especially any — and mothers, I do apologize for using this term, but it applies — “dead kids” (murdered children) — to audiences elsewhere in the world, while we who have been sidelined, betrayed, and “thrown under the bus” (Family Law Courts and elsewhere) know quite well what they cover up and [probably for this reason: it interrupts the controlled scripts] have systematically excluded from the international dialogue.

Note: my calling out the above types does not in any way endorse or approve the substantial, similarly* organized but differently labeled, and also Welfare-Reform advantaged “marriage/fatherhood-promotion” crowd USA, and, likewise, with ONGOING centers at various universities (sometimes a program will migrate to another university with its founder), i.e., the “healthy marriage/responsible fatherhood” and (it accompanies and needs for full effectiveness in the family court systems) “access and visitation” grants stream from federal government targeting state operations to influence custody outcomes in favor of fathers and to discourage (sideline the cause of) full separation from abuse by mothers trying to do exactly that.

The first many years of my blog exposed this and talked about it (the “fathers’ rights” contingent, federally funded) “all the time.” I just feel that now it’s time to show how the “DV / Family Court Reform” groups have all along failed to acknowledge this even exists — that is, habitually lied to the public and to clients (women) who come to them for help — Nor, on public or the private tax-exempt advocacy corporations websites, has anyone, really, been taught to explore audited financial statements of governments (for better understanding) or of private entities required to produce them, or for that matter, generally, even IRS tax returns where such are required.

I know — I don’t even speculate, it’s not speculation any more — that, taken as a whole, this represents something far larger and more significant than either of the causes (fathers’ rights promotion, protection of women and children) spoken of.

I may not be significantly heard but out of conscience, concern, and (I say), love for the truth, and uprightness, justice — and hatred of the opposite so built into policymaking — I have spoken. As long as this blog is active (and, with whatever I can preserve of it should it become inactive) my words are witness to what I said when.  Look back in a few years and see whether I was right or wrong… but I still say, better to think about these issues now and IF I’m right (as I said in blog posts ca. March 2014, “WHAT IF I’M RIGHT HERE?”), a different response is in order to what we are being coached and encouraged to agree to by chief advocates pro/con any cause — and especially on ones involving life and death matters and (for the extremely high marketing value on claiming this concern) the safety and welfare of children.

I say this for next generations of women and mothers and their children, and fathers — the decent ones, not the over-entitled ones:  “QUIT being played one against another!!” Where apparent conflicts of fact and basic truth lie, there is a why.  Dig deep enough to see the lowest common denominator.  If you haven’t even dug for a few financials to rule out greed (i.e. accounting anomalies or dark areas facilitating or criminal-levels of fraud, theft, embezzlement, etc.) as  a possible cause (since when was “the love of money” NOT the root  of all evil —  or even a primary cause among many…)  you haven’t scratched the surface.

At what point…after how many years, or indicators they matter… does “I haven’t dug for a few financials” become “I won’t…don’t care to…don’t think it’s relevant… if it’s so important, why aren’t the experts aren’t doing this, or or more of my friends?” For some, this is a matter of using the mirror into one’s own reasoning and life choices.//LGH (Let’s Get Honest) May 12, 2022.

 

The Post’s Title Content Begins Here:

“AFCC-aligned in the UK (and Australia)”: CAFCASS, Relate, Resolution First, (And in Australia: add AIFS & ANROWS)

How’d I get to that topic THIS time?

Post Origins As I recall (see how long it’s been in draft), I’d run across more information on the Nuffield Family Justice Observatory (FJO) following a strange possible marital connection from Florida-based Hon. Ginger Lerner-Wren (See Page. 64 in this Sitting Florida Judges biographies, alpha by last-name, as of 2019)

I just now learned about HiiL.org, and its INNOVATINGforJustice forum. Although not based in USA, it cites Denver’s IAALS as a partner in its 2020 Annual Report. That’s significant for people who understand AFCC’s agenda and specific purposes. Context: Judge Ginger Lerner-Wren, speaker at HiiL.org forum with bio blurb. I should (or someone should!) publicize the existence of this organization. Read its strategy & 2020 Annual report on main website. Here, for a May, 2022 post on (something else, actually).

Judge Ginger Lerner-Wren, speaker at HiiL.org forum with bio blurb. See nearby image about the forum.. For a May, 2022 post on (something else, actually) [Click image to enlarge, I think, or click through to read the text better].

In looking for a decent photo, I ran across her featured at the unusual website “Hiil.org” which stands for “Hague Institute for Innovation of Law” and is based, predictably, in The Hague, Netherlands.  It’s basically a forum, her name, and a brief bio blurb.  Nice to know this international “forum” to restructure justice for billions of people according to the Sustainable Development Goals approves of a Mental Health Court (Criminal Court) judge from Florida.  See https://innovatingjusticeforum.hiil.org/speakers/judge-ginger-lerner-wren/ and I’ve included two images.

Learn about Lerner-Wren’s historic appointment to the nation’s first Mental Health Court in 1997 and to G.W. Bush’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health on this (strange, at parts, starting page 3) c.v. dated Dec. 2020.  This was not a FAMILY but a CRIMINAL Court in Broward County, Florida.  She also has a book out, “Court of Refuge” about this experience, available on Amazon.

Go to page 12, its last paragraph, where I was surprised to find she’s married to a man with connections to Denmark and Australia. (The Hon. Lerner-Wren was born in Brooklyn, but educated at  and historically associated with NovaSoutheastern (Psychology). This c.v. was posted at “psychology.nova.edu” **

** My Comments here are secondary but  important to the development across the USA of DV/Family Court Reform policy. (Some NOVA people, and with this inset I’ve just given you two now, have been active in domestic violence and “Broken Family Courts” policy and publications, keeping the field’s discussions in the behavioral health realm. See Dr. Leonore Walker, PhD’s c.v. (dated Aug. 2019)

(I think you should bookmark this one.  Walker’s focus is psychology, but domestic-violence involved and notice the positions (1998-2018 at Nova, presentations at IVAT, work in other countries). Note: many psychologists with PhD’s like to be called “Dr.” which is technically OK, but I still think a bit misleading, given common association with the M.D.’s of the world.  Her personal website: DrLeonoreWalker.com.  I’m particularly (annoyed) with her involvement in the Cummings 2012 conference and production of (conference material later turned into a book) “Our Broken Family Courts,” which I blogged at the time.  (Ad for the 2012 book for sale ℅ the university, three authors include Dr. Walker and the two Cummings). Not relevant to this post, though… That book and conference adopted (it seems, wholessale) an agenda presented to them by Garland Waller’s “No Way Out But One,” basically reporting the problems in a film, without real analysis and as facilitated and supported by (Center for Judicial Excellence’s) Kathleen Russell.  I know (had personal contact with) a woman  who was there, who also gave her feedback (she walked into the conference within advance warning, it seems, and immediately sensed the power-seeking of Ms. Russell.  However, I don’t need that personal report of an attendee to come to an opinion on what transpired there (based on pariicpants and follow-up).  Check  blog “ARCHIVES” for my Spring, 2012, posts for more insight, if you wish.

Regarding the Florida Judge’s c.v. and Origins of This Post:  How I ended up revisiting the Nuffield FJO:

Education and Academic Affiliations:

Judge Lerner-Wren graduated from University of Miami, Undergraduate (1980) BA, Politics and Public Affairs, Nova Southeastern University School of Law, J.D. 1983

Nova Southeastern University (NSU), Center for Psychological Studies, Board of Advisors, 1998-2006 … [the next reference has the word “Collage” mis-spelled, after which all “Presentations” occur in run-on text with no line breaks for several pages…]


Personal: (from the c.v.)

Judge Lerner-Wren was born in Brooklyn, New York. Judge Wren Lerner-Wren is married to Dr. Bent Nielsen. Their family includes two adult children in U.S. and immediate family in Denmark and Australia.

Page 114, May 2014, photo of Lerner-Wren with her then-spouse Bent Nielsen, at Broward-County FL NAMI fund-raiser. Image here, May 10, 2022, however, for another blog purpose).. Draft (since last fall & still) post short-link ends “-dd3”. Active once published…

(link to photo (full page, Pg. 114) from a May, 2014 “City and Shore” mag, fund-raising for charity NAMI in Broward County).  It may not be the same man but my thinking it was led me to Nuffield College.  There IS a “Bent Nielsen” there…

This a Dr. Bent Nielsen. Whether he is the same  “Bent Nielsen” ex-spouse of a well-known USA Mental Health Court Judge in Broward County FL (not enough info, or good enough quality images, to say for sure), this one is shown at Nuffield College, Oxford Univ, UK. Read the Wiki (or more) on this college to underestand the wealth and uniqueness of it in the history of Oxford, and POSSIBLY why so much focus on the field, decades later, internationally also.

Whether or not the man in England was the judge’s (now ex-) husband,  this  Dr. Bent Neilsen (a mathematician and economis, see image to right) was, maybe still is, at Nuffield College.


While I was reading about that college (you should too!) and better understanding how “social science” oriented, and unusual for its time that college was, I also ran across the Nuffield FJO (not part of the college, although sheis listed there), Director, Lisa Harker (LinkedIn), at Nuffield College within Oxford University, (bio blurb calls her “child poverty tsar”), and finally, under “our People” at the FJO, for which see the next image gallery (and, towards the bottom, notice Teresa Williams (also of AFCC) and Sir James Munphy…. This post isn’t about one individual, it’s about the organizations and government bodies involved…

Maybe I’ll include more few images from the FJO staff to illustrate the significance of their other associations and connections towards the bottom, to show who’s involved, and how the American connections are downplayed, and (for one person at the FJO) mis-labeled — but are indeed there.


Disclaimer: The points of reference here are something to take into account when dealing with key players in the handling of child protection and domestic abuse [fka “violence”] (prevention) as well those in as custody, visitation, divorce and child support issues within the family court systems across national divides — especially when those systems differ from country to country.

Unfreeze – Change – Refreeze.

Establish an administrative super-privileged layer of

Unreachable/Economically Unaccountable to the public for its use of public funds

Public/Private “priesthood” of “Best practices”

(I discuss the above theme more on a companion post, (“Widening Credibility Gap...” shortlink ends ‘eus’ currently (5/11/2022) still in draft), and am just referencing it here…)


Many of the experts cited, collaborated with, quoted, and sometimes even on boards within non-USA charities or (for example, Cafcass or Cafcass Cymru, or the Australian or Canadian equivalents, if such exist,^^ I gather aren’t particularly fond of the restrictions and limits of the United States Constitution to regulate criminal and family court matters at the states level.

By their actions and often names, or mottos, we can see (deduce) that “international” is best, “national” second-best, and state-based, the bottom of the heap unless coordinated — often from outside the state — by thought-leaders, round-tables, commissions, councils, leadership think-tanks, and of course the ever-present “resource centers.”

This has become more and more open in recent years and/or months, although it seems the year 2018 was one turning point.

^^ For Australia, I’m thinking of the AIFSAustralian Institute of Family Studies, “Discovering What Works for Families,.” “AIFS is the Australian Government’s key research body in the area of family wellbeing”..”AIFS has built key relationships and associations with a range of Australian and international organisations and government agencies”)

and, re: stopping “Violence Against Women,”  ANROWS, (main website shows it’s “org” while AIFS is “gov”)  —“Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety Limited is an independent, not-for-profit research organisation established to produce evidence to support the reduction of violence against women and their children.” …

“[Stakeholders] ANROWS works with a wide range of stakeholders, including government policymakers and practitioners from the domestic, family and sexual violence, primary prevention and wider health, justice and human services sectors; researchers; peak bodies; and others.” … [National Plan senior officials] “To support the take-up of evidence, ANROWS meets regularly with policy developers at National Plan senior officials (NPSO) meetings, comprising Commonwealth, state and territory government officials with responsibility for violence against women portfolios. ANROWS convenes the NPSO meeting quarterly.

ANROWS was established in 2010 as an independent nonprofit, but BY (correct me if I’m reading this wrong) the Dept. of Social Services’ ‘National Action Plan’, as follows:

ANROWS was established under the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010–2022 with a remit that includes leading efforts to build the research base on prevention and response to domestic and family violence and sexual assault, nationally.

In this context, ANROWS has produced Australia’s National Research Agenda to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children (ANRA) 2020–2022 on behalf of its funders and primary stakeholders, the Australian Government and the state and territory governments of Australia. It replaces the national research agenda produced by ANROWS in 2014.

Of-interest:  The National Plan website is for “DSS.gov.au,” i.e., Dept. of Social Services.

(Where this post began, on another one):

I’ve looked perhaps the most through Beta.CompaniesHouse.Gov.UK (which now redirects — guess it’s no longer in “beta” status — to https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk) in part because the [Illinois, USA-based, tax-exempt, business entity], Association of Family and Conciliation Courts has such a sweet, tender and professionals-in-common relationship with CafCass Relate, Resolution (that’s the tradename.  The business name is “Solicitors’ Family Law Association,” Company #05234230, ‘limited by guarantee’) and the Nuffield Family Justice Observatory ( (still also in “beta” I hear) ‘Nuffield FJO,” see brief comments below Cafcass & Relate bullets).

  • (“CafCass.gov.uk) “Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service,” established 2001 as “an executive, non-departmental public body, Motto “putting children and young people first in the family courts…”),
  • Modern Families, Modern Family Justice St. George’s House Consultation in partnership with Relate and the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts ([February, 2018).  “The consultation took place in accordance with the rules of St George’s House. | This report was written by Professor Janet Walker (AFCC and Relate) and David Marjoribanks (Relate).”  Participants listed on the last page (not including back cover):
    • Peter Salem, Executive Director, Association of Conciliation Courts, USA
    • Dr Joseph Salzgeber, Psychologist, Deutscher Familiengerichtstag, Germany
    • Chris Sherwood, Chief Executive Officer, Relate, England
    • David Truex, barrister and solicitor (Australia) solicitor (England and Wales), accredited specialist family lawyer, and consultant at Taylor Hampton Solicitors, England
    • Baroness Claire Tyler of Enfield, Chair Cafcass Board and Liberal Democrat Peer, House of Lords, England
    • Professor Janet Walker OBE, Emeritus Professor, Newcastle University, Vice-Chair Relate, England and International Chair, AFCC, USA
    • Teresa Williams, formerly Director, Justice and Welfare, Nuffield Foundation and currently Director of Strategy, Cafcass, England [Not mentioned there — also as of FY2018 (as I recall) an AFCC director.

I’ve posted on these organizations on this blog before, featuring the AFCC connections and goals/practices alignment, both before and after  2018, as I recall.  Relate is a registered company and charity in England and Wales, its motto is “Relationship help for everybody,” they are “the Relationship people” and website currently reads:

We’re the UK’s largest provider of relationship support, and last year we helped over two million people of all ages, backgrounds, sexual orientations and gender identities to strengthen their relationships. Find out more about what we do and how we can help you here.

Resolution’s agenda is SO similar to AFCC’s (once that’s understood through observation of what AFCC promotes — and does) it’s almost frightening.  Relate (counseling emphasis) and Resolution (that’s its trade name (‘dba’, fine print on their website more direclty identifies it, i.e., “Solicitors’ Family Law Association,” Company #05234230):

Resolution is the national membership body representing 6,500 family justice professionals. Our members work with separating families every day, to support them to resolve disputes as constructively as possible, with a strong focus on putting the best interests of children first.

Resolution is activist and seeks legislation to promote its objectives (including No-Fault Divorce).  Current or upcoming soon trainings displayed (in very large font, taking up a lot of space both horizontally and vertically with “Read More” links):

Collaborative Divorce | Domestic Abuse:  Screening and Safeguarding | Mediation Foundation Training.”

I quickly looked up Resolution again (at ‘Companies House’), was reminded they only incorporated in 2004, they are a small company (so exempt from reporting cash flow), are currently behind (about two months; it was due Oct. 1, 2021) on some “confirmation” statement, and I just read through their latest financials at Companies House (Fiscal Year Ending, Dec. 31, 2020).   However, the Feb. 2006 ‘Articles of Association’ (21 pages) in defining ‘Members’ (Full and Honorary), reference a set of rules adopted at the meeting of the Association in 1982.


AFCC (legal domicile of main entity, Illinois although it has other chapters, including I see one in Illinois too, some in Canada, some in Australia, none that I’m aware of in the UK.)

The Nuffield FJO still a project of the Nuffield Foundation, (“we believe in the power of evidence to change lives”) and others I’ve posted on over time).  Nuffield self-description includes its 2017-launched five-year strategy:

We are an open, collaborative, and engaged funder that offers more than money. Through connecting the projects we fund, we give voice to an overarching narrative and strengthen their collective impact. We value academic rigor, but understand that to be successful in effecting change, our research needs to be relevant to people’s experience. In 2017, we launched our five-year strategy for influencing social policy, shaping the research agenda, and supporting new ideas.

Our aim is to engage with, and to understand the significance of, new trends and disruptive forces – social, demographic, technological and economic – that are changing the structures and context of people’s lives.

Nuffield wealth comes from the “English Henry Ford,” William Morris, creator of Morris Motors.  He had no progeny, but he had many projects.  The foundation doesn’t even pretend to NOT seek to influence social policy through its collective wealth, and to do this through connectivity of funded projects.  The five-year strategy doesn’t even mention the Nuffield FJO (except by reference to handling “Children and Families” as a core area), but the bright-yellow tab leading to its description makes it clear that the FJO is also in an incubation phase still:  2019-2023:

https://www.nuffieldfoundation.org/research/nuffield-family-justice-observatory

The Nuffield Family Justice Observatory (Nuffield FJO) supports better outcomes for children in the family justice system in England and Wales by improving the use of data and research evidence in decision-making. …

The Nuffield FJO has been established by the Nuffield Foundation which is funding the Observatory’s pilot phase from 2019 to 2023.

(What I just took about two inches of vertical web space to say, two sentences in two short paragraphs, the Nuffield FJO website takes much more.  Its information is further and further dispersed, and the images much more like cartoons than before. It’s as though illiteracy is expected as the norm — pictures communicate better than words, and words also reveal (commit to) less.  I gave the link — take a look! The images give off positive “vibes,” but this collaboration with AFCC (and Cafcass) is anything but positive for the families going through such systems managed by such a major foundation with its historic, collective clout.)

I cannot combine examples from all in just a few posts, however, know that I have also looked, and continue to be fascinated by what I learn, especially when organizations change their names.  The cooperation between Nuffield Foundation, Cafcass, and the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts regarding (the UK calls it “private law” for families; here, we do not) is not only more and more openly acknowledged (in their publications) but also more and more evident in shared verbiage, i.e., improving the experience of “children and families” IN the family courts… and the constant pressure to frame policy in social science (that is, sociological) terms.  Essentially, it’s a development and outgrowth of the welfare state, particularly post-World War II.

There is less and less pretense of even trying to keep country legal systems (i.e., governments and constitutions) differentiated, as these private societies and associations, with membership and leadership revolving in and out of government bodies (such as Cafcass in the UK and Wales, or “Centers for Children and Families in the Courts” within:

(The list of where one might find CFCCs (of varying names:  Centers for Children and Families in the Courts, Centers for Families and Children, Centers of Excellence on (the theme of Families and Children) etc.

Although not quite “CFCC” this does remind me, as to its label, of CAFCASS:

The acronym Cafcass stands for”Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service.:

Cafcass represents children in family court cases in England. We independently advise the family courts about what is safe for children and in their best interests. We put their needs, wishes and feelings first, making sure that children’s voices are heard at the heart of the family court setting. Operating within the law set by Parliament (Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000) and under the rules and directions of the family courts, we are independent of the courts, social services, education and health authorities and all similar agencies.

…Cafcass is the largest employer of qualified social workers in England and is deeply committed to making a positive difference to each child we support. We are proud that everyone working for Cafcass is united in improving the lives of children, families and carers.

From the UK’s Cafcass definition, you can see that the subject matter jurisdiction includes what in the USA would be typically handled in different court systems, only one of which is dedicated towards the topics of divorce and post-divorce living arrangements for the children (and their parents). The definition also informs us (in the USA) that what we might call “family courts” is considered “private law.”

I beg US readers to consider that the “family courts” set up (with major encouragement by organizations such as AFCC, the NCJFCJ, and the American Bar Association among others — and I blogged this from an Ohio Supreme Court state summary of how family courts were being set up across the country (post title search “Blueprint”) were in fact attempts to get public support for privately controlled courtrooms, then authorized by private state-level legislation.

At some points the judiciary — not the state legislatures — were setting these in place.  IT was NOT a grass-roots demand for such courts, but a private-association (comprised of superior court judges and social workers) push…  They do not operate under the same principles of right and wrong, lawful and unlawful in their vocabulary, approach or intents, as either the criminal OR the civil courts.

[Cafcass] Our experienced Family Court Advisers may be asked by the court to work with families and then advise the court on what we consider to be the best interests of the children involved in three main areas:

  • divorce and separation, sometimes called ‘private law’, where parents or carers can’t agree on arrangements for their children
  • care proceedings, sometimes called ‘public law’, where social services have serious concerns about the safety or welfare of a child
  • adoption, which can be either public or private law.

Notice that “improving the lives” phrase seems a shared language.  How AFCC labels its goal and means shows on its home page logo:

“improving the lives of children and families through the resolution of family conflict.”

Although this “resolution of family conflict” AFCC is referencing isn’t exactly in welfare dependency courts or focused on criminal courts, it’s helpful to know that AFCC loves to “differentiate” real from fake domestic violence or allegations of it (or, of child abuse, or child sexual abuse), so, generally speaking, this type of ‘conflict’ could also refer to criminal matters.  And that it trains judges and others enthusiastically about how to handle domestic violence — although not nearly so enthusiastically as it teaches about “parental alienation” (the scourge of it and the antidotes to it, such as switching custody to the abusive parents, reunification sessions, and support throughout for supervised visitation and batterers intervention).

There is less and less pretense of even trying to keep country legal systems (i.e., governments and constitutions) differentiated, as these private societies and associations, with membership and leadership revolving in and out of government bodies (such as Cafcass in the UK and Wales, or “Centers for Children and Families in the Courts” within:

(The list of where one might find CFCCs (of varying names:  Centers for Children and Families in the Courts, Centers for Families and Children, Centers of Excellence on (the theme of Families and Children) etc.

The acronym Cafcass stands for”Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service.:

Cafcass represents children in family court cases in England. We independently advise the family courts about what is safe for children and in their best interests. We put their needs, wishes and feelings first, making sure that children’s voices are heard at the heart of the family court setting. Operating within the law set by Parliament (Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000) and under the rules and directions of the family courts, we are independent of the courts, social services, education and health authorities and all similar agencies.

…Cafcass is the largest employer of qualified social workers in England and is deeply committed to making a positive difference to each child we support. We are proud that everyone working for Cafcass is united in improving the lives of children, families and carers.

From the UK’s Cafcass definition, you can see that the subject matter jurisdiction includes what in the USA would be typically handled in different court systems, only one of which is dedicated towards the topics of divorce and post-divorce living arrangements for the children (and their parents). The definition also informs us (in the USA) that what we might call “family courts” is considered “private law.”

I beg US readers to consider that the “family courts” set up (with major encouragement by organizations such as AFCC, the NCJFCJ, and the American Bar Association among others — and I blogged this from an Ohio Supreme Court state summary of how family courts were being set up across the country (post title search “Blueprint”) were in fact attempts to get public support for privately controlled courtrooms, then authorized by private state-level legislation.

At some points the judiciary — not the state legislatures — were setting these in place.  IT was NOT a grass-roots demand for such courts, but a private-association (comprised of superior court judges and social workers) push…  They do not operate under the same principles of right and wrong, lawful and unlawful in their vocabulary, approach or intents, as either the criminal OR the civil courts.

[Cafcass] Our experienced Family Court Advisers may be asked by the court to work with families and then advise the court on what we consider to be the best interests of the children involved in three main areas:

  • divorce and separation, sometimes called ‘private law’, where parents or carers can’t agree on arrangements for their children
  • care proceedings, sometimes called ‘public law’, where social services have serious concerns about the safety or welfare of a child
  • adoption, which can be either public or private law.

Notice that “improving the lives” phrase seems a shared language.  How AFCC labels its goal and means shows on its home page logo:

“improving the lives of children and families through the resolution of family conflict.”

Although this “resolution of family conflict” AFCC is referencing isn’t exactly in welfare dependency courts or focused on criminal courts, it’s helpful to know that AFCC loves to “differentiate” real from fake domestic violence or allegations of it (or, of child abuse, or child sexual abuse), so, generally speaking, this type of ‘conflict’ could also refer to criminal matters.  And that it trains judges and others enthusiastically about how to handle domestic violence — although not nearly so enthusiastically as it teaches about “parental alienation” (the scourge of it and the antidotes to it, such as switching custody to the abusive parents, reunification sessions, and support throughout for supervised visitation and batterers intervention).

Speaking of Tran-Atlantic collaborations, advertised as wonderful things, while actively covering up civil rights violations and policies progressively undermining representative government, that is, the rule of law and basic concepts of civil rights, within the United States of America …

(Which is less evident the less attention one pays to the entities (or where it applies usage of non-entity names for branding) behind the transformation of justice systems and the courts in favor of a popular, stated cause or end … that is, where the “end justifies the means” and the means, somehow routinely bypasses informed public consent through focus on private conferences, roundtables, and unelected officials discussing what means to employ, thus also bypassing public awareness. …

..and typically also ensuring the same “not quite conscious” public foots the bill, although when questioned more closely, it’s often the private  (tax-exempt) foundations, such as Nuffield, Leverhulme, Joseph Rowntree (and others I could easily mention from the USA) are the real benefactors and donors.

(What did they get that wasn’t acquired from the public to start with, but paid less tax for it generation after generation?)

Post Title, Again: “AFCC-aligned in the UK”: Cafcass, Relate, ‘Resolution First,” w/ help from Nuffield Foundation, whose ‘Family Justice Observatory’ (With Identifiable CafCass, AFCC, and Fathers’ Rights Connections) Is still ‘Incubating’ [Oct-Nov., 2021 draft]. (case-sensitive short-link ends “-dd3”).

I’m addressing non-USA audiences on USA (Family Court and Domestic Violence-related) topics mostly because what I have to assume are criminal elements, meaning individuals and their enterprises they run (a quasi-legalized RICO claiming public benefit interest and motivations) have arrogantly and for decades shown disregard for our most basic state business registration laws (specifically when it comes to registration of tax-exempt organizations at the state level), or starting privately run and owned nonprofits right out of the judiciary (court system), placing membership in key positions to funnel (a.k.a. “steer”) both policy where possible, and also grant-making, and choice of programs mandated upon the public — or targeted sections of the public, at willany public seeking to approach the courts, the judiciary, the police, or social services, in fact, any part of government which is there to provide some sort of service for actual help.

This “routine” (networked of impenetrable public/private partnerships running RCTs (Randomized Controlled Tests) on the public, who are the guinea pigs, the lab rats, the subject matter, to be labeled, discussed, speculated about, and support career curves publishing the findings — usually with the condition “more research is needed” — before accelerating production for replication of a “best practices” model as determined by the few, for the many.

These criminal elements (meaning individuals and the enterprises they run (as quasi-legalized RICO), I observe and have to deduce, “could care less” (simply just do not care!) that in the USA, our basic mode of operation isn’t for self-anointed (word choice intentional), so-called thought-leaders — sometimes deemed experts based on having published a book or so, managed to NOT get fired from academic positions, sporting a few extra letters beyond their names (again, J.D., Ph.D., Psy.D, Ed.D. typically)*** — and coming up with clever acronyms or thought-stopping phrases (a cult tactic) that defy definition, but have nearly universal application — of course only by those trained in the proper use of the same.

(“What is a J.D. degree?“) U.S. News & World Report, June 24, 2019 by Ilana Kowarski)

“A J.D. is the foundational law degree that an American attorney obtains before taking the bar exam and being sworn in as an attorney,” wrote Hannah Carroll-Altman, a criminal defense lawyer with the Berry Law Firm in Nebraska, in an email. “Its purpose is to broadly prepare an attorney to practice law.”

Carroll-Altman, who has both a J.D. and a master of laws degree, commonly known as an LL.M., says one key distinction between a J.D. and an LL.M. is that an LL.M. is “a highly specialized advanced law degree,” which someone can only pursue after he or she has already graduated from law school. An LL.M. typically focuses on a particular area of law, she says, while a J.D. offers an overview of multiple areas of law.

…J.D. students at law schools that are accredited by the American Bar Association must also participate in a legal writing course, a professional responsibility course, plus an experiential learning course, such as a simulation class, a law clinic or a field placement.

Onnig Dombalagian, the vice dean for academic affairs at Tulane University Law School in New Orleans, says a solid J.D. program shows aspiring attorneys how to advocate on behalf of clients “zealously and effectively,” without compromising ethics. “An effective J.D. program not only teaches students legal doctrine, but also prepares them for practice by teaching them how to identify and address legal problems,” he adds.

[Another US Law School Dean says it’s basically an advanced liberal arts degree].  The J.D. allows people to sit for the (local, state) bar exams which provide the license to practice law.  Without passing the bar, you can’t legally practice law (exception state? Wisconsin?  I’m not the attorney, but there may be some exception states to this).  Some states also allow one to sit for the bar without attending a law school IF one goes through an apprentice program (i.e., with a practicing, licensed attorney):  California and Virginia listed in this article.  I explored this (in self-defense for a variety of reasons) while dealing with my own legal issues related to leaving an abuser, and family members (including one lawyer) who turned against me.  My reason for not doing so included that I very much had NO desire to practice law, and for the effort and expense and time involved, it didn’t seem like the right choice.

From the same article, another person says that choosing the four-year (?) apprenticeship route and readin the law shows tenacity and intelligence (versus paying the tuition for law school), also that international students may in effect pay less for tuition (in order to practice law here legally) than U.S. Students:

However, Marc J. Randazza, a First Amendment and intellectual property attorney who is a managing partner and founder with the Randazza Legal Group, says he would be impressed with a candidate who had “read the law,” meaning that he or she had received their legal training via an apprenticeship as opposed to a J.D. program. “That shows tenacity, that shows intelligence, that shows creative thinking and that shows somebody with the sense to not waste $150,000 for a ticket that they can get punched by actually working for four years,” says Randazza, who has both a J.D. and an LL.M. Randazza also notes that tuition and fees at non-U.S. law schools are often lower than those at U.S. law schools, so students at international law schools may pay less for a legal education than their peers at U.S. law schools.

***Or, if there’s any of those “D.” suffixes on their titles, properly so to tolerate from their followers being commonly referred to as “Dr.” (We don’t typically call J.D. holders “Dr.”), a term, while technically correct in the case of having obtained a doctorate degree, doesn’t mean he or she should be trusted like the friendly family doctor or “G.P.”

While I’m at the term “general practitioner” in referenced to a Medical Doctor (holder of an M.D. degree in the USA),

Borrowing the word “practitioner” for application to non-medical fields is an attempt to borrow some of the prestige, alleged expertise and discipline of study and some assumption of competence in at least a field or two of science. This implies those using such terms actually engage in the scientific process, but in context it could only mean running “experiments” (or “demonstration projects” as it may be) upon human beings to see how their behavior, beliefs, etc., can be modified — “for their own and the public good, of course.”

Other borrowed terms include (overused!) “clinical” “forensic” and so forth.  There seems to be an obsession among certain fields to establish that they, TOO, deserve the respect accorded to doctors, engineers, mathematicians, geologists, and other who may also have Ph.D.’s in such fields and who in the practice of those fields at least admit that things called observation, logic, hypothesis, deduction and PROOFs exist, and matter.

Similarly, in created fields often named after their mutual interests (namely, providing endless subject matter for publishing in the fields of psychology, sociology, early childhood development, and of course behavioral modification programming).

The impact of an over-use of words implying more intelligence, logic, competence and “clinical detachment” than actually exists among the enthusiastic thought-leaders and grant-getters by process of elimination relegates anyone whose values may not include aspiration to being called expert, practitioner, “Dr.” or being able to cite dozens (or even a half-dozen) association or professional memberships on a c.v. to “non-expert” and not really worth hearing, except as allowed for token “survivor” exhibits to complement existing agenda.


My professional field before all that abuse was music (classically trained since a child, top US Conservatory of Music graduate, professionally employed sufficient enough to pay my basic bills for a few decades …until the post-abuse family court system (California, USA) in place right after welfare reform of 1996 (and despite the passage of the Violence Against Women Act in 1994). I fought the ENTIRE EIGHTEEN YEARS to protect and preserve access to this profession, even as a single Mom, and am witness that this wasn’t enough.

My initial question blogging was how in H3LL could anyone as committed as I was to that profession, and who’d proven from literally, the year I got even a little bit of protection from domestic violence, I could and would support the household (with or without child support — it didn’t take long for that to become “without”) it would work for this household — be forced out of it, and forced repeatedly because of how that happened, back onto welfare where I had no other reason to be.

I witnessed and experienced, as did all around me (i.e., many people I knew personallyh and those shown in the headlines, a.k.a. “roadkill” after separation from abuse with children — or without) long-term, decriminalization of abuse, lack of enforcement for criminal acts.

The penal code says one thing, but the existence of the family courts and (in California) a particular backwater of “conciliation code” — despite family law (in another section) admitting that domestic violence is still an issue and to be considered — whose character is known far better by law enforcement than most (women, at least) going into them.  Criminal acts past and present, even occurring right in front of law enforcement — which our case did —  now deemed to be the concern NOT of law enforcement, but of family courts.  That’s at the local level.

Beyond this, at the federal level and through a true obsession (I’ve documented in this blog) with INCREASING “noncustodial parent” (father) contact and scapegoating fatherlessness, single mothers, and in general (by association), women, especially independent ones who said “no” or “No more” to abuse, officially, are just not deemed not worthy of protection, nor is their relationship with their own children.

Our children’s welfare, we were constantly told — as expressed in these policies and visible in the trainings to ensure these policies are the reigning paradigm — required ongoing exposure to their biological fathers regardless of their fathers’ behaviors; they required any “Mom” who dared to protest or seek not just short-termed but also enduring^^  protection from violence, stalking, threats to kidnapping (actual kidnapping), abandonment of any duty to support, harassment to the point of interference with a consistent work life for the mother, and so forth. If the fathers were in jail for legitimate reasons — “no matter, fetch them out!”

I feel a footnote coming out; I wrote it, and will now foot-note it to the (very) bottom of this post: I’ll call it “Footnote: Moms who seek enduring, not just short-termed, protection from violence | In My Case”.

I’m still not posting my name or specific “case number” and hope this illustrates enough without divulging my name on this blog, even though my kids are now (for several years) full-grown adults and I’m (do the math) a senior…

If [those fathers] chose (as opposed to lacked the capacity) to just not seek work, give them more empathy, sympathy and personal case management attention — in between court hearings to eradicate mother-child contact and (thus) eliminate if possible child support payments and radically reduce any existing child support arrears…

[IF you sense some “heat” in the above statement, that’s correct.  It’s not that I’m constantly thinking about such things — but in the process of completing another post (encouraging people to look up “entity” status and be aware that such a concept exists, and matters, especially when it comes to self-government and balance of powers, and when it comes to following government finances as part of this) — I referenced an earlier post (Belated Lessons from Baltimore) which explained, and had a section on how Responsible Fatherhood policy was promoted, by whom (specifically), and how early.  My inclusion of a section there on the OCSE Responsible Fatherhood Demonstration Programs (report by Center for Policy Research and Policy Studies, Inc.) was there to explain the sarcasm in my title “Lessons.”)

Page Title: Belated Lessons from Baltimore’s and San Francisco’s CFCCs: How “Centers” Coordinating Planning and Advance PR with Private Trade Associations can Effectively Monopolize ANY Field of Practice and Stick the Public for both Long-term Debt on Capital Infrastructure, and Ongoing Operational Expenses, for Ongoing Profit to the Providers and Advisors. (Page Added 6/4/2017) (Page title with case-sensitive short-link ending “-6XR”, as published and still under 3,000 words).(Page Added 6/4/2017(Page title with case-sensitive short-link ending “-6XR”

This ties directly into people directly involved in the founding of the AFCC I mention in the title here.  AFCC knows all about networking, and parallels between structural reformation of state governments to accommodate AFCC-named priorities in the USA (again, in the Administrative Office of the Courts levels mostly, I’ve blogged it often), I later learned coincided with the establishment in the UK of “CafCass” (There’s Cafcass and Cafcass Cymru, I know…)

The footnote looks to be, perhaps, 2,000 words long. If so, based on this word-count, main substance of this post is about 7,500 words, and the central part (after the “Preview” near top) around 5-6,000 words, which was my original goal in splitting it.  Comments fields are open, or better, talk to me on Twitter (@LetUsGetHonest) about it. …

^^ “Footnote: Moms who seek enduring, not just short-termed, protection from violence | In My Case”I’m sharing this as one of example of how the work and infrastructure destruction happened. The time frame was first decade 2000s (First restraining order / civil with kick-out, to last just three years — was 2000, in NoCal SFBay Area…  When I next moved under its protection (described below) partway through it was to a neighboring county, and it was for work purposes — but not physically very far.  A round-trip from the father to my first home there was, as I recall, well under an hour and about (?) 26? miles.  Later on, before stealing our children as described below, he’d (in preparation) without informing the court, moved a few cities further away, putting more stress on them, and on me, once I realized it.  They had less “weekend” available when incidents surrounding exchanges began to multiply after that protective order came off.  Anyhow, for what it’s worth:

In my case, it was a three year protective order (immediately after issuance, weakened by a court-appointed mediator.  In effect, I only had about one and a half years, effective when we finally moved out of the rental home:  the father was given (ANY day of the week, UNrestricted) access to the property on the supposed basis of his having tools in its garage (also meaning, I had no access to that garage), which perhaps was under some illusion that he was the breadwinner.  HOWEVER, had that been five years, and not three, I’d have been 100% without need of any child support before expired.

As it came up for renewal after only three years (but in effect, closer to half that), and my music connections — some of them ideally suited to my background and skills, with associated opportunities and connections for our children (then living with me full-time, joint legal custody but he had weekly visitation overnight of course, 100% unsupervised, as were the exchanges too) (I was not informed about that option at the time, it was the early 2000s) — I had a chance to build  (with supportive community music school) a children’s choir focusing on the middle-school years (as I recall, 4th through 6th grades) with a (female) instrumental/vocal colleague there, a team effort. ALL the infrastructure was in place for this to be a wonderful anchor job for existing private lessons and various other gigs people with my background would do. “Anchor job + build the private studio + perform locally” is a basic formula.

Besides the financial rewards (which while not “rich” were certainly far better than I’d been doing married, with major growth potential) of such a connection — to build a musical group from the ground up with administrative and billing support and even a rehearsal space all in place, and not solo, but with a musical colleague I already knew was competent and a good match — think about the example this was for our children who’d witnessed years of abuse and degradation, not to mention, my ability (already in place) to work off tuition or so-called “enrichment” activities in the arts (not just music at that particular place: also visual arts and some drama, etc.)… They were able to see other adults treating their mother with respect and decency… and a schedule flexible enough to be a good parent, too. This was not a nine-to-five, send the children to school then after-school activities scenario.

Right around this time, as my restraining order was coming up for renewal and I’d already requested it, my ex. who’d previously said he didn’t want custody (or a divorce) suddenly wanted a divorce and filed for it. With that filing, and based on the past, I had to DROP that opportunity and focus on the court proceedings.  Within just a few months, the restraining order was GONE, and what I’d just started and the children (i.e., their activities too, which did not interfere with his parenting time) ripped out from underneath all of us.

That ripple effect was felt throughout my family line and witnessed clearly by their Dad, and was a significant turning point. From that point on (and recall, I had no protection since), any forward progress or replacement connections (I’m talking musically, or in a positive direction for our children, growing up fast) was reversed, each time faster than the one before. I still didn’t give up until the final straw — when he stole our children on a court-ordered overnight visitation at the beginning of a school year after I’d just signed another twelve-month lease (feasible because of existing music work and in a place where I could teach from home also, i.e., a home with a large enough living room), and enrolled both children in the local school, which their father (and our relatives) knew, but objected to.

From everything I’ve been able to reconstruct (and from what was written by my relatives — not his, Dad, his new (religious) girlfriend, a reverse standard was in operation.  If it worked, was good, and would lead to financial independence and my ability to restore and continue in the profession I was trained in (and loved; it’s healing as well, and leads to positive connections and social support within any community) — in their book, it was evil.  If it was abusive, unnecessarily restrictive and REVERSED the girls educational and my work progress, it was the only option and must be forced into existence:  lying (perjury under oath) false accusations (my kids weren’t in school, I was an abduction risk, I’d just quit jobs — all known to be false, but the latter two at the time known to apply to the Dad, not to mention a child support arrears in the thousands by then).

In the midst of all this, the District Attorney who had jurisdiction, “bailed” and being in the amount of shock I was at the time — (and guess what:  ZERO support from DV advocates on this, financial or legal, or insight into why it was taking place) — I didn’t have the wherewithal without ANY backup to somehow force that district attorney (or even investigator, after I reported it) to do his job.  At this point, all facets of the system I’d had exposure to, had essentially failed: Child support enforcement didn’t, wouldn’t even serve a “seek-work order,” and managed to lose money delivered to them but which didn’t get to me (another story)…; law enforcement crossed their arms, churches (a factor in our family at the time) and pastors crossed their arms and did NOTHING to restore sense (or my stolen children), as they’d done nothing during the years of being battered).

Women in this situation are given lists upon lists of “resource and referral” numbers and can clal them day and night.  They might get some help in the form of, again, Food Stamps, or some groceries, or may a single bill paid, but not for the specific problems of custody challenge after dangerous relationships…. Once I began researching “entities” years later, I’d periodically pick up such a list and look up (if identified), or call and when calling, ask “what organization do you represent” (which isn’t always shown).  Many, even in affluent communities, are full of defunct (invalid) telephone numbers.

Passing out resource and referrals, and posting them, in my opinion, is a time-wasting tactic which may seem to justify the funding organizations get. It’s a joke — and that joke is on the individuals and the public both.

[While I’m mentioning this, anything I just said about help directed towards domestic violence survivors after the initial separation and maybe a few court appearances, applies even more so (double, triple, ten-fold?  You judge) to the FamilyCourtReformists, whether reporting from Northern California, D.C., or New York, to mention a few key states.  They travel in clusters.]

To go back to the top of this post, click its title link: “AFCC-aligned in the UK (and Australia)”: CAFCASS, Relate, Resolution First, (And in Australia: add AIFS & ANROWS) w/ help from The Nuffield Foundation Incubating a ‘Family Justice Observatory’ (With Easily Identifiable CAFCASS, AFCC and Fathers’ Rights Connections) through 2023 [Oct-Nov., 2021 draft].  (short-link ends “-dd3”)

Or, when I publish it (and not before) a related post can be read at:

Before you read this post perhaps read the lead-in, at The Widening Credibility Gap between the Long-Term, Chronic Family-Court-Beleagured and the UNbeleagured FamilyCourtReform/ist + DV Advocacy Experts Reporting on (Us) [May 4, 2022] (short-link ends “-eus” which seems appropriate to the topic here).

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