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Posts Tagged ‘Janet Johnston (AFCC)

Another POV on “The Center for the Family in Transition” (and its funders) (Publ. 9/22/2012)

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Another POV on “The Center for the Family in Transition” (and its funders) (Publ. 9/22/2012)
Excerpt pulled to top of post in 2016.  This sticky post (below which are more current ones) originally published 9/22/2012.  It should be put in bold print, large letters and stuck on a refrigerator IF one is stuck in divorce drama at this time, as a reminder of the resonance of the rooms it will be taking place in!

The phrase “Families in Transition” is jargon, and it is virtually trademarked for use in the courts.  The term comes from, it seems, ONE individual with key connections to psychoanalysis (Judith Wallerstein, who was married to Robert S. Wallerstein, also a devoted and highly placed psychoanalyst, at one time President of the International Psychoanalytic Association (“IPA”), essentially the inheritance of Sigmund Freud. 


This association, IPA, was formed shortly AFTER Sigmund Freud’s ex-communication (by colleagues) for ca. 1895 presenting “the Etiology of Hysteria” and saying it related to violent sexual and physical assaults on his patients by their caretakers (often fathers or uncles, etc.) from the early 1900s).   In the 1950s, “The Origins of Psychoanalysis” incl. editor Sigmund’s daughter Anna) apparently included censorship of how Freud viewed his own “about-face” after being cold-shouldered by his colleagues.  In the 1980s a man was given access to the Freud Archives and wrote about this, in the interest of speaking the truth, and was again could-shouldered, and taken off the archives also.


For more, see March 5, 2014 post “Suppose I’m Right Here ….What Would You Do When the Lights go on?” Seeing the Wallerstein-Wallerstein connection, and the consistent practice of re-framing reality (truths about person-to-person violence, including parent to child, man to woman, and vice versa), and the origins of the fields of psychoanalysis, psychiatry, psychology, get it? the “Psyche” field in general  having been introduced as the bedrock formula for the conception of “FAMILY” and the “FAMILY COURTS,” a logical deduction is that those courts are also essentially — not “tangentially” —  crooked.

So, how can that “crooked” be cleaned up?  Can it?  Does the propagation of truth versus the propagation of the coverup of the (often ugly) truth matter, or not?  If it does not matter, how can calling something “justice” be applied on top of that foundation?

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Evaluate, Coordinate, Prepare to Call “Alienator!” — Pt. 2: CFCC and AFCC people Nunn, Depner, Ricci, Stahl, Pruett(s), and others DV groups fail to talk about

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And how this dovetails with purpose of  Access Visitation Grants grants…

The last post (or so) discussed practices in Pennsylvania and Indiana, with side-trips to Kentucky and California, where they originated from anyhow.

(If you read it, I meanwhile confirmed that KidsFirstOrange County Gerald L. Klein & Sara Doudna-Klein, yes,are married.  I forgot to include how much they charge for services ($300 per parent, $120 per kid) in teaching about parental alienation and conflict…..  I wonder who was the first Mrs. Gerald L. Klein… and whether these two have children together or not.

In context, Kids Turn, or Kids’ First, or steering cases to certain mediators, certain GALs, etc. — is the habit.  And then, to top it off, extorting parents into participation through the child support system (Kentucky), or changing the civil code of procedure AND even the Custody Complaint form to name ONE provider of ONE parenting education course (Libassi Mediation Services) which is already being marketed elsewhere — outrageous.

This was tried in California, to standardize judge& attorney-originated nonprofits through the California Judicial Council, but our then-governor vetoed it (though both houses of the legislature passed it).

Now pending — Probably still — is another one that is legitimizing a practice already established, the Family Justice Center Alliance out of San Diego, like Kids’ Turn and financial fraud at the City Attorney’s office level, and so forth.   Why stop while you’re ahead?

This has currently flown through House & Senate and as of June 9th was referred to  Location: Assembly Committee Public Safety Committee  and I think, Judiciary.  Here’s some analysis from the Senate Appropriations Committee.  Senator Christine Kehoe (who sponsored the bill) just so happens to be chair of the appropriations committee and from one of the cities involved in expanding the Justice Center concept (actually the city that started it:  San Diego).

SENATE BILL 557

(link gives the bill’s history; the following is accessible through it)

Senate Appropriations Committee Fiscal Summary

Senator Christine Kehoe, Chair

Hearing Date: 05/26/2011

BILL SUMMARY: SB 557 would authorize the cities of San Diego and Anaheim, and the counties of Alameda and Sonoma, until January 1, 2014, to establish family justice centers (FJCs) to assist victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, elder abuse, human trafficking, and other victims of abuse and crime. This bill would require each FJC to maintain an informed consent policy in compliance with all state and federal laws protecting the confidentiality of the information of victims seeking services. This bill would require the Office of Privacy Protection (OPP), in conjunction with the four pilot centers and relevant stakeholders, to develop best practices to ensure the privacy of all FJC clients and shall submit a report to the Legislature no later than January 1, 2013.

2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 (thereafter, the FJCs are to be locally funded)
_____________________________________________________________________

Fiscal Impact (in thousands)   Establishment of FJCs Unknown; potentially major local costs for operation and services
Major Provisions  
 Report to Legislature $17 to OPP (Office of Privacy Protection) in advisory role General

_________

…This bill would require the Office of Privacy Protection (OPP), in conjunction with the four pilot centers and relevant stakeholders, to develop best practices to ensure the privacy of all FJC clients and shall submit a report to the Legislature no later than January 1, 2013.

…Should the specified cities and counties opt to establish a FJC, there will be unknown, but major local costs for operation and the provision of services to FJC clients.  Costs would be dependent on the number of clients, FJC procedures, staffing, and the availability and cost of local treatment and service providers.

…The OPP has indicated a cost of $62,000 as the lead agency to develop best practice privacy recommendations and coordination of the report to the Legislature.

To reduce the costs of the bill, staff recommends an amendment to have the four pilot centers reduce the OPP to an advisory role over the development of best practices. The OPP has indicated reducing their involvement to oversight and review of the report would result in costs of approximately $17,000.    (WELL, the OPP is slated for elimination anyhow, this report notes).

I’m posting the SB 557 updates for California residents.   Information from:

TotalCapitol home

RECENT POSTS:

Recently, I posted on:

  • Kids Turn (Parent education curriculum, nonprofit started & staffed by family court personnel, with wealthy patrons AND gov’t sponsorship through federal Access/Visitation Funding)
  • Family Justice Centers (origin in San Diego; Casey Gwinn, Gael Strack) and their background.  INcluding a boost by Bush’s OFCBI initiative in 2003 — adding the faith factor to violence prevention.  Sure, yeah..
  • Family Justice Center #2, Alameda County — see “Dubious Doings by District Attorneys” post.
  • Also, remember the Justicewomen.org article on the importance of District Attorneys in safety (or lack of it) towards women.  A D.A. decides whether to, or NOT, to prosecute individual cases.  It’s a huge responsibility.
  • What’s Duluth (MN) got to do with it?
  • What’s Domestic Violence Prevention got to do with this California-based racket?  I questioned what a Duluth-based group spokesperson (Ellen Pence) is doing hobnobbing with a Family Justice Center founder (Casey Gwinn).
  • I have more unpublished (on this blog) draft material on this.
  • The elusive EIN of  “Minnesota Program Development, Inc.” which gets millions of grants (around $29 million, I found) but from what I can tell doesn’t even have an EIN registered in MN, although its address is 202 E. Superior Street, Duluth, MN, and it definitely has a staff.
  •  I have more unpublished (on this blog) draft material on this.  
  • Toronto Integrated Domestic Violence Courts
  • This was intended to be a “break” on SB 557 and Family Justice Centers, but thanks to the internet and international judges’ associations, and downloadable curricula, this is simply (it seems) another AFCC-style project.  (Kids Turn knockoffs, talk of high-conflict & parental alienation, and modeled after several US states).  The intended “global” reach (UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia, etc.) is happening, and makes it hard to “take a break” from California basic corrupt practices by looking at another country’s handling of the same issues. The world is flattening — Internet, I guess.
  • Last post, I addressed some partner-type organizations:  AFCC/CRC, or CPR/PSI (in Denver), and personnel they have in common.

REMINDER — in CALIFORNIA — Three accepted purposes of the A/V funds system remain:


Supervised Visitation is an idea from that became an industry spawned and sprouted by some of the above groups, and watered by the US federal funds to the states. The link cites the supporting 1996 legislation…    For a reminder

California’s Access to Visitation Grant Program (Fiscal Year 2009–2010)

REPORT TO THE CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE MARCH 2010

Federal and State Program Goals

The congressional goal of the Child Access and Visitation Grant Program is to “remove barriers and increase opportunities for biological parents who are not living in the same household as their children to become more involved in their children lives.”3 Under the federal statute, Child Access and Visitation Grant funds may be used to

support and facilitate noncustodial parents’ access to and visitation [with] their children by means of activities including mediation (both voluntary and mandatory), counseling, education, development of parenting plans, visitation enforcement** (including monitoring, supervision and neutral drop-off and pick-up), and development of guidelines for visitation and alternative custody arrangements.4

The use of the funds in California, however, is limited by state statute to three types of programs:5

  • Supervised visitation and exchange services;
  • Education about protecting children during family disruption; and
  • Group counseling services for parents and children.

(This report has been prepared and submitted to the California Legislature under Family Code section 3204(d).Copyright © 2010 by Judicial Council of California/Administrative Office of the Courts. All rights reserved.)

**isn’t it interesting — if a court order exists, but is not being complied with, wouldn’t “visitation enforcement” be the simplest solution?  Dad, Mom — obey your visitation court order.  But somehow California wasn’t interested in that aspect, but wants the A, B, C, of Supervised Visitation & Exchange Services; of “Educating Parents about “protecting children during family disruptions” {the Kids Turn component) and getting people into group counseling, parents and children both.
If the whole concept sounds like AFCC, it is.   In 2000, I see a report planning how to use “court-based mediation” for child custody.  (California Judicial Council, Administrative Office of the Courts, “CFCC” (Center for Families & Children in the Courts).   This shows Isolini Ricci, Ph.D. under this CFCC:

Report 12 Executive Summary (Sept 2000)

Preparing Court-Based Child Custody Mediation Services for the Future

KEY PERSONNEL POSITIONED TO SET POLICY are AFCC.   
As of 2010, the top two personnel (Director, Assistant Director) of this Center for Families & Children in the Courts are AFCC, I’m pretty sure (Nunn/Depner).
I notice Diane Nunn (attorney), Isolini Ricci (Ph.D., and AFCC leader, author, etc.), and here, Charlene Depner was “Supervising Research Analyst,” but by 2010 (above) was Assistant Director of the entire CFCC.  Depner is an AFCC member.  AFCC members are coached to, or at least always seem to, talk about “Parental Alienation” and ‘High-conflict” parents, or divorces, usually in the same breath, for example:
     -by Mindy F. Mitnick, EdM/MA  {search my blog, she’s AFCC.  Note degrees — a professional educator….}

DIANE NUNN


with emphasis on Criminal Justice
“The Many Faces of California’s Courts”
Diane Nunn, Director, Center for Families, Children & the Courts,
California Administrative Office of the Courts, “She supervises projects related to family, juvenile, child support, custody, visitation, and domestic violence law and procedure. Ongoing projects include training, education, research and statistical analysis.”  (Note, presenting alongside Bill Lockyer, then California Attorney General, whose wife Nadia ran (til recently) the Alameda County Family Justice Center).
Diane Nunn listed as not just “AFCC” but “AFCC Advisory Council” in an inset column — alongside some well-known names, such as Janet Johnston, Joan Kelly, Philip Stahl (all Ph.Ds), and — please note — Jessica Pearson.  (See yesterday’s post, or search my blog).  Plus a passel of judges, including from other countries. I count ten (10) Judges, just a few J.D.s and Ph.D.’s (I’ll bet, several in psychology or psychiatry), some unlabeled, some educators (M.Ed.D.) and social workers, I presume.
About this Newsletter, let’s notice the “Thanks!” list:

AFCC wishes to thank Symposium sponsors and exhibitors for their support:

Children’s Rights Council, Hawaii (that’s CRC)

Christine Coates, JD, Dispute Resolution Training Complete Equity Markets, Inc.

Dr. Philip M. Stahl, ParentingAfterDivorce.com (alienation promoter)

Family Law Software, Inc. J.M.Craig Press, Inc. LifeBridge

The LOGO for the newsletters shows children and has the subtitle “KIDS COUNT ON US.”
It’s an eyeopener to start seeing the AFCC conference and newsletter material.  For example, among the Parent Educators, in fine print it lists “Kids First, Chet Mukliewicz, Dunmore, PA”  (more on him, in this post if I get to it.  Kids First is a Kids Turn knockoff, it sells publications by AFCC personnel, including Isolini Ricci, Philip Stahl, Richard Warshak, and of course himself.  In addition, it takes referral business from at least one other state court besides the one where he lives, and he holds a contract with Lackawanna County, PA, which court is being compared (in print) to the Luzerne County, PA “Kids for Cash” scandal. ….       This is product positioning and marketing, basically.      Janet Johnston, Ph.D. (in this 2004 letter) is welcomed as Associated Editor of the “Family Court Review” (which AFCC puts out) and is revealed as to having previously worked as executive director of “Protecting Children from Conflict,” itself an affiliate of Judith WallersteinCenter for the Family in Transition in California .
3 Pruetts — one on Board of Directors (C. Eileen) , 2 (Kyle & Marsha Kline) as main presenters.    Is Eileen related to the other Pruetts from California?  (I don’t know — it’s not an usual name.  But I’d like to know!).
That’s handy….   C. Eileen Pruett lists on Jigsaw as “Dispute Resolution Program Coordinator” under the Hon. Francis Sweeney (Columbus, Ohio).  AFCC pushesmediation as a solution for custody disputes, even though most custody disputes are acknowledged to have elements of violence and/or abuse, including child abuse.
A 1999 Supreme Court of Ohio Task Force Report called “Family Law Reform:  Minimizing Conflict, Maximizing Families” on Reforming the Courts from Ohio lists her as:

Eileen Pruett and the Supreme Court of Ohio Office of Dispute Resolution Special Committee on Parent Education for the material on parent education, which is replicated in Appendix D.

In Ohio, “To achieve this goal, the Task Force recommend(ed, in 1999): 1) All parties in proceedings that involve the allocation of parental functions and responsibilities should attend parenting education seminars……Sixty-seven Ohio counties currently mandate parent education seminars for all divorcing parents;
Note on this Task Force:  The Executive Director of it (Kathleen Clark), was AFCC Board of Directors at least in 2004 (see newsletter) and acknowledges AFCC allegiance. In fact, a search of both “AFCC” and (AFCC written out) totals 11 references to this task force report — which also details how (besides lifting the parent education segment from an AFCC board of directors) also relates how as part of OHIO’s task force, they flew to Arizona and attended what appears to be presentations at AFCC, including by some members on the task force who were AFCC presenters.
In fact, in its own (1999) words:

More than two dozen experts from around the state and across the country presented testimony to the Task Force over a six-month period. Representatives from a variety of parents’ organizations, as well as a panel of teens who had experienced their parents’ divorces, brought their unique concerns to the Task Force. Staff members obtained research articles and statutes from around the nation and the globe to find the latest policies and practices. Members of the Task Force traveled to Phoenix, Arizona, to meet with staff at the Maricopa County Court system, a nationally recognized leader in court services and pro se programs, and to conferences sponsored by the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, an internationally acclaimed organization which provides research and programs for professionals dealing with families in conflict.

Given who was on the task force, and what it did, this kind of conclusion is a little predictable:

The following report and recommendations are the result of this extensive research effort and debate and have been unanimously approved, without any abstentions or dissents, by official action of the 17 members of the Task Force present at the final meeting on June 1, 2001.

That’s OHIO flying to Arizona (which has its own chapter of AFCC, and where Philip Stahl happens to live, now that he’s left Northern California) to meet with a Court Administrator to coach themselves how to be GOOD AFCC members and make sure not to swerve from the policy of talking about “conflict” more than criminal issues or domestic violence issues.
Here’s another (undated) AZ supreme court, what looks like Domestic Relations training committee (of some sort) which is heavily AFCC laced, Just click on it and search for “Association of Family and….” and see…  Arizona also happens to be where Sanford Braver, Ph.D. practices.   Philip Knox, that they went to visit (from Ohio Task force)  also worked (it says) with the California AOC (on which Nunn & Depner sit, under CFCC) on promoting a Unified Family Court.

The OTHER Pruetts (I’m still on that 2004 AFCC flyer which mentions Diane Nunn as AFCC “Advisory Task Force”) include Dr. Kyle (child psychiatrist from Yale) and his wife Marsha Kline (also a Ph.D.).  They have three daughters and one son and have naturally dedicated themselves to promoting fatherhood, as a search on “Marsha Kline Pruett, Kyle Pruett Fatherhood” will readily show, at a glance.  Dr. Marsha Kline even got an award for “Fatherhood  Initiative Community Recognition Award, State of Connecticut (2002), and   Stanley Cohen Distinguished Research Award, Awarded by the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts.   She is definitely (with I gather her husband, Dr. Kyle) on the Grants stream for investigation:  “University of California, Berkeley: Supporting Father Involvement 7/1/09-6/30/12: Total (T) $176,924 Marsha Kline Pruett, Ph.D., Co-InvestigatorUniversity of California, Berkeley: Supporting Father Involvement 7/1/04-6/30/09: Total (T) $353,849 Marsha Kline Pruett, Ph.D., Co-Investigator

The Pruetts, being a double-Ph.D. married family with academic connections to Yale, Berkeley, Tufts, Smith, etc. and on the conference AND grants circuit would of course have first-hand experience and understanding what it’s like to be on welfare, and forced to litigate for years in the family law system, whether a father (to chose between child support issues, or litigate, allowing more business to be driven to the professionals) or a mother (struggling to retain custody, or for survival, or (foolishly, given the state of the field nowadays) for child support enforcement.  AND, they are AFCC.   One psychologist & MSL, and one Psychiatrist.
Basically, if you browse family law reading lists, literature, or establishments, you will run across AFCC members referencing each others’ publications.  These publications may say “domestic violence” but will juxtapose it with “Parental alienation” and then talk about “conflict” which in the case of DV, is a euphemism.  Many of the lists still reference Richard Gardner.  “Reading Materials for Parents and Children Going Through A Divorce

CHARLENE DEPNER, Ph.D., AFCC, etc.

Now (just for the heck of it), more on “Charlene Depner, Ph.D.”  First of all, Ph.D. in what?  the answer — per LinkedIn, is Social Psychology at U Michigan

Assistant Division Director,  Cntr for Families, Children & Courts, CA Administrative Office of the Courts Govt. Admin. Industry  1988 – Present (23 years)/ Education:  U Michigan,   PhD, Social Psychology 1972 – 1978

So it appears, about 10 years, if any, in private practice or employment of some sort?

Yesterday, I ran across a comment (I believe I know who its author is) on an “AngryDadBlogspot” which related some more (Nepotism?) in San Diego between a supervised visitation provider (already found to be practicing without a license) and the family justice center — which started there, apparently, in San Diego.  That’s not today’s topic — but here it is:
2006 NCJRS study of families at supervision centers in NY reads:

A. Does the history of violence in the relationship predict whether the visits are supervised or unsupervised?

We found no statistically significant relationships between the history of physical and psychological abuse or injuries and court orders to a supervised visitation center, family supervised visits or unsupervised visitation. More than three quarters of the participants had experienced severe forms of physical and psychological abuse from the father of their children. One can surmise that these pervasive experiences provided no useful information to the court to determine which fathers might pose a current and ongoing danger.

The one exception was severe injuries, which had been experienced by less than half the participants (46%). Nevertheless, fathers who had severely injured their former partners were no more likely to be ordered to supervised visitation than unsupervised visitation.

A 1996 report (issued by this CA Judicial Council AOC)  on “Future Directions for Mandatory Child-Custody Mediation Services:….”

” notes:

Court-based child custody mediations affect the fate of nearly 100,000 California children each year. Many of them are already at risk when parents come to court. Currently, one- third of all mediations address concerns about a child’s emotional well-being. Child Protective Services has investigated a report about children in 33 percent of all families seen in mediation. Children in half of all mediating families have witnessed domestic violence. Today’s Family Court faces the serious challenge of protecting the best interests of the next generation.

Well, pushing mediation does not appear to be the solution!

Joan Meier, of DV Leap writes on this, and most any battered women’s advocate without AFCC collaboration in the bloodstream, might say the same thing — it’s counter-indicated!  Whatsamatta here?  Joan Meier, of “George Washington University Law School” (and ‘DVLEAP.org”) as posted in a noncustodial mother’s blog. NOTE:  She quotes both Janet Johnston, Ph.D. (AFCC leadership) and Depner, who both acknowledge that MOST of the the high-conflict cases entail child abuse or domestic violence.  This has been known since the 1990s….

Most Cases Going To Court As High Conflict Contested Custody Cases Have History Of Domestic Violence  


By JOAN S. MEIER, George Washington University Law School

Janet Johnston’s publications

Janet Johnston is best known as a researcher of high conflict divorce and parental alienation. {{NOTE how AFCC often pairs those terms– that’s an AFCC language habit}}.   Not a particular friend of domestic violence advocates or perspectives, she has been one of the first to note that domestic violence issues should be seen as the norm, not the exception, in custody litigation.

Johnston has noted that approximately 80% of divorce cases are settled, either up front, or as the case moves through the process. Studies have found that only approximately 20% of divorcing or separating families take the case to court. Only approximately 4-5% ultimately go to trial, with most cases settling at some point earlier in the process.

– Janet R. Johnston et al, “Allegations and Substantiations of Abuse in Custody-Disputing Families,” Family Court Review, Vol. 43, No. 2, April 2005, 284-294, p. 284;
– Janet R. Johnston, “High-Conflict Divorce,” The Future of Children, Vol. 4, No. 1, Spring 1994, 165-182, p. 167 both citing large study by Maccoby and Mnookin, DIVIDING THE CHILD: SOCIAL AND LEGAL DILEMMAS OF CUSTODY. Cambridge, MA: Harvard U. Press (1992).

Johnston cites another study done in California by Depner and colleagues, which found that, among custody litigants referred to mediation, “[p]hysical aggression had occurred between 75% and 70% of the parents . . . even though the couples had been separated… [for an average of 30-42 months]”. Furthermore, [i]n 35% of the first sample and 48% of the second, [the violence] was denoted as severe and involved battering and threatening to use or using a weapon.”

Mediation is an easy way to increase noncustodial parenting time without the protections that facts & evidence, without the disclosure of conflicts of interests a judge has to abide by, without the attorney-client work product relationship, and much more — in short, without the PROTECTIONS — that a regular trial might afford, and finish.   Mandated mediation is bad enough.  Some counties (in Calif) also have what’s called “recommending” status to the court-appointed mediators, meaning, their reports are taken more seriously by judges.  I have seen how this works year after year (from being in the courtroom) — the mediator’s report is often delivered IN the courtroom, and NOT prior to the hearing, if then.  It is typically a shocker, and this really violates due process, but it’s accepted practice.  Mediation is the poor-person’s “supervised visitation  / custody evaluation.”  If no private family member can be made to pay for the latter two, or then the quick & dirty custody hearing is going to involve mediation.

Guess which organization is heavily composed of mediators, and ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution services) and emphasizes this to unclog the courts?  You betcha — AFCC.

· Attempts to leave a violent partner with children, is one of the most significant factors associated with severe domestic violence and death. 
– Websdale, N. (1999). Understanding Domestic Homicide. Boston, MA: University Press.

· A majority of separating parents are able to develop a post-separation parenting plan for their children with minimal intervention of the family court system. However, in 20% of the cases greater intervention was required by lawyers, court-related personnel (such as mediators and evaluators) and judges. In the majority of these cases, which are commonly referred to as “high-conflict,” domestic violence is a significant issue.
– Johnston, J.R. (1994). “High-conflict divorce.” Future of Children, 4, 165-182.

What “DVLEAP” does in its own words:

A STRONGER VOICE FOR JUSTICE

Despite the reforms of recent decades, battered women and children continue to face unfair treatment and troubling results in court. Appeals can overturn unjust trial court outcomes – but they require special expertise and are often prohibitively expensive.

We empower victims and their advocates by providing expert representation for appeals; educating pro bono counsel through in-depth consultation and mentoring; training lawyers, judges, and others on cutting-edge issues; and spearheading the DV community’s advocacy in Supreme Court cases

(photo also from this site):

They even have a “Custody and Abuse” program, and have taken on the “PAS” theme.  These are specific cases that have been taken to the Appeals or even Supreme Court (state) level.    Here (found on-line) is an Arkansas Case where they took on “PAS” alongside:  Arkansas Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Justice for Children and The Leadership Council on Child Abuse and Interpersonal Violence (on which I believe Ms. Meier is a board or advisory member), the NCADV, and National Association of Women Lawyers.   It is an Amicus Brief and will likely go to discredit PAS.

The Leadership Council’s:

Mission Statement

The Leadership Council is a nonprofit independent scientific organization composed of respected scientists, clinicians, educators, legal scholars, journalists, and public policy analysts.

Our mission is to promote the ethical application of psychological science to human welfare. We are committed to providing professionals and laypersons with accurate, research-based information about a variety of mental health issues and to preserving society’s commitment to protect its most vulnerable members.

Goals

  • To develop a coalition among professionals within the scientific community, the legal system, the political system and the media to provide professionals and laypersons with accurate information about mental health practice and research which helps insure access to the highest quality of care.  (and several others are listed. . . . . .. )

In the bottom line, the Leadership Council is still talking psychology, acknowledging trauma, and opposing “PAS” — but, who they are and what they do is clear — “Apply Psychological Science Ethically.”  So, if you put this psychological group together with some domestic violence lawyers, or lawyers who recognize that batterers (etc.) are getting custody — you just the opposite of the AFCC   “J.D. & Ph.D.” combo of attorney & mental health practitioners

The problem is — the AFCC, being around longer, and having strategized better — have the judges, too.   

As I look at The Leadership Council’s page on “Child Custody & PAS” and associated “resources” below, I notice that they have said NOTHING about the things I blog on, and some others, individuals, who have simply observed.   There is a striking omission of the organizations promoting “alienation” theory — no mention of AFCC, CRC, or the influence of the Child Support System & Grants Stream on how cases are decided.  While NAFCJ (and a similar Illinois group) are listed — for a change — they are one in a dozen-plus links that a mother in a crisis system could not sort through or wade through in time to help her case — if indeed that information even would.

I appreciate the work these organizations do to “out” that violence does indeed happen in the home.  Of course most people experiencing it know this already….

But how much better might it have been to give TIMELY information on the operational structure of the courts, and who is paying whom.  How in the world can one enter a contest being ignorant of the habits and devices of the opposite side?  What’s up with that?

So, I talk about these things.  And so do a FEW others.

Domestic Violence Nonprofit DVLEAP gets a “Sunshine Peace” award:

“This award is so meaningful to me,” said Professor Meier, “because I have so much respect for others who have received it in the past.    I am also grateful to the Sunshine Lady Foundation for the financial contribution to DV LEAP  associated with the award which will make a significant difference to our small organization that manages to accomplish so much with so few resources.”

According to the Sunshine Lady Foundation (which was founded by Doris Buffett), the Sunshine Peace Award program “recognizes extraordinary individuals who make a difference; those who help to build communities that are intolerant of domestic violence and through whose work peoples’ lives are changed for the better.”
Since Professor Meier founded DV LEAP in 2003, the organization has worked on cutting-edge issues in the domestic violence field, submitting 6 friend of court briefs in the Supreme Court.  In the past year, in addition to lecturing and consulting with survivors, DV LEAP staff have worked on 10 appeals, a remarkable output for an organization of its size

Well,this is all very nice — and certainly I”m sure professional work.  But is it the most important task?  I say:  NO!  Neither DVLEAP nor the State Coaliations (why, I hope to show soon enough), nor the related Leadership Council mention the operational systems of the courts — which is their related professional associations and nonprofits — as well as the grants stream and the child support system.  How hard is that to comprehend?  There are different systems working within to promote more and more work for the marriage counseling and therapy industry, PERIOD.

For example:

They did not mention that in 1999, in Ohio, an AFCC-laced Task Force lifted some AFCC_designed policies for custody, then flew to Arizona to attend an AFCC conference as part of their transformations of the courts.  These groups do not mention, typically, fatherhood funding, or the history of Family Law as an offshoot of a brainstorm between “Roger & Meyer”  (Judge Pfaff and Counselor Meyer Elkin) long ago, or anything at all about the Marv Byer discoveries in the late 1990s.  They don’t mention that around the US, “fatherhood commissions” building of the National Fatherhood Initiative have been formed to legalize some of the policies these very groups say they oppose.   Nor, FYI, do they (for example) broadcast to women that the NCADV and associated alliances are actually collaborating with the father’s groups at the national and financing level, and talking policy with them.

They certainly don’t mention when a local legislator slips in some bill to legalize steering court business to court professionals, as Senator Christine Kehoe (San Diego area) did when an Assemblyperson in 2002 (proposing a bill naming Kids’ Turn in its first draft; see my  “kicking salesmanship up a notch” post), or as She (sponsoring?) did again in SB 557 (with her chief of staff then and now Assemblyperson, Atkins) in legalizing the “Family Justice Center Model with an alliance run out of the San Diego City’s original brainchild.

Nor do they mention how the money keeps flowing in after conferences, for example, as in this 2008 AFCC conference:

Not only does the material itself show (coach) professionals how to be prejudiced against mothers — but it also probably more than breaks even (though aren’t judges paid enough in our states?) by selling the stuff!

READ THIS!  Read every sentence and simply think about it.  This is the pre-game and post-game plan for a custody hearing.  And it’s only one of how many?

These are existing people who decided WHERE kids live (or don’t), whether they see their own parents’ income go to professionals and evaluators, or to the children’s future college funds, or simply survival funds.   This is AFCC conference material:

Your Price: $25.00
Item Number: AFCC-08-011-M
Quantity:
Email this page to a friend

This panel will demonstrate how the judge, evaluator, psychologist performing psychological testing and the childrens therapist work together to complete the evaluation process. The panel will present an actual case in which a family comes to the court with allegations that mother is alienating the children and is clinically depressed. Father is asking for full custody. Mother is making counter allegations that father and his live-in girlfriend are verbally and emotionally abusing the three children. The parents have a history of high conflict and the police have been called many times to keep the peace. The family is referred for a child custody evaluation. The panel will demonstrate how the evaluator relies on the childrens therapist and the psychologist performing psychological testing on the parents, fathers girlfriend, and the child experiencing emotional distress, for information and case consultation in order to give the judge the most complete history and assessment possible. The panel will describe how and why the recommendations were made for this family.

The police were probably called because someone (not both) was being assaulted.  However, a single evaluation of a police call might obtain the cause of the call.  To “keep the peace” is an evasion.  911, or non-emergency police calls have causes.  We all know this.  If the police were called many times to “keep the peace” was no referral made?  Was no restraining order solicited?  Why not get to the bottom FIRST of whether or not a crime was committed.  THEN, if the answer is conclusively, NO, it might go to the next level.

Why do that, however, when a custody evaluation can be instead ordered.

I might just get this product and find out how they frame the situation.

To be continued .  . . .

@@@

martinplaut

Journalist specialising in the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa

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

'A Different Kind of Attention Develops Sound Judgment' | 'Suppose I'm Right Here?...' (posted 3/23 & 3/5/2014). Over 680 posts, Public-Interest Investigative Blogging On These Matters Since 2009.

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