FINDING A PARENT COORDINATOR
When there has been on-going high conflict that is not being resolved by mediation, evaluation or other methods, Parent Coordinators are often selected by the parents, but must be ordered by judges to provide PC services for the case.
The role of parent coordinator includes at least five functions:
- Coordination and case management
- Conflict Management
- Decision-making when the parents can't agree
Oregon has the 2010 SFLAC Guidelines, which specify the following criteria for those appointed by courts. Most of these criteria can be waived by the judge if the PC is otherwise qualified.
According to the current SFLAC guidelines, PC's should:
1. Have a Master's or Doctoral degree in law, psychiatry, psychology, counseling, marriage and family therapy, mental health or social work.
2. Should hold a professional license in good standing in one of the fields listed above.
3. Should have specific training in the role of Parent Coordination.
4. Should receive specific training in related areas including family mediation (meeting the state minimum qualifications for Domestic Relations Custody and Parenting Mediation (40 hrs).
5. Should have peer or formal supervision for their first 5 PC cases from an experienced PC.
6. Should maintain on-going continuing education and supervision.
7. Should inform clients and courts the ethical standards covering their practice.
8. Should never assume a dual role with anyone involved in parent coordination.
9. Usually does not act as an arbitrator under the State rules of arbitration, and doesn't make binding decisions.
You can find the complete SFLAC 2010 Guidelines for Qualifications for Parent Coordinators (PC), Custody Evaluators (CE), and Parenting Time Supervisors (PTS) via the Oregon Justice Department (OJD) website.
Payment for PC is made by the parents, or as ordered by the court. Costs vary by the provider, who should provide a clear statement of fees and costs as part of intake.
The PC meets with the parents and child as often as is needed. The PC issues recommendations and directives that the parents and children must follow, or the matter is returned to the court.
Oregon does not have specialized standards or ethics for PC's at this time. Most PC's practicing in Oregon follow the standards for PC's developed by The Association for Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC), an international professional organization. You can find a copy of these standards at their website:
Standards of practice require that the clients must get a court order appointing the PC they have selected, before ANY PC services are provided. The order should specify at least
- how long the PC appointment will last
- who pays for the services
- the scope of the PC's role for decision-making.
OFI used to provide initial training and on-going Peer Review support for professionals, but as of July 1, 2016, OFI no longer provides training, or lists trained providers.
For any further questions please contact:
WILLIAM J. HOWE, J.D., OFI PRESIDENT
Gevurtz, Menashe, Larson and Howe
115 NW First Ave. St. 400
Portland, OR 97204-4024