It was back in 2016 that London England based Family Law in Partnership (FLiP) founder Gillian Bishop first joined us in Toronto for the Riverdale Mediation PC trainings. She and fellow FLiP colleague Felicity Shedden had recognized the benefits that PC can provide to high conflict separated co-parents, and held the belief that while PC was foreign to the UK, that if a PC model existed, then there would likely be a demand for the necessary service.
In the winter of 2017 Gillian and FliP launched FLiP faculty, the training wing of FLiP, to offer a range of trainings for family law professionals. The aim in part to enhance ones “softer” skills and to develop a more reflective practice. While each of the courses sound amazing, it is the launch of FLiPs 8-module PC training launching in October 2017 that has brought me “over the pond” for two weeks.
At present I have the pleasure of accompanying Gillian Bishop on a whistle-stop tour of England to talk to family law and other professionals about Parenting Coordination and to promote FLiP’s upcoming PC trainings. Gillian and I have found eager groups in Bristol, Birmingham and of course London. We are scheduled to present in Leeds and Manchester next and will no doubt find other eager and curious crowds.
The family law professionals are quick to identify that their high conflict clients need help. After each of the presentations there has been shared acknowledgement that children need buffering from on-going parental conflict, and that something must be done to keep co-parents from continuously returning to court. As I have provided examples of my own PC practice and how specific interventions are applied, our curious crowds have recognized the possibilities for their own clients and cases.
It is truly an exciting time as Parenting Coordination is coming to the UK. It will be interesting to watch the UK model of PC form to meet the needs of the UK population. Equally as interesting is having a front row seat as family law and other professionals craft a model that fits their practices, which while supported by AFCC practice guidelines, will be uniquely their own. Exciting times indeed, and one which this PC is privileged to be part of if even in a small way.
Jared Norton is a Parenting Coordinator with Riverdale Mediation. Jared seeks to help parents to develop co-parenting relationships and interactions which support the best interest of their children. Working with co-parent’s strengths, Jared helps co-parents address potential risk factors and to enhance protective factors within the context of the child’s world.