The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts [AFCC] is a trade “association of professionals dedicated to the resolution of family conflict.”
AFCC members include many of the leading practitioners, researchers, educators and policymakers in the family court arena.
Most AFCC members make money based on the duration of family conflicts. This is in itself an inherent conflict.
- Lawyers [including Guardians ad litem]
- Court Commissioners
- Custody Evaluators
- Parenting Coordinators
- Court Administrators
- Social Workers
- Parent Educators
- Financial Professionals
AFCC provides training and education, and does not license, certify or regulate the practice of its members.
AFCC members who are judges have been a matter of controversy. Judges get training and education on family conflict resolution from a trade organization comprised of those who bill by the hour.
A family conflict not easily resolved equals cash.
Cases often start with two attorneys, one for each parent – and a judge. Perhaps an AFCC judge.
The judge then appoints an AFCC GAL for the children. The GAL recommends an AFCC custody evaluator to determine which parent should have custody. The AFCC custody evaluator finds that AFCC therapists are needed.
Families who never had a therapist will find they are paying for several AFCC therapists, one for each — mother, father, each child, and one for the family.
AFCC members recommend each other.
Bruce Freedman, psychologist and leading advocate for parental alienation syndrome.
Parental alienation often leads to flipping custody of children to the parent with whom they do not want to live. Parental alienation is adult-centric. Children’s preferences are not considered.
Children are removed from their homes and sent to live with the parent they are uncomfortable with, based on a sole opinion of an AFCC member.
A prescription of no-contact with the primary attachment figure for children is a shock to most children. But the remedy is that an AFCC reunification therapist and an AFCC parental visitation supervisor are employed to bring the “alienator” parent back into the lives of the children.
This typically requires one or more AFCC therapists. Because the children are traumatized by the loss of the closer parent, they are also provided with court-ordered AFCC therapists to counsel them on why this is all for their own good.
Since the good words of AFCC counselors sometimes cannot undo the heart sickness children feel from losing the parent one is closest to in life, AFCC psychiatrists are recommended or appointed. These can prescribe psychotropic medications that help mask the trauma of losing their primary attachment figure and being required to live with a parent with whom they – rightly or wrongly – do not want to live.
The determination of parental alienation ensures many billable hours. And that’s what this greediest of all trade associations is about – billable hours.