Michael D. Erickson LPC
What is a Parent Coordinator / Facilitator?
A Parenting Coordinator (PC) or Parenting Facilitator (PF) is a trained professional who helps parents in high-conflict custody or visitation disputes. The role of a Parenting Coordinator / Facilitator is to assist parents in implementing their parenting plan, resolving conflicts, and making decisions regarding their children's welfare. The goal is to improve communication, reduce conflict, and ensure the best interests of the children are met.
Here are some key aspects of a Parenting Coordinator's role:
1. Conflict resolution: Parenting Coordinators are skilled in conflict resolution techniques and work with parents to help them communicate effectively and find mutually agreeable solutions. They facilitate discussions, mediate disputes, and promote cooperation between parents.
2. Implementation of parenting plan: A parenting plan is a document that outlines custody, visitation schedules, and other important aspects of co-parenting. The Parenting Coordinator helps parents understand and follow the parenting plan, ensuring that both parents are aware of their responsibilities and the needs of their children.
3. Decision-making: In situations where parents cannot agree on certain issues, the Parenting Coordinator may be empowered to make decisions on behalf of the parents within the scope of their authority. These decisions may include matters related to the children's education, healthcare, extracurricular activities, and other relevant issues.
4. Education and guidance: Parenting Coordinators may provide information and resources to parents to enhance their parenting skills and understanding of child development. They may offer guidance on effective co-parenting strategies, communication techniques, and conflict management to promote healthy relationships and a positive environment for the children.
5. Communication facilitation: Parenting Coordinators help parents improve their communication by establishing guidelines and providing tools for effective interaction. They may teach conflict resolution skills, active listening techniques, and methods for managing emotions during discussions.
6. Monitoring and compliance: Parenting Coordinators monitor the implementation of the parenting plan and ensure that both parents are adhering to its terms. They may investigate and address any concerns or violations, providing feedback and guidance to help parents meet their obligations.
7. Documentation and reporting: Parenting Coordinators maintain records of their interactions with parents, including discussions, decisions, and any relevant information. They may prepare reports for the court, detailing the progress, compliance, and any ongoing issues related to the parenting plan.
8. Ongoing support and coaching: Parenting Coordinators provide ongoing support to parents, offering guidance, coaching, and resources to help them navigate challenges and improve their co-parenting relationship. They may offer recommendations for additional services or interventions when necessary, such as therapy or parenting classes.
9. Child-focused approach: The primary focus of a Parenting Coordinator is the best interests of the children involved. They strive to create a stable and nurturing environment for the children, promote healthy parent-child relationships, and ensure that the children's needs are prioritized in decision-making.
10. Legal authority: In some jurisdictions, Parenting Coordinators may have limited decision-making authority granted by the court. However, their authority and scope of decision-making can vary. It is important to consult the relevant laws and regulations of your specific jurisdiction to understand the extent of a Parenting Coordinator's authority.
It's important to note that the specific roles and responsibilities of a Parenting Coordinator / Facilitator may vary depending on jurisdiction and the specific needs of the family. Laws and regulations governing the use and authority of Parenting Coordinators can also differ across different regions or countries. Parenting Coordinators can be valuable resources for parents experiencing ongoing conflict and difficulties in co-parenting. Their aim is to assist parents in reaching agreements, reducing conflict, and promoting the well-being of the children involved.