Parent Facilitation and Parent Coordination
Parent coordination (PC) and parent facilitation (PF) are essentially the same in many ways: Both require either
1) legalized agreement by both parties (i.e., in the form of a mediated settlement, rule eleven, or some other
binding legal agreement) or 2) court appointment by a judge. PC and PF are forms of dispute resolution established to assist high-conflict parents who have demonstrated an inability or unwillingness to make parenting decisions on their own (without relying on the legal system).
Both PC and PF involve an educational process through which parents develop operative skills for conflict resolution and effective communication. The biggest difference between the two processes is that Parent Coordination is confidential and Parent Facilitation is non-confidential (explained below).
Our approach to Parenting Coordination/Facilitation is a unique approach that uses the evidence-based (highly researched) best-practices Nurturing Parenting Program as a model to help provide the bridge from conflict parenting to cooperative co-parenting. ParentRise’s Nurturing CoParent Program is an education and conflict resolution model, designed to give co-parents the skills they need to realign as constructive business partners.
Parents learn to:
increase empathy as a means to decrease co-parent conflict
learn to communicate and negotiate effectively with the other parent
establish the best co-parent model that works for their family based on autonomy as an independent parent
understand children's developmental needs and how to meet those needs, particularly in high conflict environments
discipline and set boundaries with dignity and respect
use emotional regulation and flexible thinking to make clear and constructive decisions
use conflict resolution and proposal-making techniques
use skills to reduce stress, problem solve, communicate and negotiate, and much more
Parenting Facilitation is a non-confidential process in that the Facilitator provides regular updates to the Court (as mandated by Texas Family Code and often in the form of "status reviews") about parent behavior and participation in the parent facilitation process. The information on which Facilitator's report includes an assessment of:
Obstacles undermining an effective cooperative parenting relationship
Each parent's willingness to learn and apply the concepts provided throughout the PF process
Each parent's willingness to collaborate on the establishment of (child-centered) common goals
Each parent's ability to introspectively reflect on gains, setbacks, or roadblocks to established goals
The above list is not intended to be an exhaustive list of areas upon which I will report to the Court. It is intended to provide you with a general idea of the nature of our focus-- which is very much on the process rather than content of the co-parenting relationship.
Through education, mediation and case management, the family’s progress is monitored to ensure that parents are fulfilling their obligations to their child while complying with the recommendations of the Court. With prior approval of the parties and/or the Court, the Parenting Facilitator may have the authority to make limited decisions, within the scope of the court order. As outlined in Texas Family Code, the Parenting Facilitator also may make recommendations regarding the best interest of the child(ren) with one exception - Parenting Facilitators do not make recommendations regarding possession and access or child support.
Parenting Facilitators may meet with parents (both jointly and individually), meet with the children (with or without the parents), make home visits, review reports and written information, and consult with others involved with the family. Parenting Facilitation is useful for cases where parents may need more directive assistance in disengaging from their disputes with one another and refocusing on addressing the needs of the children in question. Parenting Facilitators bring an additional monitoring and reporting role to the process, and can help inform the court, the parents, and their attorneys as to what appears to be in the children's best interests as well as how each parent is contributing to meeting those interests.
Parenting Coordination (PC) is similar to Parent Facilitation with the major difference being that PC is an exclusively confidential process. The only communication a Parenting Coordinator can have with the court is to recommend whether or not parenting coordination should continue. Similar to Parent Facilitation, Parent Coordination help parents establish a healthy co-parenting relationship by reducing parental conflict and the risk factors that influence children’s post-divorce adjustment. The emphasis of the program is to offer children the opportunity to grow in a home environment free from the devastating stress of being caught in the middle of parental conflict.
PC in Texas was established as a part of the alternative dispute resolution process; therefore, all records are maintained in confidence. Any information obtained / discussed in individual or joint sessions with parents may not be disclosed or utilized in court. As a result, Parenting Coordinators do not make formal recommendations to the court.