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Association Of Family And Conciliation Courts - Alberta Chapter
March 15

8:45 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Welcome: Sharon Smith, Chair, Board of Directors, AFCC (AB Chapter)

Children Who Resist Post-Separation Contact With a Parent
Mental health and legal and dispute resolution professionals are, with increasing frequency, dealing with highly complex cases involving children resisting contact with a parent. These cases are seen within and outside the courtroom and provide great challenges to the various professionals who work with the parents to seek resolution. This presentation will address the collaboration needed between lawyers, judges, and mental health professionals for effective child-focused legal responses and clinical interventions. Differentiation of the various parent-child contact problems will be discussed as well as interventions that are focused on the individual needs of each family. 










Barbara Jo Fidler, PhD., Families Moving Forward, Toronto, ON

Dr. Fidler has worked with high conflict separating/divorcing families conducting assessments, professional consultations, expert testimony, mediation, arbitration, therapy and parenting coordination for over 30 years. She is a frequent presenter to the judiciary, family bar, mental health professionals and law and mediation students on high conflict families and related topics. She has published in the areas of separation/divorce, parenting plans and residential schedules, parent-child contact problems and parenting coordination. 











Nicholas Bala, Faculty of Law, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON 

Nicholas (Nick) Bala is an internationally recognized expert on issues related to children, youth and families in the justice system, and teaches in that area as well as Contract Law.
Prof. Bala’s research focuses on issues related to parental separation including parental alienation and relocation; children in the family courts, including role of child’s counsel and judicial interviewing of children; spousal abuse and its effects on children; young offenders; children in the criminal courts; and access to family justice. Much of his research work is interdisciplinary; he has undertaken many collaborative projects with psychologists, social workers, criminologists and health professionals to better understand the effects of involvement in the justice system on children, youth and families. 

Recent Publications by the presenters

Fidler, Bala & Saini, Children Resisting Post-Separation Contact: A Differential Approach for Legal and Mental Health Professionals (New York: Oxford Press, 2013)

Fidler, Bala & Hurwitz, Best Practice Guide: Emotional Abuse and Parent-Child Contact Problems in High Conflict Separations (Toronto High Conflict Forum & Jewish Family & Child Services, 2013)

March 16

Voice of the Child

Welcome: Sharon Smith, Chair, Board of Directors, AFCC (AB Chapter)

8:30 – 10:00 Impact of Early Experiences on Brain Development, Learning & Health

Nicole Sherren, PhD., Scientific Director, Senior Program Officer AB Family Wellness Institute
Dr. Sherren’s area of expertise includes experience-based brain development. Her work has focused on mobilizing scientific knowledge into both clinical practice and public policy.

10:00 – 10:15 Break

10:15 – 12:00 noon Voice of the Child in Parental Separation Situations

Current Status of Voice of the Child in Practice Note 7

Hanita Dagan, Registered Psychologist, Taylor Clark Psychological Services, Calgary, AB
Hanita has over 25 years experience working with individuals, couples and families.
The focus of her practice is on high conflict issues including many PN7 Interventions (both Therapeutic and Evaluative).

Judges’ Experiences & Expectations re: Voice of the Child

Madam Justice Debbie Yungwirth, Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench - Madam Justice Yungwirth has been active in numerous professional organizations, including the Law Society of Alberta (Practice Review Committee and Legislative Review Committee), Legal Education Society of Alberta (Family Law Practice Manual Committee), the Edmonton Community Legal Centre, AFCC and AFCC Alberta Chapter, and the Canadian Bar Association Family Law Section, as well as the Legal Aid Appeals Committee. She has been a frequent conference speaker.

Lawyers’ Perceptions of and Experience Working with Voice of the Child Reports

Michelle C. Karasinski, Associate, Kurie Queck LLP, Sherwood Park, AB
The focus of Michelle’s practice is family law, an area that has provided her with experience dealing with Voice of the Child reports provided in conjunction with many of her clients.

12:00 noon – 1:00 Lunch

1:00 – 3:00Interviewing Children Regarding High Stress Issues

John Pearce, PhD., Registered Psychologist, is a child clinical psychologist who worked for over 30 years in the Child Abuse Service at Alberta Children's Hospital. Dr. Pearce is a Fellow of the Canadian Psychological Association and has published extensively in the areas of attachment, assessment of abused and neglected children, and trauma-informed/specific care. 

Terry Pezzot-Pearce, Ph.D., Registered Psychologist, is a child clinical psychologist who has had a private practice in Calgary for 36 years. One focus of her practice is addressing the challenges that children face during family separation and in response to maltreatment. Dr. Pezzot-Pearce has presented and written regarding such topics as assessment and treatment of abused and neglected children and also on parenting assessments.

3:00 – 3:15 Break

3:15- 4:00 Summary of Conference

with a focus on ethical issues identified and opportunities to address these issues
 in future AFCC presentations with AFCC (AB Chapter) Program Committee

Payment Instructions

Choose your days and Member or Non-Member and add your name and email 
If you want to pay by cheque, then email us and make cheque payable to AFCC Alberta Chapter
 and mail cheque to AFCC Alberta c/o Hoffman Law 109 14 Ave SE Calgary AB T2G 1C6
Give us your Name and Contact info and let us know that the cheque is in the mail! 

You are not registered until paid!!!
Register Below​
Both days: AFCC Alberta Chapter Members $500 - non-members $600

Either day: AFCC Alberta Chapter Members $275 - non-members $300


Conference Host Hotel – Matrix Hotel - 10640 100 Avenue, Edmonton – 1-780-429-2861

Special Conference Rates of $165 per night and great amenities and location

If you experience any issues with hotel booking contact Alison Carter 
at acarter@matrixedmonton.com or 780-420-4951

If you experience any problems with registration contact afccalberta@gmail.com  or 403-875-5565
AFCC Alberta Chapter 2018 Conference
March 15 – 16, 2018  Matrix Hotel, Edmonton, AB











I Don’t Want to Go! 
Children Who Resist Post-Separation Contact with a Parent
A great educational opportunity for Judges, Lawyers, Mental Health
 and Dispute Resolution Professionals

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