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AFCC 50th Anniversary Conference

Riding the Wave of the Future:

Global Voices, Expanding Choices
May 29 - 1une 1, 2013
Los Angeles, California

Workshop 53

Improving Connecticuts Child Advocates

Sharon Wicks Dornfeld, 1D
Sidney S. Horowitz, PhD
Howard Krieger, PhD
Hon. Lynda Munro
Improving Connecticuts Advocates
for Children:
Guidelines, Training Programs &
Regional Academies
Hon. Lynda Munro
Sharon Wicks Dornfeld, J.D.
Sidney S. Horowitz, Ph.D.
Howard M. Krieger, Ph.D.
May 31, 2013
Dear Participant:

We offer this program in hopes that you come away from it feeling empowered
to create a training course for your attorneys for minor children and
guardians ad litem that is consistent with the needs of your jurisdiction.

The notion here is fundamentally simple: a group of individuals from multiple
disciplines and diverse experience, in a private/public/academic collaboration,
can harness their creativity, knowledge and willpower to envision, create and
execute a program such as ours at virtually no financial cost. The latter
appears to be a determinant criteria for innovation during these times of
diminishing financial resources.

We will share with you our process, where we started, where we are now,
missteps and adjustments along the way and where we hope to go in the future.

The four of us are presenting today but this project represents the work of
many. Each individual contributor is named on the attached sheet, with a note
of their respective professional disciplines. Without them, none of this is
possible. With them, we strive to help the children of Connecticut's families.

Thank you for attending today. We look forward to your participation and

Lynda B. Munro
Chief Administrative Judge, Family
1 Court Street
Middletown, CT 06457
Ph. 860-343-6570 Fx. 860-343-6589
Attorney Sharon Wicks Dornfeld
70 North Street
Suite 104
Danbury, CT 06870
Ph. 203-748-3363 Fx. 203-748-3104

Sidney S. Horowitz, Ph.D.
Clinical & Forensic Psychologist
Connecticut Resource Group, LLC
Waterbury, CT 06706
Ph. 203-573-9521 Fx. 203-573-8708
Howard M. Krieger, Ph.D.
Clinical & Forensic Psychologist
Connecticut Resource Group, LLC
Waterbury, CT 06706
Ph. 203-573-9521 Fx. 203-573-8708
Hon. Lynda B. Munro
Prof. Carolyn Wilkes Kaas, J.D.
Hon. Holly Abery-Wetstone
Hon. Harry Calmar
Hon. Elaine Gordon
Hon. Lynda B. Munro
Hon. John Turner
Judicial Branch
Court Services Support Division
Family Services Supervisor
Phyllis Cummings-Texeira, MSW
Mental Health Professionals
Elizabeth Bergen, Ph.D.
David Israel, Psy.D
Ken Robson, M.D.
Sidney Horowitz, Ph.D.
Elizabeth Thayer, Ph.D.
Barry Armata, J.D.
Mike Blanchard, J.D.
Steve Dembo, J.D.
Sharon Wicks Dornfeld, J.D.
Helen Murphy, J.D.
Maureen Murphy, J.D.*
Louise Truax, J.D.
Hon. Holly Abery-Wetstone
Hon. Gerard Adelman
Hon. Bernadette Conway
Judicial Branch Staff
Kathryn Ceruti, MS
Phyllis Cummings-Texeira, MSW
Michael Emons, MS
Stephen Grant, MA, CAGS
Mental Health Professionals
Elizabeth Bergen, Ph.D.
Mary Cheyne, Ph.D.
Sidney Horowitz, Ph.D.
Robert Horwitz, Ph.D.
Howard Krieger, Ph.D.
Marcia Lebowitz, M.S.W.
Stephanie Leite, Psy.D.
Samuel E. Moy, Ph.D.
Ken Robson, M.D.
Kristen L. Selleck, MSW
Mary-K OSullivan, MA, LMFT, LADC, LPC
Linda Santos Smith, Ph.D.
Prof. Carolyn Wilkes Kaas, J.D.
Prof. Carla Smith Stover, Ph.D.
Barry Armata, J.D.
Mike Blanchard, J.D.
Frances Calafiore, J.D.
Thomas Colin, J.D.*
Gary Cohen, J.D.
Steve Dembo, J.D.
Sharon Wicks Dornfeld, J.D.
Anne Epstein, J.D.
Thomas Esposito, J.D.
David Griffin, J.D.
Jane Grossman, J.D.*
Sheila Hayre, J.D.
* now Hon.
SPEAKERS, continued:
Sandy Lax, J.D.
Helen Murphy, J.D.
Maureen Murphy, J.D.*
Sarah Oldham, J.D.
Paige Quilliam, J.D.
Justine Rakich-Kelly, J.D.
Frank Santy, J.D.
Elizabeth T. Sharpe, J.D.
Erika Tindill, J.D.
Louise Truax, J.D.
Catherine Whelan, J.D.
Robert D. Zaslow, J.D.
Mental Health Professionals
S. David Bernstein, Psy.D.
Mary Cheyne, Psy.D.
Deborah Datz, LPC, NCSP
Nancy Eiswirth, Ph.D.
Eric Frazer, Psy.D.
Bruce Freedman, Ph.D.
Robert Horwitz, Ph.D.
Wendy Levy, Ph.D.
Joan Oppenheim, Psy.D.
Ines Schroeder, Psy.D.
Barry Armata, J.D.
Thomas Esposito, J.D.
Jane Grossman, J.D.*
Mark Henderson, J.D.
Otto Iglesias, J.D.
Keenan McMahon, J.D.
Helen Murphy, J.D.
Maureen Murphy, J.D.*
Elizabeth T. Sharpe, J.D.
Robert Zaslow, J.D.
* now Hon.
Joint project of the State of Connecticut Judicial Branch, Connecticut Commission on Child
Protection,Children's Law Center, & Quinnipiac University School of Law Project on Children and the
Currently, Connecticut judges have the discretion to appoint attorneys and some non-attorney
professionals to serve as Guardians ad litem [GALs] and Attorneys for Minor Children [AMCs] in
Connecticut family matters involving divorce cases with custody issues, as well as custody
matters between unmarried parents, and in rare cases, disputes with non-parent third parties.
Private attorneys and other professionals who serve as GAL or AMC are compensated by one
of the following means:
Receiving court-ordered payments from the parents/other parties;
Serving on a pro bono basis;
Requesting payment at a set state rate from the state, through the Commission on Child
Protection, if the court finds the parents are indigent.
The individual courts have long maintained local lists of attorneys and other professionals willing
to serve as GAL and/or AMCs in the particular judicial districts. This Project will create an
application and approval process for those professionals who will become eligible to be paid by
the state, and will provide training for both novice and experienced GAL/AMCs. The training is
required for those who wish to be eligible for compensation from the state; it will be optional, yet
highly suggested, for those who wish to be appointed in pro bono and private-payment cases.
In the state of Connecticut, there has been no previous centralized system of training or other
means of assuring the quality of advocacy by these professionals. Trainings and workshops in
child development and other aspects of GAL/AMC work has been offered by the state bar
association and other entities periodically. In addition, many dedicated GAL/AMC professionals
enhance their skills and knowledge by participating in national groups such as American
Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers [AAML] and the Association for Family and Conciliation
Courts [AFCC]. Recently, a group of experienced attorneys and mental health professionals set
up discussion and study groups called "GAL Academies" in Hartford and New Haven, with a
plan to implement other such groups throughout the state. This effort will continue, but now will
be both expanded statewide and coordinated by the Children's Law Center.
The Project objectives are to:
Improve the overall quality of advocacy by those professionals serving as GALs/AMCs, by:
" Providing "Basic Training" to novices that is free and offered regularly on an easy
toattend schedule;
" Refreshing the knowledge base of experienced GALs/AMCs by their participation
in the "Basic Training"
" Improving mentoring and communication between experienced and novice
" Coordinating the efforts of individuals and groups providing on-going or
advanced education of GALs/AMCs;
" Increase number of skilled professionals who are willing to serve ad GAL/AMCs,
especially in cases with indigent parents;
" Create local networks of "Academies" for GALs/AMCs that are interdisciplinary,
and that support on-going education and discussion of advanced and thorny
" Establish a statewide consensus on the role of the GAL /AMC through
comprehensive guidelines that will assist the courts by ensuring that children will
have GALs and AMCs who can and do make thorough investigations,
assessments and when appropriate, recommendations.
The Pilot Basic Training began December 4, 2009, and continued on periodic Fridays through
March 26, 2010. It was designed by a committee of judges, attorneys and mental health
professionals. The second Basic Training, incorporating the feedback from the participants in
the pilot, is scheduled to begin September 24, 2010, and continue periodically through
December 3, 2010. We expect to offer to offer the training once or twice in 2011, and then
annually thereafter, as the need arises.
The GAL/AMC Academies, newly designated as Regional Academies of Child Advocates
("RACA"), will begin, or renew, meeting after the Pilot Training is complete, in 2010 and 2011.
The Academy Steering Committee currently consists of attorneys Barry Armata, Maureen
Murphy, Steven Dembo and Justine Rakich-Kelly. The Children's Law Center will serve as the
coordinating entity of the Academies. At the present time, we have four RACAs designed to
cover the state: Central/Northeastern; New Haven; Fairfield; Greater Waterbury/Western.
Advanced trainings will also be offered periodically for all those who have participated in the
Basic Training. The Judicial Branch will encourage these advanced programs to be offered in a
coordinated fashion, perhaps coordinated by the Academies, and/or as joint projects of the state
Bar Association, local law schools, local chapters of national organizations, and other interested
Finally, the Judicial Branch intends to:
! Maintain a database of professionals who have successfully completed this training
! Provide the database to the judges presiding over family matters
! Seek evaluation by attendees of their subjective assessment of the content and quality of the
! Maintain a Training Committee of volunteer/individuals willing to continue designing and
changing the curriculum as needed;
! In coordination with the CCPA, develop an internet-based centralized network for, and access
to materials;
! Seek to institutionalize the appointment of only those professionals who have completed
Basic Training (once it is available on a widespread basis).
Planning Committee Co-chairs: Hon. Lynda B. Munro and Professor Carolyn Kaas.Members: Hon. Holly Abery-Wetstone; Barry
Armata, Esq.; Elizabeth Bergen, Ph.D.; Michael Blanchard, Esq.; Phyllis Cummings-Texeira, M.S.W.; Steven Dembo, Esq.;
Attorney Sharon Dornfeld; Hon. Elaine Gordon; Sidney Horowitz, Ph.D.; David Israel, Ph.D.; Attorney Helen Murphy; Attorney
Maureen Murphy; Attorney Justine Rakich-Kelly; Dr. Kenneth Robson; Attorney Louise Truax; Hon. John Turner. Former
Quinnipiac Legal Interns: Attorney Amy Calvo, J.D. '09; Lisa Dumond, J.D. '10, Attorney and FRC Allison Kaas, J.D. '09.
The legislature has not delineated, nor has this court yet been presented with the opportunity to
delineate, the obligations and limitations of the role of counsel for a minor child. We recognize
that representing a child creates practical problems for an attorney and that this important issue,
at some point, needs to be addressed.
Knock v. Knock, 224 Conn. 776, 791 (1993)
fn [4] The legislature has not delineated, nor has the Supreme Court yet been presented with
the opportunity to delineate, the obligations and limitations of the role of counsel for a minor
child. Knock v. Knock, supra, 224 Conn. at 791, 621 A.2d 267. We strongly echo the statement
of the Knock court that representing a minor child creates practical problems for an attorney and
that this important issue needs to be addressed.
Jaser v. Jaser, 37 Conn. App. 194, 205 (1995)
Although this court has not previously delineated the exact roles of the attorney for the child and
the guardian ad litem, we have recognized the potential for conflict between these roles when
both are appointed by the court. See Newman v. Newman, 235 Conn. 82, 101, 663 A.2d 980
(1995) ("there may be instances in which the functions of counsel for minor children differ
fundamentally from those of a guardian ad litem"); Knock v. Knock, supra, 224 Conn. at 791,
621 A.2d 267 ("[t]he legislature has not delineated, nor has this court yet been presented with
the opportunity to delineate, the obligations and limitations of the role of counsel for a minor
Schult v. Schult, 241 Conn. 767, 779 (1997)
Although issues involving attorneys for minor children have previously come before this court,
we have never taken the opportunity to delineate the precise role those attorneys should play in
legal proceedings regarding custody and visitation. See, e.g., [Schult v. Schult, 241 Conn. 767],
at 779, 699 A.2d 134 (stating court has not delineated exact roles of attorney for child and
guardian ad litem and recognizing roles could conflict); Knock v. Knock, supra, 224 Conn. at
791, 621 A.2d 267 (noting neither legislature nor court has determined obligations and
limitations of role of attorney for minor child). Resolution of the question before us does not
require, however, a complete delineation of the role of the attorney for the minor child.
Ireland v. Ireland, 246 Conn. 413 (1998)
While helpful in their instructions, the various guidelines for a guardian ad litem or counsel for a
minor child offer little guidance to each concerning the delineation of their responsibilities when
both are appointed. The absence of either general parameters or case specific directions has
the potential to lead to confusion, which is neither in the best interest of a child nor consonant
with the efficient use of resources.
In re Tayquon H., 76 Conn. App. 693 (2003)
Used in preparing the course and useful in practice as an Attorney for Minor Children or Guardian ad litem
Ayoub, C.C., Deutsch, R.M., Andronicki, M., Emotional Distress in Children of High-Conflict
Divorce, Family Court Review, Vol. 37, Issue 3 (1999).
Baris, M.A., and Coates, C.A.., Duvall, B.B., Garrity, C.B., Johnson, E.T., and La Crosse, E.R.,
Berdon, R., Child Custody Litigation: Some Relevant Considerations, 53 Conn.B.J. 179 (1979)
Berdon, R., A Child's Right to Counsel in a Contested Custody Proceeding Resulting from a
Termination of the Marriage, 50 Conn.B.J. 150 (1976).
Bergman, P. & Escalona, S., Unusual Sensitivities in Very Young Children, International Study
of the Child, Vol. 3, No. 4 (1949).
Bilchik, S., DeLeonardis, G., Frieman, B., ATTORNEYS REPRESENTING CHILDREN:
EXPERIENCING SEPARATION AND DIVORCE. (Columbia, MD: The Children of Separation
and Divorce Center, Inc.1998).
Drews, M.D. & Halprin, P.J., Determining The Effective Representation of a Child in Our Legal
System, Family Court Review, Vol. 40, Issue 3 (2002) .
Fidler, B.J., & Bala, N., Children Resisting Postseparation Contact with a Parent: Concepts,
Controversies, and Conundrums, Family Court Review, Vol.48, No.1 (2010).
Garon, R.J., Donner, D S., Peacock, K.., From Infants to Adolescents: A Developmental
Approach to Parenting Plans, Family Court Review, Vol. 38, Issue 2 (2000).
Garon, R., DeLeonardis,G., Gailey, H., Mandell, B., GUIDELINES FOR CHILD FOCUSED
(Columbia, MD: The Children of Separation and Divorce Center, Inc. 1993).
HIGH CONFLICT DIVORCE. (New York: Lexington Books 1994).
Halikias, W., The Guardian Ad Litem for Children in Divorce, Family Court Review, Vol. 32,
Issue 4 (1994)
Hamburg, B.A., & Wortman, R.N., Adolescent Development and Psychopathology, In:
PSYCHIATRY, Vol. 2, (Michels, E.B.R., ed., Philadephia, PA; New York, NY: Lippincott-Raven
Publishers, 1996/1997).
(Chicago: American Bar Association 2006).
CUSTODY, ADOPTION, AND PROTECTION CASES. (Chicago: American Bar Association
Holz, M.C., Guidelines for Guardian Ad Litem in Custody Disputes, Family Court Review, Vol.
15, Issue 1 (1977).
Jaffe, P.G., Johnston, J.R., Crooks, C.V., Bala, N., Custody Disputes Involving Allegations Of
Domestic Violence: Toward a Differentiated Approach to Parenting Plans, Family Court Review,
Vol. 46, No. 3 (2008)
Kelly, J.B. & Johnston, J.R., The Alienated Child: A Reformulation of Parental Alienation
Syndrome, Family Court Review, Vol. 39, No. 3 (2001).
McGoldrick, M., Giordano, J., Garcia-Preto, N., Overview, In: ETHNICITY AND FAMILY
THERAPY (New York, N.Y., Guilford Press 3
ed. 2005).
McHale, J.P. & Sullivan, M., (2007), Family Systems, In: HANDBOOK OF CLINICAL
PSYCHOLOGY, (Hersen, M. & Gross, A., eds., Hoboken, N.J., Wiley & Sons 2007).
Provence, S., Early Child Development, In: PSYCHIATRY, Vol. 2, (Michels, E.B.R., ed.,
Philadephia, PA; New York, NY: Lippincott-Raven Publishers, 1996/1997).
Pruett, M.K., Ebling, R., Insabella, G., Critical Aspects of Parenting Plans for Young Children.
Family Court Review, Vol. 42, Issue 1 (2004).
CASES (Chicago: American Bar Association 2008)
Shapiro, T., Primary School Age Development, In: PSYCHIATRY, Vol. 2, (Michels, E.B.R., ed.,
Philadephia, PA; New York, NY: Lippincott-Raven Publishers, 1996/1997).
Shear, L.E., Childrens Lawyers in California Family Law Courts, Family Court Review, Vol. 34,
No. 2 (1996).
Sholevar, G.P., Family Development and Life Cycle, In: PSYCHIATRY, Vol. 2, (Michels,
E.B.R., ed., Philadephia, PA; New York, NY: Lippincott-Raven Publishers, 1996/1997).
Taylor, L., A Lawyer For Every Child: Client-Directed Representation in Dependency Cases,
Family Court Review, Vol. 47, Issue 4 (2009).
(Chicago: American Bar Association 1994).
ABA The ABA Child Custody and
Pro Bono Project created a
training series for attorneys
representing children in
custody actions. Extensive
written and dvd materials are
no longer accessible on the
ABA website, but may be
available through the ABA.
Arkansas 10 hour training required
Maine Pine Tree Legal Assistance
in York County has some
useful materials. 16 hours
Maryland 6 hours required.
Missouri 12 hours required
Ohio Rule 48(E) of the Rules of
Superintendence for the
Courts of Ohio. 6 hour
training course.
12 hours required
Virginia 7 hours required
Washington Familiarity with laws/rules
5 hours observing mentor
5 hours observing cases
Excellent GAL manual
To: GAVELL FILE [Justine/Kevin/Amy]
Date: 12/4/09
I have the initial pleadings and have heard briefly from each of the parent's lawyers and
have been informed of the following:
Mona (mom) and Howard (dad) Gavell were married on April 15, 1990 and have three
children: Justine, age 13; Kevin, age 6; and Amy, age 18 months. Both parents are 42
years of age and in good physical health.
The parties are currently residing together during the pendency of the action, but
this may not be working out well.
Mom is a college graduate and dad went to tech school. Dad is an HVAC technician
and has been self-employed for the past 2 years. Mom maintains the books, runs the
office and has set up a website for the business, which is run from the family home.
Mom had been employed until Justine was born and has been a stay at home mom
ever since aside from working as of late with dad in the new business. Dad is also a
volunteer firefighter.
Mom is a devout Catholic and an organic earth mother. Dad was born a Catholic but
has not stayed very active in the Church. The parties did agree to raise their children in
the Catholic faith before Justine was born.
Extended Family
Mom's parents own the house mom and the family live in and they also own another
house and live near by. Dad's parents are divorced and do not live nearby. (Texas, I
think.) Dad and his father are close as his father raised

him after the divorce (he was 13 when they separated). His mother is apparently
an alcoholic.
Family dynamic
(According to dad's lawyer)
Mom suffers from an anxiety disorder. She suffered from post-partum depression after
each birth. Dad maintains that mom is not doing well at all right now. She may be on
medication daily to control her depression and possible suicidal tendencies. Mom has
no interest in sex, which may have been one cause for the breakdown of the marriage.
Mom does provide much of the care for the children when she is feeling well. Dad has
always been a good provider and picks up the slack when mom is feeling depressed.
Currently dad is Kevin's soccer/golf coach. Mom does not have a good relationship with
(According to mom's lawyer)
Confirmed that mom suffers from an anxiety disorder, takes medication, did suffer from
post-partum depression after the birth of each child, and was worse in the past. He
assures me, however, that mom's disorder is under control and she takes the
medication merely as a precaution. Mom's medication caused her to lose interest in sex.
Dad had an affair with a girl half his age who is still his girlfriend, and Dad is involving
the new girlfriend in the caretaking. Mom has always cared for the children and is
involved with their teachers/school activities, etc.
(According to both lawyers)
Justine has been sex-ting (sending sexually explicit messages concerning herself via
text messages). Both parents feel she is acting out because of the divorce.
Kevin has possible learning disabilities.
Amy is apparently developing just fine for her age.
12:00 noon Welcome, Introduction and Program Goals Hon. Lynda B. Munro
12:15 - 12:45 Introduction to Family Law Hon. Lynda B. Munro
12:45 - 1:00 Intro to the Players in Family Court Helen Murphy, J.D.
1:00 - 1:30 What Matters in Custody (Video) Kenneth Robson, M.D.
1:30 - 1:45 Guidelines for Child Advocates Prof. Carolyn Kaas
Barry Armata, J.D.
1:45 - 2:00 Break
2:00 - 2:30
Defining Domestic Violence Kathryn Ceruti, M.S.
2:30 - 3:30 Benchmarks: The Perspective from the Bench Hon. Lynda B. Munro
3:30 - 4:30 Small Group Breakout
4:30 - 4:45 Divorce From A Childs Point of View Marcia Lebowitz, LCSW
4:45 - 5:00 Introducing the Gavell Family/
Review Assignment for Day 2
Maureen Murphy, J.D.
5:00 Day 1 Evaluations and Adjourn Prof. Carolyn Kaas
Please prepare for this day by reading the Homework and Speaker Materials shown on
the Index to Materials for Day 1
The Training and Coordination Project For Guardians Ad Litem and
Attorneys for Minor Children In Family Matters
1. Conn. Gen. Stat. Sec. 46b-56 Custody and care of minor children
2. Conn. Gen. Stat. Sec. 46b-56a Joint Custody, Parental Responsibility Plans
3. Conn. Gen. Stat. Sec. 45a-132 Appointment of Guardian ad litem
4. Conn. Gen. Stat. Sec. 46b-54 Counsel for minor children. Duties
5. Rudolewicz v. Rudolewicz , Superior Court, Aug. 20, 1986 (Arena, J.)
6. Basic Differences: GALs and AMCs in Connecticut (Kaas)
7. Connecticut Reality: Players and Places (M. Murphy)
8. Connecticut Family Lawyer, June 2007 issue
9. Guidelines for Child Advocates (Training Committee)
10. Meet the Gavell FamilyMemo to File
Speaker Materials:
11. Steve Grant Powerpoint
Additional Resources:
11.a. Glossary
11.b. Family Case Chronology
12. Overview of Quest for Defining the Roles of GALs/AMCs (Dumond)
13. Family Relations/Family Services (Connecticut Judicial Branch CSSD)
14. What Matters in Custody: A Primer (Robson)
15. Traveling in Toyland (Robson)
16. Childrens Bill of Rights (Emery, The Truth About Children and Divorce, at 82-83
In Custody Cases
Use your judgment regarding whether each step is necessary in your case and what order of the steps is
most appropriate, as one size does not fit all.
These guidelines are designed to assist advocates with making judgment calls about the range of possible
actions to take in order to be thorough, and are not intended to create a rigid approach to case
management or to articulate a standard of care.
! Purpose
o Introduce yourself and establish your role in this case
! Process
o Obtain appointment order and ascertain exact nature of appointment (e.g. GAL or AMC)
<Understand the difference between the roles
<Understand that there may be times where the role is more of a hybrid.
See, Carrubba v. Moskowitz, 274 Conn. 533 (2005)
<Understand what your role is and the court's expectation of your role
o Call other counsel
<Establishing a rapport and working relationship for the attorneys in the case is
essential. It will help you gain insight into the issues and the willingness of the
parties and their counsel to resolve the issues short of court intervention.
<Confirm your court appointment and the expectation of the appointment as child
advocate and ask for any relevant pleadings.
<Are you to advocate the child's position or to engage in a best interest
<Ask for written permission to speak with their client outside of their
<Ask for overview of case from their client's perspective
" Send out a retainer letter setting forth your hourly rate and required retainer including fees
for other professionals and support staff [or your pro bono or state rate status]
o Confirm appointment with Court Clerk and the next time the case is to appear on the court
<If you are not in court when appointed, the clerk may have additional information
as to why you were appointed
<You will also need to know if there is a report back date set by the court. Absent an
exigency, the court will usually accommodate your schedule. If there are exigent
circumstances and you cannot adequately perform your duties in the time required,
you should notify the court.
o Clarify at first court appearance (or earlier if appropriate) with Judge the nature and scope
of your appointment, if not clear from the Court Order
<If you need, or believe it is in the best interest of the children, to expand the scope
of your duties, you should request that the court do so
" Obtain copies of all other relevant pleadings if you have not received them from the
" Start a file
" Start a case timeline of family and case history
<As a GAL, all portions of your file are discoverable. As AMC, the file is not
" Start a list of needed actions and requests
<Be careful in listing or starting to formulate recommendations without having allof
the information you need.
"Have initial introductory conversation with each parent
<Set in-person appointment time and date
<Brief introduction to you and your role
"Obtain each parents version of the family and case history
<Valuable information can be gained by determining how parents came together as a
couple; the circumstances surrounding the birth of the child(ren); what led to the
breakdown of the marriage, and why conflict has developed
"Understand their relationships with the child
<Begin to assess where they are regarding the issue and the process and their ability
to do what is in the children's best interests; also assess the parents' ability to meet
the child's fundamental needs, including housing, education, healthcare, food, shelter
and the like.
"Start process of bringing the focus back to the child
<Consider how children feel about switching beds all the time, living out of
suitcases, impact of distance and travel time between homes, etc. What is fair is what
the child needs, not what the parent wants.
and 15 more pages.....

Connecticut Rules
As amended through January 1, 2013
25-62. Appointment of Guardian Ad
The judicial authority may appoint a guardian
ad litem for a minor involved in any family
matter. Unless the judicial authority orders that
another person be appointed guardian ad litem,
a family relations counselor shall be designated
as guardian ad litem. The guardian ad litem is
not required to be an attorney. With the
exception of family relations counselors, no
person may be appointed as guardian ad litem
until he or she has completed the
comprehensive training program for all family
division guardians ad litem sponsored by the
judicial branch. The judicial authority may
order compensation for services rendered by a
courtappointed guardian ad litem.
History. P.B. 1978-1997, Sec. 484. Amended
June 20, 2011, to take effect Jan. 1, 2012.
HISTORY-2012: Prior to 2012, the last
sentence of this section read: ''If the guardian
ad litem is not a family relations counselor, the
judicial authority may order compensation for
services rendered in accordance with the
established judicial branch fee schedule.'' In
2012, that sentence was deleted, and what are
now the last two sentences of this section were
COMMENTARY-2012: This revi si on
provides notice to guardians ad litem for
minors in family matters that they must
complete a comprehensive training program
before the judicial authority will appoint them.
Connecticut Rules
As amended through January 1, 2013
25-62A. Appointment of Attorney for a
Minor Child
The judicial authority may appoint an attorney
for a minor child in any family matter. No
person shall be appointed as an attorney for a
minor child until he or she has completed the
comprehensive training program for all family
division attorneys for minor children
sponsored by the judicial branch. The judicial
authority may order compensation for services
rendered by an attorney for a minor child.
History. Adopted June 20, 2011, to take effect
Jan. 1, 2012.
COMMENTARY-2012: This rule provides
notice to an attorney for a minor child that he
or she must complete a comprehensive training
program before the judicial authority will
appoint them.
Editorial: Hot Training Sessions Will
Help Children
The Connecticut Law Tribune April 9, 2012
(The Editorials on this page are the product of the Editorial Board. The views expressed are not necessarily those of any
individual Board Member or of the Law Tribune's management. The Editorial Board has no role in the management of the
Law Tribune.
What is the hottest training in Connecticut right now? The guardian ad litem (GAL)/attorney for minor child (AMC) training that
is being given at Quinnipiac University School of Law
Over 800 people have already participated in this free training. It is sponsored by the Judicial Branch, the Commission on Child
Protection, the Children's Law Center and Quinnipiac Law School. A committee of lawyers and mental health professionals, led
by Judge Lynda B. Munro, designed the training program. Our thanks go to Judge Munro for making this happen, being involved
in every step of the process of the development of the curriculum and attending as many sessions as she can.
One might ask why so many lawyers, young, old, experienced and brand new, are signing up for this training along with a great
many mental health professionals. A Practice Book rule has just been adopted that restricts appointment of guardians ad litem
and attorneys for minor children to those who have completed this training and the rule will apply regardless of years of the
practitioner's past experience and expertise. This is only for those cases in which the parents are indigent and the case has been
approved for payment of fees by the state, through the Commission on Child Protection. Cases in which the parents can pay for
the services of the court appointed GAL or AMC can still have lawyers or others who are not trained and certified through this
process. The certification is also not required for representation of children in the Juvenile Court child protection
The training involves six sessions from noon to 4:30 p.m. and has a detailed lengthy curriculum of homework to be read in
advance along with presentations on the law, child development, adolescent development, mental health issues, substance abuse,
litigation and evidentiary questions. There is role-playing of scenarios from the various sides of a custody issue with feedback
from mental health and legal professionals. The goal of all of this is to develop a cadre of people to represent children who are
better informed about what really matters in a contested custody case, the children and their best interests.
People who have completed or will soon complete the certification course had to submit an application to the public defenders'
office in early February. Only those people who applied and are approved will be appointed to do this kind of representation
from July 1, 2012 on. The assumption is that the judges will have lists of those who have taken the course and been approved and
will only appoint from that list.
So the question remains: why are 800 people interested in being certified? A) The pursuit of knowledge; B) The experience; C)
The opportunity to redirect one's career; D) The desire to be of assistance to the courts; E) An interest in being better prepared in
a contested case when there is a GAL or AMC appointed; F) The money.
It does not really matter what the reasons are. What matters is that this is an important step towards the improvement of
the consistency and quality of the representation of children in family court.
Today's date:
Last Name: First Name: Middle Initial:
Business Street Address: Business Phone No. Cell No.(Optional):
( ) ( )
P.O. Box: City: State: ZIP Code:
Email Address:
Please identify your area of practice & level of experience (required). You may need to abbreviate:
~ Attorney Juris Number: ________ Years of active practice: ___ Primary Judicial District: ________
~ Mental Health Provider Title: ________Years of active practice: ___ Town/City of Practice: __________
~ Social Worker Title: ________Years of active practice: ___ Town/City of Practice: __________
~ Other _____________ Title: ________Years of active practice: ___ Town/City of Practice: __________
I am interested in the following GAL/AMC cases:
~ State Rate* ~ Private Pay Only ~ Both Private & State Rate*
*State Rate case assignments require an approved Qualified GAL-AMC Application. Interested parties
will receive a follow up email with detailed information and instructions.
Please be advised you are confirmed to attend all six (6) of the following GAL/AMC training sessions.
DATES: Day 1 Friday, Sept 9, 2011 Day 4 Friday, Oct 21, 2011
Day 2 Friday,Sept 23, 2011 Day 5 Friday, Nov 4, 2011
Day 3 Friday, Oct 14, 2011 Day 6 Friday, Dec 2, 2011
LOCATION: Quinnipiac Law School Grand Courtroom (for directions go to
TIME: 12:00 p.m. TO 5:00 p.m.
These seminars will provide information on the following subjects: 1) The Law and Procedure of Custody Cases, 2)
Relevant Psychology & Child Development Principles, 3) Gathering Information-Interviewing parties and Others, 4)
Solving the Puzzle-Creating Child Centered Parenting Plans, 5) Achieving Resolution-Working with Parents to Settle
Cases Appropriately; 6) Surviving in Court-Tools & Techniques as GAL or AMC at Trial.
Attendance at all six seminars is mandatory in order to receive a Certificate of Completion. Each training day begins
promptly at 12:00 p.m. and covers a specific subject area. Any participant unable to attend a training day or arriving
more than 20 minutes late will not receive credit for that day of training. Make up days will be scheduled in the Spring
2012. Only two (2) absences will be allowed per session. Thank you and we look forward to seeing you at the seminars.
Please mail to: OCPD 330 Main St., Hartford, CT 06106
Or Email Signed PDF version to By June 27, 2011
The above participant information is true to the best of my knowledge and I certify that I will attend all six
(6) scheduled AMC/GAL trainings.
Participant Signature: _____________________________________ Date: ____________
Family Matters - GAL/ AMC Trainings
Presented by: The Child & Custody Matters Work Group
Co-Sponsored by: Judicial Branch; Quinnipiac School of Law-Project on Children & Families;
and Office of Chief Public Defender
12:00 noon Welcome Back and Administrative Update Prof. Carolyn Kaas
12:05 - 12:10 Short Review of Guidelines Document Prof. Carolyn Kaas
12:10 - 1:40 Introduction to Interviewing Techniques and Why
Interviewing a Child is Different
Sidney Horowitz, Ph.D.
Howard Krieger, Ph.D.
1:40 - 1:55 Break
1:55 - 3:20 Poverty and Cultural Competence Hon. Jane Grossman
Sheila Hayre, J.D
3:20 - 3:35 Break
3:35 - 4:50 Small Group Breakout Small Group Leaders
4:50 - 5:00 Reconvene for Wrap-Up
Review Assignments for Day 4
Day 3 Evaluation Form
5:00 Adjourn
Please prepare for this day by reading the Homework and Speaker Materials shown on the Index
to Materials for Day 3
Evaluation Form
Day 3 of GAL/AMC Training (10/8/10)
Rating scale: 1 Materials/content not useful at all; poorly designed or executed presentation
2 Fair
3 Average materials/content; somewhat useful; adequate presentation
4 Very Good
5 Superb materials/content; excellent, engaging method and skill of presentation
Please rate the speakers and their materials/content separately, to the extent possible.
1. Interviewing Techniques 1 2 3 4 5
Sidney Horowitz 1 2 3 4 5
Helen Murphy 1 2 3 4 5
2. Videos (Homework) 1 2 3 4 5
3. Panel Discussion of Videos 1 2 3 4 5
Judge Turner 1 2 3 4 5
Phyllis Cummings-Texeira 1 2 3 4 5
Steven Dembo 1 2 3 4 5
Sid Horowitz 1 2 3 4 5
Helen Murphy 1 2 3 4 5
4. Small Group Work Format 1 2 3 4 5
5. Effectiveness of your small group leader(s) :
__________________________________ 1 2 3 4 5
__________________________________ 1 2 3 4 5
Now that you have particpated:
For the assigned reading distributed last week for homework, please note which ones you found useful
and recommend that we assign again; please note which ones you recommend that we not assign in the
YES, use again:
No, omit these:
Please feel free to write any additional comments/suggestions/feedback on the back of this form.
If you are a very experienced person and found todays presentations to be basic FOR YOU, please
comment on the back how you would evaluate the presentation/materials for NOVICES. Thanks!
I would have preferred to be in a group with other professionals who are geographically
close to my practice. It feels like a missed opportunity to benefit from networking.
Perhaps breakout groups could be by profession
On the small groups, I like the geographical diversity of the original groups because I
would have gotten to network with people I otherwise would not meet and we arent
competitors, so I could foresee cross-referrals.
Would be nice to have a 50/50 mental health and attorney split rather than by location.
Also helpful to have experienced and inexperienced GALs together.
Breakout group was very helpful to have exchange between psychologists and
attorneys; play acting- very helpful.
My small group was all attorneys and I felt left out and judged for not being an attorney.
I like the small groups and hearing how other professionals addressed the issues
raised. Very helpful.
Small group generally a waste of time.
The role playing in the small group session is getting old. I think were getting more from
the sharing and open discussion within the small group however.
Please expand role playing/small group opportunities. There is no substitute for having
to actively participate!
Needed more time in groups! This is the productive stuff.
Im a novice, mental health. Small group is invaluable.
I would extend the small group time- as a younger attorney, I think the small group
break out, especially todays, the most helpful and informative than the lecture portion of
the day.
What a waste of time.
More small group. Not just the exercises, but small group discussions on day to day
nuts and bolts of being a GAL.
More small group breakout as that was the most helpful part of the training. geographically? By experience? Include role playing? Focus on
The Children's LAW Center of Connecticut
30 Arbor Street, 4th Floor, Hartford, Connecticut
06106 Telephone 860.232.9993 Fax 860.232.9996
"The Academies"
What are they?
This is a group of professionals, legal and mental health, involved in child advocacy in family court.
The purpose is to provide support and assistance to professionals newer to the field and to create
a forum for questions, concerns, trends, difficult case scenarios, etc.
Each local Academy will meet approximately three times a year with a topic of interest.
The statewide Academy will attempt to have an annual conference, possibly half-day.
When will they meet?
Each local Academy runs independently, and will set their meetings as schedules allow.
Who are the leaders?
The Children's Law Center of CT will be coordinating the 4 regional academies.
Attorneys and will be the contacts.
Central/Northeastern Region: New Haven Region:
Hartford, New Britain, Tolland, Windham, Middletown, New Haven, Milford, Meriden, Derby
New London, Norwich
Fairfield Region: Greater Waterbury/Western Region:
Stamford; Bridgeport Waterbury; Litchfield; Danbury
Protecting the legal interests of children.
Perhaps attorneys and the mental health professionals should be separated for the
first class- MHPs could get a crash course in family law and attorneys could get this
I am wondering if mental health professionals (I am one) should have a separate
experience from attorneys. I do see the value in the combined setting, however, for
those individuals with no experience (law experience) this training is a good basic start
but I feel I would need more training in regard to the law aspect to really be an effective
As a mental health professional, I found todays materials to be very basic - interesting
but basic. For novices, I think that a clearer framework should be developed: what
mental health info is being presented to GAL trainees and why? How should GALs
use this information? When should mental health professionals be consulted? About
which issues?
I actually have realized today that this training is more for the legal professionals and
though we go over the basics, it still isnt necessarily helpful for those who arent in the
legal or clinical field. For example, I am a counselor in a school and in social work even
the language used is leaning toward one spectrum. The two male speakers in the
beginning of the class kept saying Your office, my office, interviewing and setting up
your office for children. What do you do when you do not have your own space and
will need to utilize public spaces? Is this OK? Maybe suggestions would have been
helpful. I just dont want this training to discourage other professionals because of it
being more focused on the legal professions. I am aware that time is limited, but it can
be intimidating.
I think that to be the most effective GAL, one should have a degree in psychology. The
impact of a GAL is so enormous it is not fair to families to have someone without
proper credentials.
Is there a way to develop assessment of a persons knowledge in the area to help
them avoid sitting through very basic information? Lawyers can opt out of Day 1;
psychologists of Day 2.
Maybe summaries of law info rather than statutes, etc.
We are not psychologists, cut back
Overall, I think there was too much in depth psychology. I am not going to be
administering evaluations, just familiarity with it should be enough. much law do MHPs need to know? How much psych do attorneys
If you are in the experienced (more than 20 cases) category: Did you get
anything new out of this? If so, what?
The basic information at the beginning is too basic to make practicing attorneys sit
through. It is hard to make time available for this very important training- so hard to not
feel that wasting time.
Experienced AMC/GALs should be excused from introductory aspects of the program
There should be 2 tiers of training- basic for new and advanced.
As a mental health professional, I found todays materials to be very basic - interesting
but basic.
Could there be a way to do this in two levels, so with a certain level of experience you
could be excused from introductory instruction?
It was really brutally boring to sit through so much comprehensive material after more
than 20 years of practice
The insight from judges was important to hear.
Yes and yes! Good to talk about, and I dont imagine Ill ever master the field, which
is what makes ongoing learning so interesting and important.
This presentation was a bit too basic for me as I have been working with children (and
families) in a clinical situation for many years.
Ive never had more precise education on being a AMC or GAL than this course. As a
GAL I have made trial argument in TPR trials. I knew the GAL was concerned with
best interests, and was the eyes and the ears of the court. BUT, the role of the GAL in
family court appears to be an organized role that has been by these 6 days, reduced to
a complex model with very applied, sequential, organized route to follow.
There should be a way to grandfather experienced GAL/AMCs who know this
process well already. Perhaps an expedited course, or an advanced course? This is
GREAT for baby-lawyers, but very basic for experienced practitioners.
I picked up some wonderful alternative ideas from other attorneys and mental health
professionals. No training was available when I began this work 15 years ago and this
course would have been so advantageous.
Yes. I used a lot of this as a kind of refresher course. I also liked the reference
materials and will probably use some of them. I also appreciated the mediation
So...does universal training for all make sense? Should there be separate
trainings for MHPs and lawyers? For experienced and novices? Grandfathering?
Affilliate AFCC GAL
Court Notes
Barry Armata, Esq. Member X X Contractor, trains CSSD staff w/ Horowitz, Krieger, Davis, Traux
(RFQ 04-6024)
Pat D'Angelo X D'Angelo v. D'Angelo, CRC Director DCF founded allegations of child abuse against him
Jennifer Davis Member X Contractor, trains CSSD staff w/ Horowitz, Krieger, Armata,
Traux (RFQ 04-6024)
Sharon Wicks Dornfeld, JD Member, Presenter X Presents at AFCC 2013 conference re: CSSD w/ Munro,
Krieger, Horowitz
Judge Anne Draganis Past Director Chair Retired CT Chief Family Court Judge, Appellate Judge
Stephen Grant Past President, Director X X CSSD Director, Family Court
Judge Herbert Gruendel Presenter X Judge
Sidney Horowitz, Ph.D. Member, Presentor X X Contractor, trains CSSD staff w/ Armata, Krieger, Stahl, Davis,
Traux (RFQ 04-6024). Appointed to cases as evaluator and paid
by state.
Presents at AFCC conferences with Judge Munro,
Dornfeld, Krieger.
Robert Horwitz, Ph.D. Presentor X
Carolyn Kaas Member X Teaches at Quinnipiac (Munro) where GAL trainings are held.
Howard Krieger, MD Presenter X Contractor, trains CSSD staff w/ Armata, Horowitz, Stahl, Davis,
Traux (RFQ 04-6024). Appointed to cases as evaluator and paid
by state.
Presents at AFCC conferences with Judge Munro,
Dornfeld, Horowitz
Deborah Kulak Director CSSD Regional Manager, works with contracts, training staff Writes papers for AFCC with Marsha Kline Pruett
Sandra Lax, Esq. X Law partner of Louise Traux. Contractor, trains CSSD staff w/
Horowitz, Krieger, Stahl, Davis, Armata (RFQ 04-6024).
Judge Lynda Munro Member, Presentor Organizer X Judge, teaches at Quinnipiac Law (Kaas), organizes GAL trainings
at Quinnipiac sponsored/administered by AFCC affilliates,
Approves vendor payments for Horowitz, appoints him to cases,
presents at AFCC conference with Horowitz, Krieger, Dornfeld
Sarno's visitation services were located in her office in
2000-2001. See Liberti v. Liberti case:
Judge Maureen Murphy X See Liberti case billing:
Jessica Pearson Founder Oversees CSSD demonstration programs for AFCC, writes reports
for HHS and DOJ under Center for Policy Research
Filed, withdrew AFCC-CT incorporation docs. See
Kyle Pruett, MD Presenter X Married to Marsha Pruett, Dr. at Yale child psychiatry,
promotes PAS theory
Marsha Kline Pruett, Ph.D Past President X Married to Dr. Kyle Pruett, Yale; Gives seminars for
AFCC on Alienation, promoting Fatherhood projects
Dr. Kenneth Robson X X Has unwritten contract w/ CSSD to be appointed onto family court
cases, paid by State for therapeutic services
See billing on Liberti Case:
Anthony "Tim" Selius Past President, Director Past CSSD Director from 1973-199?
Linda Smith, Ph.D. Director X Serves litigants in CT Court Involved in Liberti case.
Phillip Stahl, Ph.D. Director, Presenter Contractor, trains CSSD staff w/ Horowitz, Krieger, Stahl, Davis,
Traux (RFQ 04-6024)
CRC 113 Developmentally Effective Parenting Plans
Robert Tompkins Past President, Director X Director CSSD, controls contracts for court, vendor payments
Louise Traux, Esq Presenter X Law partner of Sandra Lax. Contractor, trains CSSD staff w/
Horowitz, Krieger, Stahl, Davis, Armata (RFQ 04-6024).
Sarno's visitation services were located in her office in
2000-2001. See Liberti v. Liberti case:
Ann Tuller, MA Member Contractor, CSSD supervised visitation via AMPS DCF employee, Attorney General issued opinion stating
that CSSD could not use AMPS for her cases.
Robert Zaslow, JD Member X
AFCC 50th Anniversary Conference
Riding the Wave of the Future:
Global Voices, Expanding Choices
May 29 - 1une 1, 2013
Los Angeles, California

Workshop 37

Child Protection Mediation:
Are We Culturally Responsive?

Karen Largent, LCSW
Marilou Giovannucci, MS
Guidelines for Child Protection Mediation

Section 5: Conducting Child Protection Mediation
There are a number of issues that the mediator and program administrator
must consider before and during mediation sessions.

5.2 Conducting CPM in a Culturally Appropriate Manner
CPM brings together people from a rich diversity of backgrounds and
cultures. Respect for heritage, ethnicity, race, religion, spiritual beliefs,
traditions, customs, socioeconomic status, education, gender, gender
identity, sexual orientation, age, and many other social characteristics
should be at the heart of every CPM program. Furthermore, it is well
documented that many cultural groups are overrepresented in the child
welfare system, and it is essential that CPM programs are culturally
responsive. Cultural responsiveness

should be reflected throughout the
program in its principles, goals, operations, standards, hiring, professional
development, service delivery and practice.

It is essential for mediators and others in the program to show a genuine
appreciation and respect for the culture of the CPM participants.
Mediators should be sensitive to the norms regarding power structure,
gender, role, child rearing and decision-making that may impact the
mediation and outcome while at the same time ensuring that all parties
can meaningfully participate in mediation. Mediators should strive to
become aware of, and remediate to the extent possible, their own
implicit biases that may adversely affect their ability to mediate cases.

(The full Guidelines for Child Protection Mediation may be found on the AFCC website:
Click on Resource Center
Click on Resources for Professionals
Click on Practice Guidelines and Standards


Miller, N.B. & Maze, C.L. (2010) Right from the Start: The CCC Preliminary Protective Hearing
Benchcard, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.
Page 1 of 7
Volume 5, Number 1, Sept 2004
The Culture of Power
by Paul Kivel
If you are a woman and you have ever walked into a men's meeting,
or a person of color and have walked into a white organization, or a
child who walked into the principal's office, or a Jew or Muslim who
entered a Christian space then you know what it is like to walk into a
culture of power that is not your own. You may feel insecure, unsafe,
disrespected, unseen or marginalized. You know you have to tread
Whenever one group of people accumulates more power than another
group, the more powerful group creates an environment that places its
members at the cultural center and other groups at the margins.
People in the more powerful group (the "in-group") are accepted as
the norm, so if you are in that group it can be very hard for you to see
the benefits you receive.
Since I'm male and I live in a culture in which men have more social,
political, and economic power than women, I often don't notice that
women are treated differently than I am. I'm inside a male culture of
power. I expect to be treated with respect, to be listened to, and to
have my opinions valued. I expect to be welcomed. I expect to see
people like me in positions of authority. I expect to find books and
newspapers that are written by people like me, that reflect my
perspective, and that show me in central roles. I don't necessarily
notice that the women around me are treated less respectfully,
ignored, or silenced; that they are not visible in positions of authority
nor welcomed in certain spaces; and that they are charged more for a
variety of goods and services and are not always safe in situations
where I feel perfectly comfortable.
Remember when you were a young person entering a space
that reflected an adult culture of power a classroom, store, or
office where adults were in charge? What let you know that
you were on adult turf, that adults were at the center of
Page 2 of 7
Some of the things I remember are that adults were in control. They
made the decisions. They might be considerate enough to ask me
what I thought, but they did not have to take my concerns into
account. I could be dismissed at any time, so I learned to be cautious.
I could look around and see what was on the walls, what music was
being played, what topics were being discussed, and most important,
who made those decisions, and I knew that this was an adult culture of
I felt I was under scrutiny. I had to change my behavior how I dressed
("pull up your pants", "tuck in your shirt"), how I spoke ("speak up",
"don't mumble"), even my posture ("Sit up, don't slouch", "look me in
the eye when I'm talking to you") so that I would be accepted and
heard. I couldn't be as smart as I was or I'd be considered a smart
aleck. I had to learn the adults' code, talk about what they wanted to
talk about, and find allies among them adults who would speak up for
my needs in my absence. Sometimes I had to cover up my family
background and religion in order to be less at risk from adult
disapproval. And if there was any disagreement or problem between
an adult and myself, I had little credibility. The adult's word was
almost always believed over mine.
The effects on young people of an adult culture of power are similar to
the effects on people of color of a white culture of power or the effects
on women of a male culture of power. As an adult I rarely notice that I
am surrounded by an adult culture of power, which often puts young
people and their cultures at a severe disadvantage as they are judged,
valued, and given credibility or not by adults on adult terms. Similarly,
as a white person, when I'm driving on the freeway I am unlikely to
notice that people of color are being pulled over based on skin color.
Or when I am in a store I am unlikely to notice that people of color are
being followed, not being served as well, or being charged more for
the same items. I assume that everyone can vote as easily as I can
and that everyone's vote counts. I am never asked where I am from
(and this would be true even if I had stepped off the boat yesterday).
In a society that proclaims equal opportunity I may not even believe
that other people are being paid less than I am for the same work, or
being turned away from jobs and housing because of the color of their
skin. When I am in public spaces, the music played in the background,
the art on the walls, the language spoken, the layout of the space, the
design of the buildings are all things I might not even notice because,
as a white person, I am so comfortable with them. If I did notice them
I would probably consider them bland, culturally neutral items. Most of
Page 3 of 7
the time I am so much inside the white culture of power, it is so
invisible to me, that I have to rely on people of color to point out to
me what it looks like, what it feels like, and what impact it has on
We can learn to notice the culture of power around us. Recently I was
giving a talk at a large Midwestern university and was shown to my
room in the hotel run by the university's hotel management
department. When I had put my suitcase down and hung up my
clothes, I looked around the room. There were two pictures on the
wall. One was of a university baseball team from many years ago 22
white men wearing their team uniforms. The other picture was of a
science lab class 14 students, 13 white men and 1 white woman
dressed in lab coats and working at lab benches. In total I had 35
white men and 1 white woman on the walls of my room. "This clearly
tells me who's in charge at this university," I said to myself, and it
would probably send an unwelcoming, cautionary message to many
people of color and white women who stayed in that room that they
could expect to be excluded from the culture of power in this
institution. I mentioned the composition of the pictures to the hotel
management and referred to it again in my talk the next day.
A few years ago I would not have "seen" these pictures in terms of
race and gender. The pictures themselves, of course, are only
symbolic. But as I walked around the campus, talked with various
officials, and heard about the racial issues being dealt with, I could see
that these symbols were part of the construction of a culture of power
from which people of color and most white women were mostly
excluded. I have learned that noticing how the culture of power works
in any situation provides a lot of information about who has power and
privilege, and who is vulnerable to discrimination and exclusion, and
this institution of higher education was no exception.
The problem with a culture of power is that it reinforces the prevailing
hierarchy. When we are inside a culture of power we expect to have
things our way, the way we are most comfortable with. We may go
through life complacent in our monoculturalism, not even aware of the
limits of our perspectives, the gaps in our knowledge, the inadequacy
of our understanding. We remain unaware of the superior status and
opportunities we have simply because we're white, or male, or able-
bodied, or heterosexual. Of course a culture of power also dramatically
limits the ability of those on the margins to participate in an event, a
situation, or an organization. They are only able to participate on
unfavorable terms, at others' discretion, which puts them at a big
Page 4 of 7
disadvantage. They often have to give up or hide much of who they
are to participate in the dominant culture. And if there are any
problems it becomes very easy to identify the people on the margins
as the source of those problems and blame or attack them rather than
the problem itself.
Every organization has work to do to become more inclusive. I want to
focus on some ways that groups often fail to include members of our
country's most marginalized membersthose marginalized by economic
status, physical ability, and English language ability.
Often, when groups talk about diversity issues, they address those
issues of race, gender, and sexual orientation that are most visible.
Without an understanding of how class limits people's ability to
participate in organizations a group may end up with a remarkably
diverse groupof middle class participants. Those who are homeless,
poor, single parents, working two jobs, or poorly educated (and many
people fall into more than one of these categories) are unable to
attend meetings or events because they cannot afford the time, the
fees, the childcare, or the energy. When they do make it they may feel
unwelcome because they have not been as able to participate
previously, because they do not speak the language (or the jargon) of
the organizers, or because they are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with
the middle class values and styles of the group.
People with disabilities can be similarly excluded when meetings are
held in rooms and buildings which are not accessible, when signing is
not provided, when accessible public transportation is not available, or
when the pace and organization of the meeting does not allow them to
People for whom English is not their primary language may face
comparable barriers to finding out about meetings, attending events,
becoming part of the leadership of an organization, or simply
participating as a member when interpretation is not provided, when
non-English media and communication networks are not utilized, or,
again, when the pace and style of the group does not allow for the
slower pace that a multi-lingual process calls for.
I am Jewish in a Christian culture. I am often aware of ways that the
dominant culture of organizations I work with exclude me. When I get
together with other Jews in a group I can feel so relieved that we are
all Jewish that I can fail to notice ways that parts of the Jewish
community have been excluded. Because I am in the culture of power
Page 5 of 7
in terms of disability I can overlook the fact that we may all be Jews in
the group, but we have scheduled a meeting or event in a place that is
not accessible. We may all be Jewish, but we may have failed to do
outreach into the Jewish lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans
communities. Or because we are predominantly middle class Jews
during our discussions we may be unaware of how we are excluding
Jews who are poor or working class.
We each have ways that we are in the culture of power (for me, for
example, as a white male) and ways that we are marginalized (for me
as a Jew). Although we may be good at recognizing how we have been
excluded, we are probably less adept at realizing how we exclude
others because it is not as much a survival issue for us. We have to
look to people from those groups to provide leadership for us. It is
important that we learn to recognize the culture of power in our
organizations so that we can challenge the hierarchy of power it
represents and the confinement of some groups of people to its
margins. Use the previous paragraphs and the questions below to
guide you in thinking about the culture of power in your organization.
Assessing the culture of power
What does the culture of power look like in your organization? In your
office or area where you work? In your school or classroom? In your
living room or living space? In your congregation? Where you shop for
clothes? In agencies whose services you use?
The following questions can be used to identity cultures of power
based on gender, class, sexual orientation, religion, age, race,
language, physical ability, immigrant status, or education.
* 1. Who is in authority?
* 2. Who has credibility (whose words and ideas are listened to
with most attention and respect)?
* 3. Who is treated with full respect?
* 4. Whose experience is valued?
* 5. Whose voices are heard?
* 6. Who has access to or is given important information?
* 7. Who talks most at meetings?
* 8. Whose ideas are given importance?
* 9. Who is assigned to or expected to take on background roles?
* 6. How is the space designed? Who has physical access?
* 7. What is on the walls?
Page 6 of 7
* 8. What language(s) are used? Which are acceptable?
* 9. What music and food is available? Who provides it?
* 10. How much are different people paid? How are prices
* 11. Who cleans up?
* 12. Who decides?
Every person has the right to complete respect, equitable access, and
full participation. Anything less limits the effectiveness of an
organization by denying it the contributionsthe experiences, insights
and creative input--of those individuals and groups excluded or
discriminated against.
Those inside the culture of power rarely notice it, while those excluded
are often acutely sensitive to how they and others are being
marginalized. Therefore leadership in efforts to eliminate the culture of
power need to come from those in excluded or marginalized groups.
Unless they are in leadership positions, with sufficient respect, status,
and authority, the organization's efforts to change will be token,
insufficient, and have limited effectiveness.
As they become better at identifying patterns of exclusion, people from
within the culture of power can learn to take leadership in identifying
marginalizing practices so that the organization doesn't have to rely as
much on people at the margins to do this work for it. Although groups
will always need to look to the insights of people at the margins to
completely identify how systems of oppression are currently operating,
there is an important role for those inside the culture of power to take
leadership as allies to those excluded. They can challenge the status
quo and can educate other "insiders" who are resistant to change. It is
precisely because they have more credibility, status, and access that
people on the inside make good allies. They can do this best not by
speaking for or representing those marginalized, but by challenging
the status quo and opening up opportunities for others to step forward
and speak for themselves.
Every institution of higher education has a culture of power. And each
department, division, school, program, and office within it has its own
subculture of power. These may not be consistent or overlapping. The
university may have an educated white male administration while the
women's studies department has a middle class white woman's culture
of power which excludes poor and working class white women and
women of color of all classes. To be in opposition to the prevailing
Page 7 of 7
culture of power does not preclude us from creating subcultures of
power that, in turn, exclude others who are even more marginalized
than we are.
We have a responsibility, as people who have had access to
educational opportunities, not to let the fact of our being on the inside
of a culture of power allow us to deny educational opportunity to those
who are on the outside. We need to fight for equal opportunity and full
access and inclusion not just for those groups that we are a part of,
but also for those groups we are not. For most of us that means
listening to those on the margins, acknowledging our insider status
compared to some other groups, and acknowledging our access to
power, our resources, and our privileges. Then we can work with
others to use our power, resources, and privileges to open up the
educational structures to those who continue to knock on the doors.
One of our goals should be to create organizations and institutions that
embrace an internal culture of full inclusion and all of whose members
are trained to think critically about how the culture of power operates.
We each have a role to play, we each have much to contribute to
creating such organizations and pushing every group we are a part of
to move from a culture of power to a culture of inclusion.
Paul Kivel is an author, educator, and consultant. He is cofounder of
the nationally recognized Oakland (California) Men's Project and has
developed and conducted hundreds of workshops on racism and anti-
violence, training thousands of teens and adults on such topics as
male/female relationships, alternatives to violence, racism, family
violence and sexual assault, parenting, and diversity issues.
This article was adapted by the author from Uprooting Racism: How
White People Can Work for Racial Justice Paul Kivel, 2001.
(revised 2002).
Bevelopeu by Chiistophei Nooie of CBR Associates, Bouluei Coloiauo.

Page 3 of Alaska Court System CINA Mediation Training Manual section on Cultural Issues in CINA
Mediation developed by Bernie Mayer in collaboration with and for the Alaska Court System

Cultural Views
Toward Venue and
Cultural Views
Toward Cooperation,
Competition and
Cultural Views of
Cultural Views of
The Problem
Solving or
Cultural Views
Toward Time
Cultural Impacts of
Language and
Cultural Impacts
of Larger Social
Cultural Views
Toward Third
Wheel of Culture

1. Be aware of and accept differences in individuals
2. Be aware of your own knowledge and experiences with different cultures
3. Recognize that learning happens differently in different cultures
4. Seek knowledge of the cultures represented in your session
5. Adapt your skills & approach
Adapted from Five Steps To Becoming Culturally Competent by Terry Cross, National Indian Child
Welfare Association
Note: You may be working with individuals from families where historical and multigenerational
trauma has significantly affected the parenting style and skills. You may experience the emotions and
frustrations of individuals whose families have been denied opportunity for natural grieving and healing
from these traumas in past generations. Understand that substance abuse and interpersonal violence
are manifestations of multigenerational trauma and not an expression of culture.
Create a safe environment where participants know they will be heard as they share their views
and opinions by establishing ground rules for the discussion.

Encourage everyone to engage in active listeningespecially when someone reacts in a way or
shares an opinion that causes disagreement.

Offer participants opportunities to share cultural strengths and knowledge and encourage visual
reminders of cultural diversity of the group when appropriate.

Encourage understanding when participants of different cultures express themselves and
appear to have misunderstandings based on values and practices.

Racial and ethnic identity affects how individuals see themselves and their group membership
within the context of a multicultural society. Addressing differences involving race, ethnicity,
racism, oppression, prejudice, stereotypes, power and privilege can be uncomfortable. It is
necessary, however, in order to help families to heal from the impacts of multigenerational
Walking the Talk Are we Culturally Responsive in Engaging
Families in Child Protection Mediation?

1) The impacts of racism, poverty, historical trauma and unresolved grief have
contributed significantly to the disproportionate representation of many racial, ethnic,
and cultural groups in the child welfare system. What specifically can we do in how we
develop and manage CPM programs, and/or conduct CP mediation that is culturally
responsive to the needs of families in these groups?

Well find answers in this workshop!

2) In what specific ways can we create flexibility in our mediation model or approach to
meet the array of cultural needs within the mediation group - and in a way that engages

Well find answers in this workshop!

3) What specific steps can CPM programs and CP mediators take to become aware of,
and remediate to the extent possible, their own implicit biases that may adversely affect
their ability to mediate cases?

Well find answers in this workshop!

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: CT AFCC First Annual Conference
From: "Giovannucci, Marilou" <>
Date: Thu, March 14, 2013 7:44 am
To: <>, <>,
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This message is sent on behalf of the CT. AFCC Coordinating Committee.

We hope you will be able to join us for our Annual Conference, featuring Robert E. Emery,
Ph.D., on Friday 4/12/13. The topic is: The Truth About Joint Custody: Weighing the
Evidence. The conference program is attached. You can register at: http://conHYPERLINK
"" .

Please join us in spreading the word to other colleagues who would be interested in attending.

If you have any questions or are interested in join AFCC please e-mail the Coordinating
Committee at


Marilou T. Giovannucci, Manager
Connecticut Judicial Branch
Court Operations
225 Spring Street
Wethersfield, CT. 06109
PH: (860) 263-2734 Ext. 3058
Fax:(860) 263-2773

University of Virginia


FRIDAY, APRIL 12, 2013
Hosted by: Quinnipiac University School of Law
Hamden, CT
Register for the Conference at:
CT AFCC: Member: $140 Non-Member: $165
Student: Member: $55 Non-Member: $65
Family Relations Counselor: Member: $75 Non-Member: $95
CT Legal Services: Member: $75 Non-Member: $95

*** Become a CT Chapter AFCC Member for a discounted conference rate. Contact us at to join. ***

Continuing Education: CEUs pending approval from the following organizations: CT NASW, CCA, & CTAMFT.
CLE approval pending from the CT Bar Association. The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC)
parent organization is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for
psychologists. AFCC maintains responsibility for this program and its content. The conference is eligible for up
to 5 hours of continuing education for psychologists, pending approval.

Friday, April 12, 2013
The Grand Courtroom, Quinnipiac University Law School

8:30AM Registration & Continental Breakfast
9:00AM Introduction
Linda S. Smith, Ph.D.
9:15-10:30 The Truth About Joint Custody (Part 1)
Robert E. Emery, Ph.D.
10:30-10:45 Break & Refreshments
10:45-12:00 The Truth About Joint Custody (Part 2)
Robert E. Emery, Ph.D.
12:00-12:15 Annual Meeting
12:15-1:00 Lunch is Provided
1:00-1:45 Joint Custody: A CT Legal Primer
Campbell Barrett, Esq. & Louise Truax, Esq.
1:45-3:15 Panel Discussion
James Connolly, Ph.D., Phyllis Cummings-Texeira, MSW, Steven Dembo, Esq.,
Jill Plancher, Esq., & Hon. Lynda Munro
3:15-3:30 Concluding Remarks
Robert E. Emery, Ph.D.
3:30-5:00 Networking Social & Book Signing with Refreshments
Sponsored by the Connecticut Council for Non-Adversarial Divorce (CCND)

Robert E. Emery, Ph.D. is"Professor"of"Psychology"and"Director"of"the"Center"for"Children,"


Campbell D. Barrett, J.D.
Budlong & Barrett
Hartford, CT"
Hon. Lynda Munro
Chief Administrative Judge
for Family Matters,
CT Superior Court
James J. Connolly, Ph.D., J.D.
Waterford, CT
Jill S. Plancher, J.D.
Connecticut Legal Services"
Phyllis Cummings-Texeira, MSW
CT Judicial Branch Family Relations"
Louise T. Truax, J.D.
Lax & Truax
Fairfield, CT"
Steven R. Dembo, J.D.
Berman, Bourns, Aaron, & Dembo
West Hartford, CT"


Quinnipiac University School of Law
The Grand Courtroom
275 Mount Carmel Ave.
Hamden, CT 06518
(203) 582-8200

From North (I-95): Take I-95 to New Haven. Then take I-91 North to Exit 10 (Route 40). Follow Route 40
approx. 3 miles to its end (at Whitney Avenue). Turn right onto Whitney Avenue (Route 10) and proceed
north for 1.4 miles. Turn right onto Mount Carmel Avenue and go 0.3 miles to campus.
From South (I-95): Same as above.
From North (Merritt): Take the Merritt Parkway (Route 15) to Exit 62. Turn right onto Whitney Avenue
(Route 10) and proceed north 3 miles to Mount Carmel Avenue. Turn right onto Mount Carmel Avenue
and go 0.3 miles to campus.
From South (Merritt): Take Wilbur Cross (Merritt) Parkway (Route 15) to Exit 61. Then proceed same as
From West: Take I-84 to Exit 26. At end of exit, bear right on Route 70 toward Cheshire. Continue on
Route 70 to Route 10. Turn right on Route 10 and go about 7 miles to Mount Carmel Avenue. Turn left
onto Mount Carmel Avenue and go 0.3 miles to campus.

Parking instructions will be sent to registrants.


Kathryn Ceruti (Chairperson) Eric Frazer Stephanie Leite
John Hall (Chairperson) Andrew Hechtman Keenan McMahon
Barbara Aaron Sidney Horowitz Deborah Noonan
Mary Cheyne Robert Horwitz Elizabeth Sharpe
Phyllis Cummings-Texeira Carolyn Kaas Linda Smith
Deborah Datz Louis Kiefer Elizabeth Thayer

3/17/13 9:11 AM Connecticut AFCC Annual Conference - Eventbrite
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Quinnipiac University School of Law
275 Mt Carmel Ave
Hamden, CT 06518
Friday, April 12, 2013 from 8:30 AM to 5:00

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