Please note: This is the course listing for Pacifica Congress members.
If you would like to become a member, visit the Pacifica Congress website and sign up.
Alternatively, please visit the course listing for non-members.
Participants of the Pacifica Congress workshop series who would like to upskill in preparation for the training are encouraged to attend the Mediation Skills Refresher course.
About the course
This practical, interactive training is designed to equip eligible* family law, mental health and family dispute resolution (FDR) practitioners with the knowledge and skills to practise as parenting coordinators.
Knowledge of parenting coordination is also highly beneficial for professionals who work in related family and child-focused fields but do not meet the eligibility criteria outlined below to practise as parenting coordinators.
All participants will gain experience and relevant skills that can be used in their day-to-day work with families. Highly skilled and experienced trainers facilitating the course include both Australian and international professionals from the field of parenting coordination.
All participants will receive a comprehensive training manual at the start of the course.
*Eligibility to practise as a parenting coordinator
The course is open to everyone who wants to learn about the parenting coordination process.
Please note that to qualify as a parenting coordinator at the end of the course, you must meet all of the following criteria.
- You must be a mental health or family law professional (with at least 5 years’ experience) or certified and qualified FDR practitioner in accordance with the Family Law Act 1975.
- You must have training and experience in FDR and/or mediation, and extensive practical professional experience with family cases involving high-conflict coparenting dynamics.
If you meet these criteria, upon successful completion of this 5-day course you will be offered endorsement as a qualified parenting coordinator and your name will be listed on the Pacifica Congress register of parenting coordinators.
What is parenting coordination?
Parenting coordination is a child-focused management and dispute resolution process that is facilitated by a mental health or legal practitioner with training and experience in FDR or mediation.
The practitioner assists parents and families in compromised and/or high-conflict situations to create and maintain healthy relationships with their children, where it is safe and reasonable to do so.
This includes helping practitioners to:
- manage parenting plans and support parents with compliance with any court orders
- help parents manage minor disputes in relation to their children
- enhance conflict management skills, communication, and effective decision-making in order to effectively assist their clients
- take a child-centred approach with a focus on children’s best interests
- support appropriate family relationships.
During the 5-day intensive, you will:
- be introduced to academic research and recent articles relevant to the field
- enhance your conflict-management and communication skills
- learn how to take a child-focused approach to assist separating families
- participate in role-plays to build confidence in your work supported by supervisors and advice by qualified trainers
- following successful course completion, gain the certification and endorsement to practice as a parenting coordinator, subject to eligibility (as outlined above).
About the presenters
Primary presenter - Lilia Szarski
Child and Family Psychologist M.Ed(Psychology), MAPS, FDR Practitioner, PC.
Clinical Educator and Supervisor, Relationships Australia Victoria
Lilia Szarski was a family report writer in the Family Court for nearly 30 years. She provided clinical supervision to a team of professionally trained mediators and psychologists, and was responsible for quality assurance of services and team performance. As a psychologist with expertise in family and child dispute resolution, court-ordered counselling, and child-inclusive practice, Lilia has appeared as an expert witness in many family law cases. She is a member of the Australian Psychological Society, International Association of Family and Youth Courts, International Association of Family and Conciliation Courts and the International Association of Applied Psychologists.
Additional presenter information will be provided soon. All trainers are leading practitioners in the field of parenting coordination and experts in their field.