Children's Attorney Training
This six-hour training program is designed for attorneys who wish to utilize NFRC’s
Child-Focused Decision-Making Model in their
significant role as children's attorneys.
The work of the CA can be pivotal in representing children’s best interests and assisting parents, attorneys, mental health professionals, and mediators to ensure that children’s needs truly are being met based on specific behavioral and developmental criteria concerning:
- The developmental stage of a child (infancy through late adolescence)
- The impact of divorce on a child’s development
- Evidence of responsible parenting and co-parenting
- The impact of conflict between parents on children
While attorneys can not be expected to be mental health professionals, it is possible for them to:
- Learn and understand a minimum level of knowledge related to child development and parenting, and
- Apply this knowledge when interviewing the children’s parents with respect to custody and visitation matters.
Upon completion of NFRC’s Training, attorneys representing children will:
- Better understand the role of children’s court-appointed attorney.
- Have an in-depth understanding of child development and the impact of divorce on development at each age level.
- Know what parenting is needed to foster mastery at each stage of a child’s development and assess how each parent is meeting the child’s best interest.
- Be able to use this knowledge and applicable techniques and skills when interviewing children of all ages.
- Promote professional coordination that will help establish the best interest of the child with parents and other professionals—with the goal of achieving child-focused settlements.
The training format of this program incorporates:
- A videotaped panel of children, adolescents, and young adults discussing the impact of divorce on various aspects of their development.
- A discussion of the roles of children’s court-appointed attorneys.
- An interdisciplinary panel discussing the functions of guardian ad litem attorneys, training, standards, certification, and collaboration among professionals from different disciplines.
- Attorneys demonstrating interviews with elementary, middle, and high school aged youth.
The program content includes:
- Methods for children’s attorneys to work with their clients to determine and represent the child’s best interests.
- The role of court-appointed attorneys.
- Ethical, legal, and mental health issues surrounding guardian ad litem attorneys.
- An in-depth review of the stages of child development (infancy, toddler hood, preschool, elementary, middle and high school).
- An in-depth review of the impact of divorce on children at various developmental stages.
- An in-depth review of parenting considerations and needs of children at various developmental stages.
- Incorporating child development and parenting information for direct application in interviewing skills and techniques.
- Methods for collaborating with other professionals involved to achieve a multidisciplinary approach to child-focused decision-making.