CONTACTS: Kathy Helt 410-740-9553
Anne Madison 443-463-3614
COSD Executive Director Risa Garon Receives Irwin Cantor Award
for Innovative Programming
COLUMBIA, Md., May 23 –Risa Garon, executive director of the Children of Separation and Divorce Center (COSD) has received the Irwin Cantor Award for Innovative Programming. The award presentation was held on May 10, 2001, in Chicago during the 38th Annual Conference of the Association of Family, Court and Community Professionals (AFCC).
The award recognizes Garon’s outstanding contributions toward child-focused divorce, most notably the development of The National Family Resiliency Program, which is currently being launched by COSD is becoming a model for a nationwide program. The National Family Resiliency Program is the only one of its kind in the nation to fully focus a divorcing couple’s attention on the needs of their children through a variety of services and programs that help parents resolve conflict, co-parent, and make child-focused decisions before, during, and after the dissolution of their marriage. The program is unique in that it is supported through a multi-disciplinary team of professionals, including judges, attorneys, mediators, educators, school guidance counselors, pediatricians, and mental health professionals.
“The team approach to committing to a non-adversarial divorce is key to the program, but the parents are the ones that make it work in order to avoid the lengthy, costly, and emotionally difficult process of conflict-ridden court cases,” said Garon. “Most importantly, the goal of this program is to protect the best interests of the children by helping ensure that they can heal through the process and avoid long-term traumatic effects of divorce. Divorce is a difficult time for everyone, but for the children’s sake, parents need to put aside the anger, forget about the house, the cars, the banks accounts, and put the kids first,” she said.
Risa Garon, LCSW-C, BCD, CFLE, is executive director and co-founder of the Children of Separation and Divorce Center (COSD) in Columbia and Rockville, Maryland. She has developed a Child and Family Focused Model of Decision Making, which supports the best interest of the child and is utilized in training judges, lawyers, mediators and mental health professionals around the country. The model is detailed in a book that she co-authored, Guidelines for Child Focused Decision Making. Garon also designed a state-of-the-art advanced training seminar for Guardians ad Litem and co-authored the book: Attorneys Representing Children: Guidelines for Interviewing and Assessing Children and Parents Experiencing Separation and Divorce. She has also contributed numerous articles to professional journals and major newspapers and has co-chaired the statewide Advocacy Board for Children of Divorce. Currently, Ms. Garon is working with the American Bar Association on authoring a bench book for judges.
About AFCC With headquarters in Madison, Wisconsin, AFCC is an international and interdisciplinary association of family, court, and community professionals dedicated to the constructive resolution of family disputes. Founded in 1963, members include judges, lawyers, mediators, mental health professionals, court administrators, researchers, educators and other professionals who work with families in conflict. AFCC membership spans the globe and includes representatives from six continents: North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. For more information, please visit the AFCC web site at www.afccnet.org.
About COSD With offices in Columbia, and Rockville, Md., COSD is a private, non-profit organization that helps families in transition due to separation, divorce, or remarriage. Since 1983, COSD has helped more than 10,000 parents avoid or resolve conflict, co-parent, and make child-focused decisions before, during, and after the dissolution of their marriage. In addition, COSD offers a variety of programs and services that help parents and children better understand the continuous process of separation, divorce, and remarriage—and learn to identify and express their feelings in a healthy and healing way. For more information, please visit the COSD web site at www.divorceabc.com.