AFCC-O 2015

AFCC-O News From 2015

In our 2014-2015 year of operation, Dr. Rachel Birnbaum took on the role of President for our Ontario Chapter from Past-President Justice Debra Paulseth, with Andrea Himel as President-Elect.

The AFCC-O offered an abundance of professional development events throughout the year.  A program and social was held in Toronto on November 2014 offering a unique theme moderated by Andrea Himel, Perinatal, Post-Partum and Maternal Depression: Understanding the Challenges, and included speakers psychiatrist Dr. Ariel K. Dalfen, and Justice Lise Parent.

International guest speaker Jon Graham, Clinical Director at the Institute of Specialist Dispute Resolution, in Sydney, Australia presented at a dinner event held at the Grano restaurant in Toronto on February 5, 2015.  He provided his perspective on services for families in order to build better relationships. The Parenting Capacity Assessors Working Group continued to offer professional development, holding an event on February 6, 2015, Myths and Excuses in Drug Treatment and Substance Abuse Treatment.  The annual Walsh Family Law Moot took place in March 2015 and was well attended.

Kingston and Windsor also continued to offer community networking and evening training events throughout the year. A number of professional development sessions for those in child protection work occurred in various communities in 2015 culminating in a four-day intensive session on June 24-27, 2015 in Windsor for lawyers. Additionally, several sessions during this year focused on “How to Maximize Client Satisfaction and Avoid Complaints: From Initial Retainer to Final Account”.

Our two Pre-conference events on October 22, 2015 focused on Evidence Law for Mental Health Professionals and Family Lawyers, with the first presentation entitled Testifying School for Mental Health Professionals, and part two entitled The Ten Rules of Evidence That Every Family Law Lawyer Needs to Know. These presentations were followed by an evening networking and social reception. On the following day, our Seventh AGM and Annual Conference entitled From Risk to Resilience: Exploring Better Outcomes for Children was well attended with 310 registrants. Dr. Kyle Pruett presented the keynote address on A Game Changer in Parenting Engagement with ideas about how all parents can be better resources for their children.  Research conducted on behalf of AFCC-O by Nick Bala and Claire Huston on the topic of Cross-sections of Family Law and Child Welfare Matters was showcased at the conference, and posted along with other conference materials on our website.

Finally, it is worth pointing out that membership in the AFCC Ontario (AFCC-O) Chapter rose to a high of 440 members of the 518 AFCC members in Ontario as of January 2015 with Ontario Chapter membership remaining above 400 throughout the year.  The added value of being an Ontario chapter member as well as International AFCC continues to include reduced registration fees for attending our chapter conferences and professional development sessions, on-going access to past and present resources on both AFCC and AFCC-O websites, collaborative research initiatives made available, as well as social and professional networking and consulting opportunities throughout the year. Thus, we look forward to seeing many of you at this year’s Annual Pre-conference, New Professionals event and at the Celebration of Excellence dinner and social event all on October 18th, and the AGM and Conference sessions with Dr. Michael Ungar as our Keynote presenter on October 19, 2018.

Written by: Dr. Dan T. Ashbourne, C. Psych., AFCC-O President 2017-2018