A Case Study
A Case Study: Sue Alexander, Service Leader, Family Relationship Centre Logan, SE Queensland.
Ellen Welsh from Children Beyond Dispute had the privilege this month of talking with Sue Alexander, from Family Relationship Centre Logan, Queensland. In this interview, Sue shares her method for weaving the YCIDS program into pre-family dispute resolution work with separated parents. Family Relationship Centre Logan includes a Child Inclusive Family Dispute Resolution Service for children of school age and young people to age 18 years. Case management from initial intake and screening and assessment includes Active Referral Coordination to support parenting capacity and sustainability of parenting plans. The FRC Logan Manager, Norma Williams, introduced YCIDS immediately following its launch by Dr. Jennifer McIntosh. It became evident that whilst YCIDS was targeted to parents with children under the age of 5 years, parents with older children could benefit from this psychoeducational intervention from a developmental perspective, especially where assessment identified presence of ongoing high acrimony, high conflict and emotional and psychological domestic and family violence. Sue, who is Service Leader, at FRC Logan, integrated delivery of YCIDS into the Active Referral Coordination activity within her role.
Initially the delivery method was 1-1 and permitted Sue to reframe the initial YCIDS content when the clients need extra support in identifying connections to their own situation and cultural and educational diversity. Sue shared that she has found YCIDS to be applicable to a wide range of client experiences, including when only one party is engaging, when the parents have re-partnered and have new, young children, and when the children are older than five, but the parents could still benefit from support understanding their children’s experience of conflict. Over her year of applying YCIDS to dispute resolution with parents of young children, Sue has experienced multiple applications with diverse cultures. She tells Ellen of YCIDS’ agility in being transferable to a range of cultural family perspectives, and shares that the she has not yet experienced any barriers between clients and YCIDS, due to its well-formatted and accessible presentation. Indeed, Sue claims “I think it’s one of the most well-collated presentations that I’ve seen”. Sue also explains the usefulness of YCIDS in facilitating necessary ongoing referrals for the parents, as they are supported to reflect on their own childhoods. In 2020 the active participation of parents in YCIDS pre-joint family dispute resolution has significantly increased and is now presented in small groups of four by two family dispute resolution practitioners. One on one sessions continue to be available for parents who would gain most benefit from that mode. Sue concluded her conversation with Ellen with some thoughts on YCIDS ability to fundamentally shift parents’ focus to be more child-focussed during conflict resolution and parenting plan discussions. The value the YCIDS program has added to case management and active referral coordination activity pre- joint parent family dispute resolution at Family Relationship Centre Logan, is evidenced in parent feedback and practitioner feedback.
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