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Sharing our Learning at the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) 56th Annual Conference

Rosanne Cubitt (Head of Practice for Mediation) and I were invited to present a workshop at the AFCC Conference in Toronto recently. This workshop was an opportunity to share information about the support provided by the Relationships Scotland Network, identify how key research and a learning approach informed our Parenting Apart education sessions and encourage participants to contribute an international perspective of best practice. Rosanne and I also attended full day pre Conference Institutes on Evidence–Informed Interventions for Parent-Child Contact Problems and International Applications of the Voice of the Child in Parenting Disputes.
In addition to these fantastic opportunities, between us we attended 14 workshops and 2 plenary sessions! These covered a variety of topics such as Mediation with Transgender Clients, Domestic Abuse, Online Support for Parents, Polyvagal Theory with High Conflict Families and Family Mediation in Different Jurisdictions. This was our first attendance at an AFCC Conference and we would like to thank the AFCC who supported our attendance through their scholarship process. This support allowed us to take part in an inspiring four days, hearing from colleagues from over 25 different nations with around 1000 participants. These included judges, lawyers, mediators, mental health professionals, parenting education providers and academics who are offering innovative support for families in conflict. It was interesting to note the differences across nations but also the many similar challenges that separating families’ encounter. The Conference was a stimulating experience and we have already started to reflect on our learning and consider how best to share this learning across the Relationships Scotland Network and with our colleagues from other organisation across Scotland. The AFCC are hoping to extend their connections across Europe and we look forward to working with them on this.

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