Post-Separation Visitation Disputes: Differential Interventions
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1 Conway, J.F. (1997, p. 31), reports that in the 1980s, single parent families were estimated at 871,000. In the 1990s the figure rose to 955,000, and further estimates into the next millennium for the year 2011 are 1.5 million.
2 Monthly Vital Statistics Report, Vol. 43, No. 9, March 1995, U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources.
3 The Honourable Landon Pearson and Roger Galloway, M.P. (1998). Report of the Special Joint Committee on Child Custody and Access, For the Sake of the Children, Parliament of Canada, p.1.
"Mental health professional"is being used synonymously with social work custody/access evaluators. While each discipline (social work, psychology, psychiatry) utilizes different methods to conduct child custody assessments, this paper focusses exclusively on social workers conducting custody and access evaluations in a publicly funded service. In the United States, another term often used is forensic evaluators.
5 Fineman, M. (1991). The illusion of equality: The rhetoric and reality of divorce reform. University of Chicago Press, p. 89.
6 The families were only disputing difficulties with visitation. More serious concerns such as emotional/physical abuse allegations or concerns about the child being alienated from one parent or the other were not included in these cases.
7 Due to the summer holidays, a different teacher sometimes filled out the Time 2 form. This was usually carried out with the assistance of the previous teacher. If the child changed schools, another teacher filled out the form based on the child's behaviour that they observed for the last two months.
8 Concerns relate to the child being left alone by the other parent, psychological abuse, problems in parenting, and the child not wanting to visit the other parent.
9 The Children's Lawyer is presently engaged in an ongoing prospective study that allows for a Time 3 follow-up period to assess differences between the two interventions in both the social work and legal representation of children.
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