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High Conflict / Assessment Services

Parenting Intervention (Court of Queen’s Bench)

A parenting intervention (sometimes called a Practice Note 7 Intervention) is used in a small minority of cases involving separated or divorced parents where the families are not able to agree on parenting issues, have made an application to the Court of Queen’s Bench and the Court asks for help from independent Parenting Experts such as psychologists or social workers.

The judge will make an order that sets out the terms of the intervention, and tells the Expert what issues have been identified.

The Parenting Expert will meet with the families and work with them to resolve the issues.  The intervention may include psychological testing, counselling and educational sessions.

Issues that may be addressed in an intervention include:

  • Parenting skills
  • Psychological profile
  • Mental health
  • Living arrangements
  • The wishes of the children
  • Family history
  • Social history
  • Criminal / Child Welfare history
  • Future plans

At the end of an intervention, if the parties have been able to reach an agreement, the Expert will write a report detailing their agreement for the Court.  If they are not able to resolve their issues, the Expert will write a letter for the Court explaining what has been done and what progress has been made.  The report may make recommendations about a process to follow to resolve any further issues – but it will not make recommendations about how the children are to be parented.

Interventions are paid for by the parties themselves.  In most cases, the judge making the initial order will set out how the cost is to be divided between the parties and when payments are to be made.

More information about Parenting Interventions is in the Practice Note 

This program is available to parties with actions in the Court of Queen’s Bench

Parenting Assessment (Court of Queen’s Bench)

A parenting assessment (sometimes called a Practice Note 8 Assessment) is used in a small minority of cases involving separated or divorced parents where the families are not able to agree on parenting issues, have made an application to the Court of Queen’s Bench and the Court asks for help from independent Parenting Experts such as psychologists or social workers.

The judge will make an order that sets out the terms of the assessment, and tells the Expert what issues have been identified.  The assessment may be intended to give short term recommendations (until a trial) or it may be intended to give long term recommendations.

An assessment is an objective, neutral evaluation carried out by a Parenting Expert. It may also include psychological testing, and may explore individual issues such as the child’s educational needs, an individual’s mental health or anything else the parties identify and the Court orders.  

Issues that may be addressed in an assessment include:

  • Parenting skills
  • Psychological profile
  • Mental health
  • Living arrangements
  • The wishes of the children
  • Family history
  • Social history
  • Criminal / Child Welfare history
  • Future plans

At the end of an evaluation, the Expert writes a report for the Court summarizing their findings and their recommendations as to how the parenting plan should be set out in the future.

The report or letter by the Expert will be read by the judge and may be used as a basis for making further orders for the parties.

Parenting Assessments are paid for by the parties themselves.  In most cases, the judge making the initial order will set out how the cost is to be divided between the parties and when payments are to be made.

More information about Parenting Assessments is in the Practice Note

This program is available to parties with actions in the Court of Queen’s Bench.

Brief Conflict Intervention (Provincial Court)

Brief Conflict Intervention (BCI) is a service for parents who are not able to resolve a parenting dispute.

Up to ten hours of solution-focused intervention from a specialized clinician is provided. The clinician helps the parents to better understand the needs of their children during separation or divorce, to gain greater understanding of the conflict and its effects on their children, and to reach an agreement (when possible) regarding their specific dispute.

At the end of the intervention, the clinician completes a report summarizing the issues covered, those resolved and those remaining in dispute. The report does not contain recommendations, and it is available to the Court.

Brief Conflict Intervention may be ordered by a Provincial Court Judge. Referrals can also be made by lawyers, mediators, family professionals, or the parents themselves. Both parents must agree to participate in the intervention, and they must have a parenting, contact or enforcement of time with a child application in the Provincial Court. The parents are required to attempt mediation prior to accessing this service.

Brief Conflict Intervention is available across Alberta