In designing the PC certification, we considered that Ontario is different from other jurisdictions. In particular, there is no legislation nor court direction for parenting coordinators in Ontario, unlike many of the other jurisdictions that we looked to when creating the designation. Our team of experienced parenting coordinators considered the AFCC Parenting Coordination Guidelines and the training standards required in British Columbia for certified parenting coordinators. They adapted what was being done elsewhere to meet our needs in Ontario.
Parenting Coordination is perhaps the most challenging of all forms of FDR. The function is complex. It incorporates elements of every other form of FDR, plus requires a strong grounding in family relations theory and managing high conflict personalities. We also considered that other jurisdictions with PC designations, British Columbia in particular, have high standards of training for the designation and believed that FDRIO should seek to emulate the highest standards.
Research shows that the main challenge faced by parenting coordinators who are not lawyers is in the arbitration component of the process. Even lawyers find it imposing to manage the flow between facilitation, mediation and arbitration in the PC process. As well, in Ontario, the PC process can be “closed”, meaning there is no report to the court. For these reasons, our advisory team felt strongly that all PCs should have a solid understanding of family arbitration law and process.
This is one of the advocacy projects that FDRIO will be taking on. We believe that the role of the PC will be enhanced with the support of legislation. Right now, the PC Agreement is the only set of rules governing the relationship between the family and the PC. There is no statutory or other protection for and definition of the PC role. We hope that will change in the near future.
Our team was led by: