If you missed the November 2016 TX AFCC Conference, you missed a great one!  Collaborating with TADRO (Texas Association of Domestic Relations Offices) made for a very robust line-up of presentations and we had a full house for the conference.  We opened with renowned scholar and researcher, Dr. Leslie Drozd, who not only gave us some great tools to use when assessing and dealing with  alienation and estrangement, but she also loaded us up with resources and handouts which can be accessed under our website Resources section under Literature.

Our thanks to our new TX AFCC President, attorney Leslie Barrows and her husband Jeff Sanford, founder of JurisFabrilis, who hosted the mixer on Wednesday evening.  The event was held at the Tarrant County Bar Association, with abundant food and wonderful wine tastings.  The highlight was to mingle with like-minded professionals who are meeting the daily challenges of encouraging paradigm shifts in the traditional way of handling family law matters.

Glowing reviews proved that the line-up of speakers for the next two days was well received. Highlights include:

  • Attorney Ken Shetter, President of One Safe Place Family Justice Center, started us out by giving us  great hope for bringing women and children out of poverty and abusive relationships, by providing the services they need in one place. This new concept has decreased intimate relationship homicides in a huge way.
  • A panel of “experts” from the Tarrant County DRO gave a live demonstration showed us technology like Face Time, Skype and more to increase frequent communication between the NCP and his/her children.
  • Attorney and Executive Director of Dispute Resolution Services of Tarrant County, Jaque Flynt, showed the value of having an understanding of human nature, psychology and neuroscience in ensuring a successful negotiation or mediation.
  • Tommy Jordan brought the house down with testimonials from Dads who didn’t know they had a child, and stepped up to the plate when CPS contacted them after removal.  These young men touched everyone’s hearts and gave a new perspective on the importance of a child having both parents in their lives.
  • The Honorable Debra Lehrmann, Supreme Court Justice of the State of Texas, gave us an inside look at how the highest court in the state works and thanked everyone who is working outside the box for the benefit of children.
  • Dr. Brooks McKenzie brought us new information on what an attachment assessment is and how an understanding of this concept can assist us in working with families in a custody dispute with young children.  From a research standpoint, this information is still in its infancy (no pun intended) so having Dr. McKenzie explain it in understandable terms was a step forward in giving us insight into what is needed in cases with very young children.

The conference wrapped up with a lively and entertaining presentation from UTA Professor Bruce Bower who gave us a mini neuroscience lesson and offered tools to help a volatile parent or child.  Joe Stallard of Sewell Automotive Compay brought the attendees to their feet when he wrapped up the conference with an inspiring message on the power of treating everyone, especially those in crisis, with respect and dignity.

The most important take-away from an AFCC conference of any kind is networking with other passionate professionals who are truly committed to the well-being of families. A culture of cooperation grows exponentially when we can see that we are in this together.

Don’t Ann Marie Termini on April 7, 2017 in Fort Worth.  Your TX AFCC board looks forward to seeing all of you there!

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