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News; Prominent barristers say the backlog in NSW Family Courts may get worse if the Family Court and Federal Circuit Courts are merged

 

The NSW government are planning to merge the Family Court of Australia (FCA) and the Federal Circuit Court (FCC) into a new ‘super court’ to be called the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (FCFCA). The aim is to address costly delays, inefficiencies and reduce confusion experienced by families in either court system.

However, top NSW barristers say that they believe the backlog in the system will only get worse with the merged court. Both courts currently already have a backlog and some families are having to wait years to have their matters resolved. The NSW Bar Association is pushing against the merger, as they say that the new system will only increase delays and that one swamped system should not be simply swapped for another. Even with a new court appointed, the same backlog will still exist, as well as the same overall number of judges and staff, as there has been no additional resources appointed. Another potential issue they have outlined is that it might not be very helpful to the families involved to be streamlining or fast tracking their cases – as many of the cases in the FCA are quite complex and require a specialist response, not a fast track through the system.

One proposed solution put forward by the NSW Bar Association is to give the Family Court more resources to deal with their matters – as this would be an effective way to work towards actually clearing their backlog.

Phoenix Rising for Children

Phoenix Rising For Children (PRFC) are accredited by The Office of The Children’s Guardian, peak government body in NSW for child protection. PRFC was established in 2001 and are experienced in provision of specialist services to children and their families for Family & Community Services, Non Government Agencies, Family Law Court Matters and Private Family Agreements. PRFC operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment, and as such we support organisations that encompass similar ideals.

PRFC’s focus is the wellbeing and safety of children while providing parents with opportunities to care for and engage with their children. These visits allow parents to demonstrate relationship and parenting skills.

PRFC’s qualified staff closely monitor contact visits in a supportive and positive way. We understand each family has a unique story and we seek to bring clarity and resolution whilst facilitating a service that is both safe and enjoyable for children and parents.

Phoenix Rising For Children have experience and expertise working with children and families affected by difficult and stressful circumstances.

We provide:

  • In excess of 17 years experience providing supervised
  • contact services
  • Immediate availability to accept family referrals
  • Qualified, experienced professional family supervisors
  • High level of confidentiality
  • 24 hour/ 365 days per year support to clients and personnel
  • Detailed, well written reports appropriate for court matters

 

The services we provide include; supervised family contact, supervised transportation, supervised handover, mentoring and youth work support. We also provide interim supervised contact, pre-requested contact visit meetings between children and supervisors, and detailed contact visit reports.

 

We are contactable in the following ways:

T: 02 9873 3992, 

Write to us at PO Box 71, Oatlands 2117 or

Email: scheduler@phoenixrising.org.au

Learn more about our services at www.phoenixrising.org.au

 

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Active listening: how to give children your full attention; a short guide

 

Active listening is important to foster good communication between parents, carers and their children. When children are talking to us, it is easy to become distracted by ‘something more important’ or to interject and respond to them before they have finished talking.

Active listening means giving your child your full attention. This might include turning off the TV or the radio, or if you are cooking you might need to turn off the stove so that you are able to safely turn your attention away from it and onto your children, giving them the attention they desire without other background noises or thoughts crowding your mind. You can move with your child to a setting where you can clearly give them your attention or you can let them know that as soon as you are finished with your cooking, you will take them aside to hear their thoughts.

Active listening is a skill that can be learnt and practised, and it shows that you value your child’s feelings and thoughts, and that you are interested in what they think and feel. By actively listening to your children, you foster good communication skills between you and make it more likely that your children will come to you to talk and express their views in future.

Phoenix Rising for Children

Phoenix Rising For Children (PRFC) are accredited by The Office of The Children’s Guardian, peak government body in NSW for child protection. PRFC was established in 2001 and are experienced in provision of specialist services to children and their families for Family & Community Services, Non Government Agencies, Family Law Court Matters and Private Family Agreements. PRFC operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment, and as such we support organisations that encompass similar ideals.

PRFC’s focus is the wellbeing and safety of children while providing parents with opportunities to care for and engage with their children. These visits allow parents to demonstrate relationship and parenting skills.

PRFC’s qualified staff closely monitor contact visits in a supportive and positive way. We understand each family has a unique story and we seek to bring clarity and resolution whilst facilitating a service that is both safe and enjoyable for children and parents.

Phoenix Rising For Children have experience and expertise working with children and families affected by difficult and stressful circumstances.

We provide:

  • In excess of 17 years experience providing supervised
  • contact services
  • Immediate availability to accept family referrals
  • Qualified, experienced professional family supervisors
  • High level of confidentiality
  • 24 hour/ 365 days per year support to clients and personnel
  • Detailed, well written reports appropriate for court matters

 

The services we provide include; supervised family contact, supervised transportation, supervised handover, mentoring and youth work support. We also provide interim supervised contact, pre-requested contact visit meetings between children and supervisors, and detailed contact visit reports.

 

We are contactable in the following ways:

T: 02 9873 3992, 

Write to us at PO Box 71, Oatlands 2117 or

Email: scheduler@phoenixrising.org.au

Learn more about our services at www.phoenixrising.org.au

 

 

Negotiating child custody; a father’s rights

 

Negotiating child custody before and during a divorce can be a tricky situation. It’s important that you know that each parent has the same legal rights to custody of a child, and that mothers and fathers are on equal standing in the law until either one or the other gives up or denies custody rights.

In Australia, most family law issues are covered by the Family Law Act. The Family Law Act will cover any disagreements you might have about your children, however, many child custody cases are not decided by the courts. Often, agreements can be made between parents with counselling or mediation.

Unfortunately, a high percentage of cases not decided by the courts found that both parents agreed, on their own, that full custody should go to the mother. It seems that many fathers are giving up equal or shared custody because they fear that there is a gender bias in the courts and that mothers will always win custody. They may have also been taught that ‘children need their mother’. The truth is, children need their fathers as much as they need their mothers.

Courts will make their decision based on; the benefit to the child of having a meaningful relationship with both of the child’s parents; the need to protect the child from physical or psychological harm, and from being subjected to, or exposed to, abuse, neglect or family violence; any views expressed by the child, taking into account the child’s maturity; the child’s relationship with each parent and with any other person who is important (eg grandparents, siblings); the effect on the child of any change in arrangements for the child, including separating siblings from each other; the capacity of each parent to provide for the needs of the child; and the willingness and ability of a child’s parents to encourage a close and continuing relationship with the other parent.

Phoenix Rising for Children

Phoenix Rising For Children (PRFC) are accredited by The Office of The Children’s Guardian, peak government body in NSW for child protection. PRFC was established in 2001 and are experienced in provision of specialist services to children and their families for Family & Community Services, Non Government Agencies, Family Law Court Matters and Private Family Agreements. PRFC operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment, and as such we support organisations that encompass similar ideals.

PRFC’s focus is the wellbeing and safety of children while providing parents with opportunities to care for and engage with their children. These visits allow parents to demonstrate relationship and parenting skills.

PRFC’s qualified staff closely monitor contact visits in a supportive and positive way. We understand each family has a unique story and we seek to bring clarity and resolution whilst facilitating a service that is both safe and enjoyable for children and parents.

Phoenix Rising For Children have experience and expertise working with children and families affected by difficult and stressful circumstances.

We provide:

  • In excess of 17 years experience providing supervised
  • contact services
  • Immediate availability to accept family referrals
  • Qualified, experienced professional family supervisors
  • High level of confidentiality
  • 24 hour/ 365 days per year support to clients and personnel
  • Detailed, well written reports appropriate for court matters

 

The services we provide include; supervised family contact, supervised transportation, supervised handover, mentoring and youth work support. We also provide interim supervised contact, pre-requested contact visit meetings between children and supervisors, and detailed contact visit reports.

 

We are contactable in the following ways:

T: 02 9873 3992, 

Write to us at PO Box 71, Oatlands 2117 or

Email: scheduler@phoenixrising.org.au

Learn more about our services at www.phoenixrising.org.au

 

Supporting children through trauma; the importance of listening to children

 

Sometimes, children’s voices can be overlooked, drowned out or unheard by the adults around them. This can happen when parents and carers aren’t able to accurately define their children’s experiences, their children’s interpretations, and even their symptoms. Children may not be willing to mention certain unpleasant symptoms and may also end up telling a parent or carer what they want to hear.

We can learn about the incredible resilience of children when we speak and listen to them directly. We can learn about their strategies on how they manage and reduce harm, and how they have coped with unsafe home lives.

Active listening is a key form of communication that can bring about greater connection between adults and children. Active listening involves listening to the complete message and its meaning, paying attention to what children are saying and how it is being said. It involves being aware of body language, voice inflection, overall attitude and validating communication to help children feel supported and understood.

Phoenix Rising for Children

Phoenix Rising For Children (PRFC) are accredited by The Office of The Children’s Guardian, peak government body in NSW for child protection. PRFC was established in 2001 and are experienced in provision of specialist services to children and their families for Family & Community Services, Non Government Agencies, Family Law Court Matters and Private Family Agreements. PRFC operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment, and as such we support organisations that encompass similar ideals.

PRFC’s focus is the wellbeing and safety of children while providing parents with opportunities to care for and engage with their children. These visits allow parents to demonstrate relationship and parenting skills.

PRFC’s qualified staff closely monitor contact visits in a supportive and positive way. We understand each family has a unique story and we seek to bring clarity and resolution whilst facilitating a service that is both safe and enjoyable for children and parents.

Phoenix Rising For Children have experience and expertise working with children and families affected by difficult and stressful circumstances.

We provide:

  • In excess of 17 years experience providing supervised
  • contact services
  • Immediate availability to accept family referrals
  • Qualified, experienced professional family supervisors
  • High level of confidentiality
  • 24 hour/ 365 days per year support to clients and personnel
  • Detailed, well written reports appropriate for court matters

 

The services we provide include; supervised family contact, supervised transportation, supervised handover, mentoring and youth work support. We also provide interim supervised contact, pre-requested contact visit meetings between children and supervisors, and detailed contact visit reports.

 

We are contactable in the following ways:

T: 02 9873 3992, 

Write to us at PO Box 71, Oatlands 2117 or

Email: scheduler@phoenixrising.org.au

Learn more about our services at www.phoenixrising.org.au

 

The consequences of using Facebook during a relationship breakdown or dispute

 

When going through a relationship breakdown or dispute, it can be risky to publicly post about your situation on social media platforms such as Facebook. It has been found that evidence gathered on Facebook has appeared in about a third of family law matters. Even if you have your settings on private, information displayed on Facebook can still find its way into the courtroom and the proceedings, to your detriment.

There can be a risk in posting status updates complaining about the attitude or ability of a parent – the court may have made a ‘non-denigration’ order, where neither party is allowed to denigrate the other in front of the child/ren, and these posts are considered a breach of that order if you are ‘friends’ with your child on Facebook.

Pictures you might post of yourself having a night out drinking may be innocent and harmless to you, but in a court situation it may not reflect well if the other party decides to make accusations of drinking to excess or establishing an unhealthy pattern of behaviour.

Finally, if you have strong negative feelings towards the judge in your case and you post these opinions on Facebook, these might be used as evidence in your case and will certainly not impress the judge involved. Your best bet is not to post anything to Facebook that you wouldn’t want the judge to see – or refrain from Facebook entirely until the matters are resolved.

Phoenix Rising for Children

Phoenix Rising For Children (PRFC) are accredited by The Office of The Children’s Guardian, peak government body in NSW for child protection. PRFC was established in 2001 and are experienced in provision of specialist services to children and their families for Family & Community Services, Non Government Agencies, Family Law Court Matters and Private Family Agreements. PRFC operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment, and as such we support organisations that encompass similar ideals.

PRFC’s focus is the wellbeing and safety of children while providing parents with opportunities to care for and engage with their children. These visits allow parents to demonstrate relationship and parenting skills.

PRFC’s qualified staff closely monitor contact visits in a supportive and positive way. We understand each family has a unique story and we seek to bring clarity and resolution whilst facilitating a service that is both safe and enjoyable for children and parents.

Phoenix Rising For Children have experience and expertise working with children and families affected by difficult and stressful circumstances.

We provide:

  • In excess of 17 years experience providing supervised
  • contact services
  • Immediate availability to accept family referrals
  • Qualified, experienced professional family supervisors
  • High level of confidentiality
  • 24 hour/ 365 days per year support to clients and personnel
  • Detailed, well written reports appropriate for court matters

 

The services we provide include; supervised family contact, supervised transportation, supervised handover, mentoring and youth work support. We also provide interim supervised contact, pre-requested contact visit meetings between children and supervisors, and detailed contact visit reports.

 

We are contactable in the following ways:

T: 02 9873 3992, 

Write to us at PO Box 71, Oatlands 2117 or

Email: scheduler@phoenixrising.org.au

Learn more about our services at www.phoenixrising.org.au

 

Improving attachment; the importance of building secure child-parent connections

 

The connection between a child and a parent is crucial during the first few years of a child’s life. When children experience secure attachment, through sensitive and appropriate parenting, they are more likely to grow up to make the most out of all opportunities. Conversely, children who don’t experience this attachment, be it through maltreatment or other reasons, may end up with significant emotional and mental health difficulties later on.

Attachment refers to a child’s emotional connection to an adult caregiver and is primarily formed in the child’s first year of life through the daily routines of parenting. The quality of this attachment has a great effect on the psychological development of the child – even if there is no overt abuse, there is still a great impact on the child’s development and well-being if the parent/s are poor caregivers.

Secure attachments allow children to grow into healthy adults, capable of forming quality relationships and have empathy for others.

“Secure attachment, which is built up by everyday sensitive and appropriately responsive parenting, means a child will be more likely to grow up in a way that will enable them to make the most of their life’s opportunities. On the other hand, very insecure attachment, which often is a marker for maltreatment, puts the child at a greatly increased risk for exhibiting a range of antisocial behaviour, as well as significant emotional and mental health difficulties in later life.”

– Robin Balbernie, child psychotherapist

Phoenix Rising for Children

Phoenix Rising For Children (PRFC) are accredited by The Office of The Children’s Guardian, peak government body in NSW for child protection. PRFC was established in 2001 and are experienced in provision of specialist services to children and their families for Family & Community Services, Non Government Agencies, Family Law Court Matters and Private Family Agreements. PRFC operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment, and as such we support organisations that encompass similar ideals.

PRFC’s focus is the wellbeing and safety of children while providing parents with opportunities to care for and engage with their children. These visits allow parents to demonstrate relationship and parenting skills.

PRFC’s qualified staff closely monitor contact visits in a supportive and positive way. We understand each family has a unique story and we seek to bring clarity and resolution whilst facilitating a service that is both safe and enjoyable for children and parents.

Phoenix Rising For Children have experience and expertise working with children and families affected by difficult and stressful circumstances.

We provide:

  • In excess of 17 years experience providing supervised
  • contact services
  • Immediate availability to accept family referrals
  • Qualified, experienced professional family supervisors
  • High level of confidentiality
  • 24 hour/ 365 days per year support to clients and personnel
  • Detailed, well written reports appropriate for court matters

 

The services we provide include; supervised family contact, supervised transportation, supervised handover, mentoring and youth work support. We also provide interim supervised contact, pre-requested contact visit meetings between children and supervisors, and detailed contact visit reports.

 

We are contactable in the following ways:

T: 02 9873 3992, 

Write to us at PO Box 71, Oatlands 2117 or

Email: scheduler@phoenixrising.org.au

Learn more about our services at www.phoenixrising.org.au

 

The importance of supervised contact in family disputes and how/why it can help

 

When relationships breakdown and the courts get involved in family disputes, often what happens is that parents are required to spend time with their children only under supervision. This can occur is situations where there are allegations of family violence or drug and alcohol concerns, mental health issues, or if the relationship between a parent and a child is damaged or non-existent, or also if one parent is concerned about the other’s parenting capacity.

In these situations, a court will put protective measures in place for the safety of the child, such as supervised contact. There are different types of supervised contact, including that a father spends time with a child at the paternal grandparents’ house, that a mother spend time with a child in the presence of a trusted friend or relative, or that either parent spends time with a child at a supervised contact centre.

Supervised contact can help the person making the allegation against the other parent in such a case where the other parent does not attend or engage in the supervised contact. This can then be used as evidence in the family dispute. There are also benefits for the parent subject to the allegation, in that they are able to maintain a relationship with their child while the allegations are dealt with.

Phoenix Rising for Children

Phoenix Rising For Children (PRFC) are accredited by The Office of The Children’s Guardian, peak government body in NSW for child protection. PRFC was established in 2001 and are experienced in provision of specialist services to children and their families for Family & Community Services, Non Government Agencies, Family Law Court Matters and Private Family Agreements. PRFC operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment, and as such we support organisations that encompass similar ideals.

PRFC’s focus is the wellbeing and safety of children while providing parents with opportunities to care for and engage with their children. These visits allow parents to demonstrate relationship and parenting skills.

PRFC’s qualified staff closely monitor contact visits in a supportive and positive way. We understand each family has a unique story and we seek to bring clarity and resolution whilst facilitating a service that is both safe and enjoyable for children and parents.

Phoenix Rising For Children have experience and expertise working with children and families affected by difficult and stressful circumstances.

We provide:

  • In excess of 17 years experience providing supervised
  • contact services
  • Immediate availability to accept family referrals
  • Qualified, experienced professional family supervisors
  • High level of confidentiality
  • 24 hour/ 365 days per year support to clients and personnel
  • Detailed, well written reports appropriate for court matters

 

The services we provide include; supervised family contact, supervised transportation, supervised handover, mentoring and youth work support. We also provide interim supervised contact, pre-requested contact visit meetings between children and supervisors, and detailed contact visit reports.

 

We are contactable in the following ways:

T: 02 9873 3992, 

Write to us at PO Box 71, Oatlands 2117 or

Email: scheduler@phoenixrising.org.au

Learn more about our services at www.phoenixrising.org.au

 

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