Family Coaches – A Family Coach is generally a professional with training in a therapeutic field, including, social work, psychology, parenting mediation or parenting coaching. Your Family Coach will serve as a neutral member of the Collaborative team. As a neutral, he or she will foster the atmosphere of mutual respect and constructive communication that characterizes Collaborative negotiations. Your Family Coach may serve in a variety of additional roles, described below:
- Children - If you have issues concerning your children, your Family Coach can meet with you and your spouse and, if appropriate, the children, to help you to develop a parenting plan. The parenting plan will set out child-centred parenting arrangements for your children. Your plan will generally include a schedule of the time that each parent will spend with the children. It may identify the roles that each parent will take in the children’s activities and daily life. It may identify who will make decisions about education, medical care and other aspects of your children’s life. Your Family Coach will assist you to ensure that your plan advances the best interests of your children. Family Coaches generally possess specialized knowledge as to the emotional and developmental needs of children and, specifically, children going through a family separation.
- Facilitating Resolution – Though your Family Coach may be trained as a therapist, he or she will not serve as a therapist in the Collaborative process. Instead, he or she will serve as a coach, who will work with you and your spouse, individually or in the larger negotiation process, assisting you to communicate your needs in a manner that maximizes respect, diffuses conflict and tension and advance progress toward settlement. Your Coach will help you and your spouse to identify and prioritize your goals, meet your needs and streamline your negotiation process.
- File Management – Your Family Coach can be called upon to oversee and manage the progress of your Collaborative negotiations - to keep the process on track; to ensure that goals for the process are established and advanced and to maintain cost efficiency.
- Cost Management - Including a Family Coach should, ultimately, minimize costs and increase value. The Coach’s participation will ensure that the process remains focused and that potential pitfalls are avoided, or addressed and diffused quickly, leading to respectful and efficient resolution.