Medicine Hat Family Service was awarded a grant of approximately $500,000 by the Alberta Government’s Safe Communities Initiative to implement the New Ways for Families method for three years. In coordination with the family law judiciary, this program follows the traditional court-based model of New Ways, in which the judiciary refers all parents involved in a parenting dispute specifically to the New Ways program, before litigation. The grant provides for a subsidy to parents, depending on each parent's income, to assist with the cost of the Individual Parent Counseling and Parent-Child Counseling sessions. Internal staff at Medicine Hat Family Services will provide Individual Parent Counseling, while the agency will contract with external mental health professionals to provide Parent-Child Counseling. Judges in Medicine Hat will receive training in January 2012, allowing them to start referring parents to Medicine Hat Family Service in February 2012.
Medicine Hat also plans to participate in a research study to measure the success of New Ways. This will provide valuable information about its impact on the community, as well as individual families. One of the goals of their grant is to see if children can be positively affected by the use of New Ways, rather than traditional litigation in highly conflicted parenting disputes.
New Ways for Families, a program of High Conflict Institute, was developed by Bill Eddy to manage high-conflict personalities in family court. It is designed to help families avoid getting stuck in a never-ending high-conflict battle that costs huge sums of money, involves multiple professionals, works against the child's best interests and impacts them in both their short-term and long-term well-being. Bill is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with twelve years' experience providing therapy to children and families. As an attorney, he is a Certified Family Law Specialist and the Senior Family Mediator with the National Conflict Resolution Center in San Diego. Bill presents the New Ways method to therapists, judges, and lawyers throughout the United States and Canada. For more information about the steps of method, current programs, or seminars and training, go to: www.NewWays4Families.com or visit our Contact Us page for more email and phone contact options.