Presentation on theme: "Therapeutic Access TAP"— Presentation transcript:
1 Therapeutic Access TAP Susan Abercromby, CoordinatorTherapeutic Access Program TAP
2 What is Therapeutic Access (TAP)? A reintegration/reunification program designed to restore/repair the relationship between children and the estranged parentThe program utilizes an attachment informed model emphasizing emotional safety of the children and parents.Contact between the estranged parent and the child(ren) is facilitated by an experienced Mental Health professional with knowledge of child development, separation and divorce, high conflict families, domestic violence, and parent/child conflict resolution.
3 Therapeutic Access Con’t A family works with a Master’s level ClinicianAn intensive parenting experience for family membersA safe and secure environment for children (birth to 18 years of age)Assistance to parents in developing ways to understand their child’s behaviour with an attachment focusA slow process…..may take several months
4 What it is not.. Not a Parenting Capacity Assessment Not a Custody and Access AssessmentNot an Assessment for CourtIt is a voluntary program
5 Who Refers? Office of the Children’s Lawyer Family Law Lawyers Children’s Aid Society (as per Ref. Pkg.)Family Court
6 What are the steps?Using an attachment framework, within the Adult Attachment and Circle of Security models each family will be supported in re-establishing connectionThe parents agree that it IS meeting the needs of the child(ren) to have healthy and meaningful relationships with both parents.When the relationship is supported and moving towards an emotionally safe connection the Therapeutic Access program is available for continued meetings, if required, or will refer elsewhereIt is important to recognize the individual needs for families and each family member. Some children may only be able to connect on a limited basis and others may be emotionally able to begin regularly scheduled visitation over time. (Not a cookie-cutter framework)
7 Protocol1. Intake with each parent (custodial and non custodial) after appropriate referral process*see referral package as Appendix A2. Follow up with each parent to set goals and begin contracting next steps3. First meeting with the children will include the custodial parent.*Meet with children separately and as a family grouping, stressing emotional, physical and psychological safety. (Parents do not attend meetings together)
8 Protocol con’t4. Meet with both parents (separately) to set goals, furthering parents understanding of TAP guidelines, child development, attachment and their children's needs for safety, comfort and exploration.5. Implement goals and visits- Each family may require a different schedule and numbers of visits * (not a cookie cutter formula). Plan with each family the number of visits that they are able and willing to commit to.6. Assess and plan next steps for reintegration
10 Typical Case Demographic Referred by the Office of the Children’s Lawyer and Family CourtCouple married yearsTwo children (ages 10 +)One parent has not seen the child for over 2 yearsAlleged /reported Domestic ViolenceBoth parents working outside of the home (educated)One or both parties has legal representationContinuous litigationAlcohol or drug abuse, mental illness
11 Merrymount Family Support and Crisis Centre Contact InformationSusan Abercromby M. Ed (Counselling)CoordinatorMerrymount Family Support and Crisis Centre(519)
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