PC Training in Domestic Violence and Child Abuse

by Annette Burns on July 17, 2014

Arizona Revised Statutes 25-406C requires that any person who submits reports to a court must have completed minimum requirements in domestic violence and child abuse.

25-406C. The court shall require a court appointed attorney for a child, a court appointed advisor or any person who conducts an investigation or prepares a report pursuant to this section to receive training that meets the minimum standards prescribed by the domestic relations committee established pursuant to section 25-323.02 as follows:

1. Six initial hours of training on domestic violence.

2. Six initial hours of child abuse training.

3. Four subsequent hours of training every two years on domestic violence and child abuse.

D. A person who has completed professional training to become licensed or certified may use that training to completely or partially fulfill the requirements in subsection C if the training included at least six hours each on domestic violence and child abuse and meets the minimum standards prescribed by the domestic relations committee. Subsequent professional training in these subject matters may be used to partially or completely fulfill the training requirements prescribed in subsection C if the training meets the minimum standards prescribed by the domestic relations committee.

This training can be difficult to obtain for attorneys; mental health professionals are more likely to have obtained domestic violence and child abuse training in the course of getting their degrees.  Nothing in the statute (or published by the domestic relations committee, which the statute charges with monitoring this training) sets specific standards for programs that meet these requirements, nor does the statute indicate if the training can be fulfilled by self-study/ reading, webinars, or if it can be done only through live or in-person seminars.

The overall resource best suited to provide these trainings is AFCC either through the international conferences or chapter conferences.   AFCC holds one annual conference and one mid-year (either regional training or a symposium on child custody evaluations), and a bi-annual conference in association with AAML) each year, and it would be difficult to attend one of those conferences without picking up some domestic violence training.   Arizona AFCC holds one annual conference (each February in Sedona) plus one mid-year seminar or training which, in some years, might include a domestic violence component.

There is no shortage of research, articles, books, websites and other written materials on domestic violence and child abuse and how each impacts the practice of family law and parenting coordination, but the statute is not clear if reading articles (a form of self-study) will fulfill the statutory requirements.

The State Bar of Arizona shows no self-study or online CLEs devoted just to those topics, although certain family law programs (including the 2013 Family Law Institute) include some portion of hours devoted to the subject (in that instance it was “Drafting Appropriate Parenting Plans and the Effect of Orders of Protection”).

All of this leaves attorneys looking for appropriate trainings.  I recently found the following available through online searches.  The listing of a particular site is not my endorsement of any particular training, but only a compilation of what I could find.   I also cannot make any representation that any particular type of training (whether in-person, reading, webinars, or anything else) will definitely fulfill the statutory requirements.     

POSSIBLE RESOURCES.

Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence trainings, 2014 brochure   and training schedule.

The Volunteer Lawyers Program (VLP) through Community Legal Services.    When I became a Court-Appointed Advisor and took cases through VLP, I received some great domestic violence and child abuse training through the CLS Center downtown.

National Partner Abuse Council (trainings in Phoenix/ Scottsdale) – Carl Mangold, LCSW

The Domestic Violence University, webinars

Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Training from the National Institute of Crime Prevention, several live seminars in Las Vegas

Online presentation Domestic Violence:  Understanding the Basics, from the National Online Resource Center for Violence Against Women (a free 60 minute training online)

Safely Pursuing Child Support – from the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges about safely pursuing the court system for domestic violence victims.   NCJFCJ also holds an annual conference each July which is general filled with domestic violence-related seminars and workshops

The National District Attorneys Association has online resources which include training videos.    These videos require a password, and a password request pop-up box appears.  I requested a password to view Children’s Exposure to Intimate Partner Violence and received a password within one day.

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