Separated Families Policy
Updated 13th October 2023
Policy for the provision of services to children whose parents are separated
Solution Psychology is clear about our position in providing treatment to children whose parents are separated or divorced and that position is:
- When a family experiences parental separation or divorce, it is often very difficult for everyone, especially children. When the parental relationship is difficult, it is even more important that therapy presents an emotionally safe environment.
- It is assumed that an effective co-parental relationship involves ongoing communication about parental decision-making and day to day parenting issues (i.e. shared parental responsibility).
- Each parent should recognise and, as necessary, reaffirm to the child/ren that their therapist is their helper, and not allied with either party.
- Solution Psychology works to assist children to achieve goals associated with a number of presentation including but not limited to anxiety, depression, autism and learning, our expertise is not in assisting children to adjust to family breakdown and the change in family circumstances. Should this become the child’s primary focus in therapy we will refer on.
- Solution Psychology does not provide recommendations about living arrangements for your child/ren (i.e. recommendations about time sharing or parenting schedules). We are able to recommend forensic psychologists for whom this is their specialty
- Solution Psychology does not write court reports or provide recommendations to solicitors / lawyers with regard to custody disputes.
- In the event of a subpoena Solution Psychology will write to the court and request to provide a report instead, this report will be provided to the court at the cost of the parent. The benefit of doing so is the court receives a far greater understanding of the focus of therapy and intervention than can be gained by casenotes. The court can refuse in which case we are obliged to provide the notes.
- To ensure that the best interests of your children are met, Solution Psychology requires the consent of both parents. In this way, the therapy relationship is not a source of conflict between parents.
- The same limits of confidentiality apply to the disclosure of personal information as per Solution Psychology’s Confidential Consent Form.
- Solution Psychology shall not be privy to, sight, or retain copies of any Family Reports, any copies sent to Solution Psychology will be deleted without reading.
- Solution Psychology MUST sight Court Orders (interim or final)before accepting any referrals for children where Court Orders are in place. This includes Intervention Orders that may be in place consecutively with Federal Circuit Court Orders.
- Where a child is brought to a session by alternating parents and fees are settled by each parent, Solution Psychology does not take responsibility for processing rebates. Receipts can be emailed to paying parent or printed for the paying parent to present to Medicare themselves.
- Fees apply to the non-attending parent requiring feedback between sessions. Each parent is welcome to make appointments unless a Court Order states otherwise. Fees apply for non-attending parents requiring consultation.
- Solution Psychology manages feedback in the case of separated families in the following ways
- Encouraging alternating sessions
- Providing a short summary to both parents, shared in a joint email at the end of the child’s session. This is sent during the child’s session time. Additional charges apply to requests for session updates sent outside of session times.
- In the case of alternating sessions, the presenting parent may be invited into child / teen session where therapeutically applicable at the end of the session. The non-presenting parent is the afforded the same opportunity during their presenting session.
- While Solution Psychology welcomes email updates from parents between sessions, parents are reminded that our focus is on achieving the goals for which we have been engaged. Lengthy emails will be attended to at the commencement of your child’s session and should remain relevant to the therapeutic goals.
- Where consent is required as part of the course of treatment, such as liaison with external professionals or offsite visits (schools / kinders), consent will be obtained by the presenting and paying parent.
- Solution Psychology remains committed to our strong values, our desire to work with both parents, and within the scope of the legal system is underpinned by these values.
- We Care.
- Always Progressing.
- Establishing Trust.
- Stronger Together.