Frequently Asked Questions

How much will this cost?
Outpatient services are conducted at an hourly rate by the FMF therapist. All Clinical Intake Consultations are billed at $300/hour.

Interventions depend on the number of days the family participates and the number of therapists involved. An estimated fee schedule is attached.
What is the success rate of this therapy?
The current research evidence on reintegration therapy is limited and presents with methodological challenges. Research outcomes are inconclusive as many factors contribute to successful outcomes and the attainment of the goals listed in the informed consent agreements. These include parent and child factors and those related to the nature of the court orders accompanying the interventions. Anecdotal reports range from positive gains, the family situation remaining the same, and in some cases the situation worsening.
Who is typically the rejected parent?
Rejected parents can be either parent. Research has shown that typically the rejected parent is the non-custodial parent. It is less common for the rejected parent to be the custodial parent, although Families Moving Forward clinicians have encountered these situations and have experience with these dynamics as well.
Will Families Moving Forward assist in 'deprogramming' my child?
No. Clinicians at Families Moving Forward use a family systems model to work with families presenting with resist-refuse dynamics. FMF therapists will use a myriad of educational tools, clinical approaches and techniques including: psychotherapy, psycho-education, experiential approaches and concepts derived from cognitive science.
Do I need a court order to be able to participate in this therapy?
For participation in outpatient therapy or the multi-day family intervention, a court order is required. An informed consent service agreement is required with or without a court order.

For participation in the rejected parent-child intervention, a court order granting custody to the rejected parent combined with an interim suspension of contact with the favored parent is required.
What is the objective of the 'Clinical Intake Consultation' (CIC)?

The objective of the CIC is to advise family members and respective counsel, and in some cases the court, based on the information received, if your family may benefit from participation in the FMF Multi-Day Intervention or therapy approach.

A comprehensive custody/access assessment is not conducted. Accordingly, the results of the CIC and any related observations or opinions should not be construed as recommendations pertaining to the custody (decision making authority), access (parenting time), or "best interests" of the child(ren).

Although we rely on the totality of all information obtained, the objective of the CIC is not to reassess or critique an existing custody/access assessment (s.30 or s.112 investigation) or any other professional reports or professional recommendations. We do not reassess the veracity of allegations previously investigated or assessed. We work under the assumption that the court, the child protection agency, the child custody assessor or the Office of the Children's Lawyer (OCL) has taken into consideration the allegations brought forth by the parents and child(ren).

What is involved in the 'Clinical Intake Consultation' (CIC)?

The consultation is based on several sources of information, including:

  • the Parent Referral Application form;
  • comprehensive intake questionnaires completed by each parent;
  • contact with legal counsel;
  • individual intake meetings with each parent;
  • joint meeting with the parents;
  • possible meeting with the child(ren) (at the discretion of the clinician);
  • possible meeting with the child(ren) and one or both parents (at the discretion of the clinician);
  • review of collateral information (by way of reviewing reports or direct contact) with relevant professionals who are currently involved, or have been previously involved with the family (e.g., assessors, therapists, physicians, child protection workers, etc.); and,
  • review of court documents and court orders.
What is required for acceptance into the FMF Multi-Day Intervention?

When considering a family for this intervention, we are guided by the principle of "do no harm", and consideration of the clinical benefits that may occur for the child(ren) and parents. At a minimum, whether endorsed by a court finding or the consent of both parents, the intervention is guided by the principle that irrespective of the nature of the parent-child contact problem, it is in the child(ren)'s best interests to have a good relationship with both parents, for the strained relationship to be repaired, and for there to be better overall family functioning. In the absence of an agreement about this essential principle, the family will need to seek services elsewhere to determine what is in the child(ren)'s best interests where parenting time with the resisted parent is concerned.

The decision to move forward with the FMF Multi-Day Intervention following the Clinical Intake Consultation will be dependent upon our clinical assessment − based on the information obtained − of whether both parents are likely to comply with court orders and service agreements, demonstrate a willingness and commitment to therapy, and irrespective of the cause of the problem, to have the ability to accept responsibility for the solution and demonstrate the reflective capacity for change.

Where are the multi-day interventions conducted?
These interventions are usually conducted at a vacation setting that allows the family opportunities for recreation and enjoyable interactions. In select circumstances (rejected parent and child interventions only), FMF team leaders may conduct the intervention in the family's home setting. It is our policy that the family combines the intervention with a brief vacation at the conclusion of the intervention.
How long are the days during the intensive interventions?

It is important for parents and child(ren) (and therapists) to get a good night's sleep and FMF clinicians will do their utmost to promote this. Prior to the intervention we query what time the child(ren) usually go to bed and we plan each day accordingly. The intervention day tends to run from about 8:30 or 9am - 8pm; this includes time for breakfast, lunch and dinner, breaks, recreational time during the day and an evening activity.

Once the child(ren) are settled into bed, the therapists will convene to plan and prepare for the next day based on what happened earlier throughout the day. Sometimes, the parents are assigned homework to complete after the child(ren) are in bed. There may be some brief work with one therapist and one or both parents together after the child(ren) are in bed. Please see the Overview of Family Therapy Intervention

Where does the family sleep during the Multi-Day Intervention?
The intervention will take place at a vacation destination a few hours from Toronto, ON. A suite is required at minimum, and must contain at least two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen and a living/dining area. The child(ren) sleep in one of the two bedrooms of the suite, with one parent, usually the rejected parent, in the other room. The favoured parent has a room in the hotel on a different floor. The therapists have their room nearby the suite. Every family is different and these typical arrangements may vary. The sleeping arrangements will be determined prior to the commencement of the intervention based on the CIC recommendations.
How old does my child need to be to participate in an intensive intervention?

Typically, the minimum age required for a child to participate in a Families Moving Forward intervention is eight (8) years old. In some cases where there are older children the youngest child may be somewhat younger than eight (8) years. Decisions about this will depend upon the unique aspects of each referral, and will be made during the intake phase. 

Do all siblings participate in the program, or just the ones resisting/refusing contact?
In most circumstances, subject to their ages, all siblings are required to participate.
Is this intervention confidential?
Typically, court ordered interventions are NOT confidential to the extent that reporting to the court may be necessary. Status reports to court may be a requirement of the court order, in the event there have been obstacles in implementing the intervention or when it has not been successful. Communication with other professionals currently or previously involved with the family and with any aftercare professionals is mandatory; the specific professionals identified during the referral and consultation phases. Disclosure of information to others will require the written consent of the parents and will need to be included in any orders.
Is there a sample outline of the intensive intervention program?
I am interested in attending the Multi-Day Intervention and will be seeking an order from the court. Is there anything specific I should be asking for?
Yes. See Court Order Checklist  and a sample order  that contains specific clauses necessary for smooth and successful participation in the intervention. 
My family will be participating in a FMF Intervention. What do I bring with me to the vacation setting?
See What to Bring document