207-761-2709 info@kidsfirstcenter.org

Co-Parentng Conference for Professionals

Substance Use, Misuse, and Abuse: Contemporary Challenges for Family Court December 9 & 10, 2021 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.
This year’s professional multi-disciplinary conference will again be a virtual event with sessions spanning two afternoons.
Early registration starts November 1, 2021
Paid by Nov. 17th: $250 • After Nov. 17th: $275, • KFC Facilitators: $125 • Students: $50 Approved for 5.5 CLE credits and 5.5 GAL
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Stephanie Tabashneck Dr. Tabashneck is a forensic psychologist and holds a Juris Doctorate. She specializes in Category E child custody evaluations, substance use issues, forensic evaluations, and expert testimony. Dr. Tabashneck is licensed to practice psychology in Massachusetts, North Carolina, and New Hampshire and licensed to practice law in Massachusetts.
Dr. Tabashneck regularly presents regionally and nationally on psychology and law topics, including at events organized by the Federal Judicial Center, the Massachusetts Trial Courts, the New York Office of Attorneys for Children, the American Bar Association, the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, and the American Psychiatric Association.
Dr. Tabashneck is on the board of directors of the Massachusetts chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, the continuing education committee of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, and a past council member of the American Bar Association, Family Law Section. Dr. Tabashneck is the editor of the book Substance Use and Parenting: Best Practices for Family Court Practitioners (to be included in conference materials).
Conference Overview: If you live or visit Portland, Maine, it is hardly an exaggeration to say that it seems that a cannabis retailer is popping up on every corner and in every neighborhood.
According to the Maine Office of Marijuana Policy, there are now 58 licensed adult-use retailers in Maine representing 788,551 sales transactions in 2020. The average price of a smokable gram of cannabis is down from $16.68 to $12.46. This in an economic environment where other consumer good prices are rising. In just under a year, Maine's recreational cannabis industry alone has brought in sales of nearly $60 million. This does not include sales for medical use cannabis or other substances, such as alcohol. Who is supporting these sales? Perhaps your client who now finds themselves in a family law case.
This year's professional conference explores how professionals and courts deal with parents that are using, misusing, and abusing substances. The landscape is changing rapidly, but is the family court system keeping pace?
Each day, judicial officers are tasked with developing parenting plans in family matters that balance behaviors of parents with the best interests of the children. How can "family centered" plans be crafted so that a parent that uses, misuses, and perhaps abuses substances is not barred from having a meaningful parenting experience. What about a parent that does not use and is left to "pick-up the pieces when use, misuse, and abuse upends a family." And what impact do these decisions have on the outcome of our children.
This conference seeks to address these issues and spark a dialogue on how courts adapt to this new acceptance of use within a rather murky statutory framework.
Day One Sessions: The Conference moderator is Susan Wiggin, social worker and president of the Kids First Center's Board of Directors.
Day 1 of these conference will open with a review of the current state of the law with attorney Timothy Zerillo guiding attendees through Substance Use Law 101. Then, Attorney Christopher Leddy will speak about structuring a plan for the substance abuse case for guardians ad litem, therapists, and lawyers.
Day 1 concludes with Dr. Tabashneck's keynote presentation that will include a survey of the changing family court landscape and the challenges judges face in trying to craft parental rights judgments in an environment that is increasing more torrent of substance use for both medical and recreational purposes. Dr. Tabashneck will incorporate into her lecture thoughts about best practices for all professionals tasked to assist the court in determining the best interest of a child.
Agenda: 12:45 pm to 1:00 pm Attendee sign-in to conference 1:00 pm to 1:10 pm Moderator welcome Susan Wiggin, LMSW (cc) 1:10 pm to 1:40 pm Session #1: Timothy Zerillo, Esq. Substance Law 101 1:40 pm to 2:10 pm Session #2: Chris Leddy, Esq. Tying a Case Together 2:10 pm to 2:20 pm Sponsor Presentation, Our Family Wizard 2:20 pm to 2:30 pm Break 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm. Session #3: Stephanie Tabashneck, PsyD., Esq. 4:00 pm to 4:15 pm Q & A with Dr. Tabashneck 4:15 pm Adjourn
Day Two Sessions: The conference continues on Friday with the first presentation by noted substance abuse expert, Dr. Jonathan Fellers.
Dr. Fellers will provide a medical and mental health primer on how substance use, misuse, and abuse impact the human brain, and more particularly, the parenting brain.
Leslie Clark, Executive Director of the Portland Recovery Community Center and social worker will follow with a lecture on specific interventions that are available to parents and how inventions can be crafted to be "family-centered" and not punitive or shaming.
The conference will conclude with a "View from the Bench" featuring Maine District Court Judge, Susan Oram. Judge Oram will draw upon her experiences with the Family Recovery Court and talk about how lessons learned in that court can help inform the practice in family court.
Agenda: 12:45 pm to 1:00 pm Attendee sign-in to conference 1:00 pm to 1:05 pm Opening remarks 1:05 pm to 1:50 pm Session #4: Jonathan Fellers, MD A Medical Primer 1:50 pm to 2:35 pm Session #5: Leslie Clark Family-Centered Resources 2:35 pm to 2:45 pm Sponsor Presentation, Soberlink 2:45 pm to 3:00 pm Break 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm Session #6: Judge Susan Oram A View From the Bench 4:00 pm to 4:15 pm Q & A with Judge Oram and Susan Wiggin 4:15 pm Adjourn
Registration: Early Registration starts on November 1, 2021. Meeting ID and login information will be emailed at registration and reminders will be sent prior to the event.