The Fifth International Conference on Shared Parenting

The School of Social Work and the International Council on Shared Parenting are pleased to announce that they will be co-sponsoring the Fifth International Conference on Shared Parenting, to be held virtually on the weekend of December 5-6, from Vancouver. The conference will be of particular interest to students, community members, alumni, faculty and staff interested in child and family policy and practice, and specifically the concept of shared parental responsibility for children. The theme of the conference will be “The Intersection of Shared Parenting and Family Violence.” We are offering both live and prerecorded plenary presentations and workshops.

Your registration for the conference will be no cost, and you may now register at the conference website: vancouver2020.org

“Shared parenting responsibility” is defined as encompassing both shared parental authority (decision-making) and shared parental responsibility for the day-to-day upbringing and welfare of children, between parents who are living together or apart, in keeping with children’s age and stage of development. The International Council on Shared Parenting is comprised of academics, child and family professionals and civil society organizations working in the field of the best interests of children, and focused on the degree to which and the conditions in which shared parental responsibility is commensurate with those interests. The purpose of the association is first, the dissemination and advancement of scientific knowledge on the needs and rights of children whose parents are living apart, and second, to integrate this scientific data into family law, policy, and professional practice in the best interests of children.

The purpose of this conference is to help national and international parenting associations devise and promulgate standards of practice, policies and protocols for the safe, fair and specialized practice of facilitating and adjudicating parenting after separation, including shared parenting, in cases where past, present or future family violence is an issue of concern. Family violence is defined as the use or threat of physical, psychological, emotional or economic intimidation, coercion or force. Family violence functions to secure power and control for the abuser and to undermine the safety, security, self-esteem and autonomy of the abused person. In the context of separation and divorce, family violence includes all forms of direct and indirect spousal abuse, including parental alienation. When children witness incidents of family violence, they are being subjected to a severe form of child abuse, and the safety and best interests of children are the paramount consideration in facilitating the development of post-separation parenting plans.

We will be featuring some of the world’s leading researchers in both the areas of co-parenting and family violence, two fields of practice which have had limited opportunity for dialogue and debate. We have aimed to include a wide range of diverse voices and viewpoints on the issues, and to foreground the perspectives of socio-legal and mental health researchers in the fields of violence against women and gender-based violence, partner abuse perspectives outside the gender paradigm, men as both perpetrators and victims of family violence, parental alienation as a form of family violence, and other questions related to the conference theme.

The conference will feature 20 plenary presentations, 40 workshop presentations, moderated discussions and virtual “hallway chats.” Continuing education credits will be available for conference participants. We look forward to seeing you online on December 5-6!