Bond University opens Family Dispute Resolution Clinic
|Libby Taylor and Deborah Wilmoth of the Bond Dispute Resolution Centre (Photo: Bond University)|
The new initiative, the result of a collaboration between Bond University Faculty of Law and its Psychology Clinic, will help families access dispute resolution services to resolve parenting arrangements, together with providing referrals to other experienced professionals to ensure parties receive the professional support, guidance and advice needed during what are often very challenging times. Family Dispute Resolution Clinic co-director Libby Taylor said the new centre was focused on achieving the best possible outcomes for families and, in particular, the best interests of the children.
“The clinic has been developed to assist families and children who are facing the challenges of separation and who need assistance in making both short and long-term parenting arrangements,” said Ms Taylor.
"The demand for this style of service is quite high, with families often forced to wait for some time for dispute resolution, which can make a stressful situation even more difficult.
“The students, under the guidance and supervision of accredited family dispute resolution practitioners, will work with these families to establish effective post-separation parenting arrangements, helping to reduce the negative effects of separation and conflict, particularly on children." Ms Taylor said the clinic would help address increased community demand for affordable dispute resolution and mediation services that could be readily accessed by families.
“We want to provide a safe and supportive environment, which meets the needs of the community, while providing our students with valuable experience so they are well equipped to deal with these complex issues when they become accredited family dispute resolution practitioners,” she said.
Psychology Clinic director Deborah Wilmoth said provisionally registered psychologists, in conjunction with qualified staff, would provide support by helping identify psychological risk factors that might need to be addressed as part of family dispute resolution and mediation.
“The new clinic will provide clients with a one-stop shop, where they can access psychological support as part of the family dispute resolution assessment, rather than needing to seek help elsewhere,” said Ms Wilmoth.
“We will also be offering a dedicated course for parents who are going through separation to help them understand the impact it can have on children.”
The establishment of the Bond University Family Dispute Resolution Clinic follows the success of the Bond Law Clinic, which was founded in 2013 and offers free legal advice to start-ups, small businesses and registered not-for-profit organisations. The Bond Law Clinic assists about 420 organisations each year.
The Psychology Clinic was formed in 1999, as a teaching facility to provide psychological services to the Gold Coast community.
Choosing to study at Bond University Law SchoolRecognized as one of the top-ranked Australian law schools, Bond Law School has earned a reputation for its innovative teaching methods, international focus, skills training, and the outstanding success of its graduates. The Bond JD’s combination of excellent teaching, small classes and an extensive legal skills program differentiates Bond from other institutions. It provides an exciting learning experience that both challenges students academically and prepares them practically for a legal career.
Program: Juris Doctor (JD)
Location: Gold Coast, Queensland
Semester intakes: January, May, September
Next available intake: September 2017
Duration: 2 years
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Entry Requirements for the Bond University Juris Doctor Program
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- Two reference letters are required.
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