Parenting Consultant (PC):
The role of the Parenting Consultant is defined the Parenting Consultant, the parties and by court order. The Parenting Consultant can address any and all issues that arise. The Parenting Consultant may ultimately make decisions if the parents are unable to reach consensus. At AFS, we strive to encourage and educate parents to reach their own decisions in a child-focused manner. A Parenting Consultant and the scope of their authority must be specifically identified in a court order.

Parenting Time Expeditor (PTE):
The Parenting Time Expeditor uses mediation/arbitration to enforce, interpret, clarify and otherwise address issues related to parenting time that are not addressed in the court order. The PTE is limited to schedule and access issues and needs to stay consistent with the court order. It is critical parents learn to make their own decisions AFS will work with parents to reach an outcome that is best for their own family situation. This service is typically used when a quick decision needs to be made and parents are having a difficult time coming to a mutual agreement. Parenting Time Expeditors are only appointed by court order.

Supervised Parenting:
AFS provides supervision of parent and child contact during which the supervisor maintains continuous, in-person, audio and visual supervision of the contact. Consistent with Minnesota Law, the role of a parenting time supervisor is to:
(a) Promote the safety and welfare of the child; and, (b)  Help children have safe parental contact consistent with the level of supervision ordered by the court. The parenting time supervisor does not act as an investigator or evaluator of the quality of parenting time.

Custody Evaluator:
The Custody Evaluator conducts an investigation, writes a report and makes recommendations to the court as to custody and parenting time. Following a developed protocol, AFS meets with family members to narrow issues and identify conflict. AFS prepares a child focused report and recommendation to the court.

Facilitative Parenting:
AFS works with families to facilitate parenting time between parents and children who have strained communications or are experiencing difficulty spending time together. AFS will customize a plan to build a relationship between parents and children that is safe and healthy. We will work to improve the parent/child relationship by developing new ways to parent and empowering children by focusing on communication skills and setting appropriate boundaries. AFS plans and attends age appropriate activities designed to break old habits and create new experiences. The role of AFS in these situations is generally recommended by a Parenting Consultant and assisted by the parties therapist.

Social Early Neutral Evaluation (SENE):
Sara Erickson-Nelson can be part of a two-person team who provides an evaluation of the likely outcome of custody and parent related issues if the parties decided to go to litigation. Parties present their respective positions and provide supporting documentation to the evaluators. Often, the opinions of the evaluators lead to agreements and settlement of the issues.