In order to provide services for families that better match their situations and levels of conflict, the Nova Scotia Department of Justice is now offering a High Conflict Information Program (HCIP) on a pilot basis. Clients whose cases have been deemed high conflict will be referred to the HCIP by court staff assessing their files, and we also invite referrals from the Bench and Bar, and other interested stakeholders. Clients can also self-refer to the HCIP.
This pilot will run until the end of March 2014 in Halifax & Sydney only. Space is limited in each session, and referrals will be scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis. The program is presented in two 3-hour sessions, with sessions usually taking place one week apart. Sessions may be available during daytime hours, or in the evenings. Participants wishing to receive a certificate of attendance for this program must attend both parts.
Background on the HCIP
The level of conflict between parents is the most significant predictor of children’s adjustment following separation or divorce. Children are much more likely to experience psychological problems when their parents are in prolonged high conflict.
The HCIP looks to capture information specific to the needs of parents in high conflict, including:
- appropriate/inappropriate behaviour,
- effective communication,
- disengagement from the relationship/other party, and
- strategies on how to reduce conflict.
The information presented in the HCIP is expected to result in earlier and more constructive intervention for families, with parents in high conflict being provided with information specific to their situation. Parties are expected to experience a greater level of understanding of the damaging effects of continued high conflict on children, and will learn skills to structure communication and reduce conflict.
It is also hoped that some families will be able to lessen their engagement in conflict by learning more about the conflict triggers that exist in their case and by learning strategies to minimize this conflict. In all cases, it is hoped that the new strategies employed will promote disengagement from conflict and enhance the well-being of families and children.
If you wish to refer someone to the HCIP, or are speaking with a client who expresses an interest in this type of programming and/or presents with a situation that appears to be highly conflictual, please inform them of this program.
For those living in the Halifax area, please refer to Carolyn Baker, Coordinator of Program & Policy Compliance (Family), at (902) 424 7404 for scheduling.
For those living in the Sydney area, please refer to Alana Morgan, Parent Information Coordinator, at (902) 563 5761 for scheduling.