From The President

About the AFCC Oregon Chapter

The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts began in the 1960s, and quickly emerged as an interdisciplinary, international organization comprised of professionals who are dedicated to improving the lives of children through the resolution of family conflict. AFCC promotes a collaborative approach to serving the needs of children among those who work in and with family law systems – encouraging education, research and innovation, and identifying best practices. Its membership includes judges, lawyers, mediators, evaluators, mental health professionals, academics, researchers, court administrators and public policy makers. To date, 21 states and provinces have local Chapters.

The formation of the AFCC Oregon Chapter began in March 2012 with two individuals who soon solicited involvement from additional professionals, forming the required core group of eight volunteers. At that point, Oregon was officially recognized by AFCC as a newly-forming Chapter. Over the next two years, due to the dedication and commitment of many volunteers, several impressive benchmarks were achieved, including hosting a successful Launch Event and enrolling over 60 Chapter members. The first Chapter Membership Meeting was held in March 2014, and the Chapter Membership elected the founding 15-member Board of Directors and approved Chapter Bylaws. Since then, the Chapter has hosted informal brown-bag discussions, developed its website, achieved 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status as a non-profit entity, developed a 3-year budget, obtained Chartered status, and sponsored now three annual conferences.

If you are not an AFCC member, I strongly encourage you to consider becoming one. Take a moment to review the AFCC website and notice the upcoming international conferences (with this year’s conference in Boston), regional trainings, and local conferences; peruse the various AFCC model standards and other publications; browse through the impressive research that has been conducted by AFCC members throughout the world, as published in Family Court Review and other publications; and talk to colleagues who are already well-versed in the vision and accomplishments of AFCC. Once you are convinced that AFCC is a premier organization that promotes the highest level of integrity and professionalism and that the AFCC Oregon Chapter is similarly impressive and worthy, extend your participation in some large or small way – join the parent organization and the Oregon Chapter, volunteer your time, make a financial donation, or simply renew your Chapter membership.

And finally, the sustainability of the Oregon AFCC Chapter depends entirely on the continued participation of local professionals like you. We all know the time has come for Oregon to have a thriving and active local Chapter, and we need your input and active participation. This is your Chapter, and the goal is to provide for your unique needs. Please allow the Oregon AFCC Chapter to work for you.

On behalf of the AFCC Oregon Chapter Board of Directors, my sincere gratitude for your enthusiasm and support of this exciting interdisciplinary organization.

President: Sara Rich, MSW

Wendy Bourg, Ph.D., Vice President
Collin McKean, Attorney, Treasurer
Scott Leibenguth, Attorney, Secretary
Caitlyn Jackson, MS, Chapter Representative
Tonya Alexander, Attorney
Saville Easley, Attorney
Honorable Bethany Powers Flint, Deschutes County Circuit Court
Honorable Lauren Holland, Lane County Circuit Court
William Howe, III, Attorney
Patrick Melendy, Attorney
Zvi Strassberg, Ph.D.
Judith Swinney, Attorney
Honorable Katherine Tennyson, Multnomah County Circuit Court