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ACT for the Children


7th Judicial District

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Description:
A four and one-half hour class that provides divorcing or separating parents with information and strategies to help their children and themselves through the often difficult family changes caused by a divorce or separation. The primary goal is to teach parents ways that they can reduce the stress of family changes, parent effectively, and protect their children from the harmful effects of ongoing conflict that can occur when there is a divorce or separation. A.C.T.~For the Children is a program of the Monroe County Bar Center for Education and is presented through the volunteer efforts of mental health professionals, judges, and attorneys.

Target Groups:
Separating and divorcing parents.

Mission Statement:
A.C.T. ~ For the Children is dedicated to reducing the negative impact of a parental breakup on children. The program provides parents with information and skills for protecting their children by reducing conflict, strengthening parent-child relationships, and fostering children’s healthy development.

What to Expect:
The class consists of two components:

  • Legal Process - addresses the factors judges consider when making a custody decision, child support, importance of complying with court orders, and ways to resolve issues of the breakup through negotiation or litigation.
  • Parent and Child Well-Being - looks at the impact of the breakup on parents and children, the importance of parents taking care of themselves so they can parent well, how to have a good relationship with and provide support for your child , the importance of keeping your child out of your conflict with the other parent and ways to interact with the other parent that can reduce conflict.
  • Parents are provided with a Parent’s Handbook and Resource Manual. Other helpful materials are available.
  • Class is taught in a downtown Rochester location - exact location to be provided with confirmation of enrollment.

Typical Parent Comments:

  • I wish I had taken this class sooner–I would have done things differently.”
  • “I was told by a judge to come to this class. I didn’t want to be here–but I learned a lot and am glad that I attended.”
  • “I didn’t realize how focused I was on my own problems and emotions caused by the divorce. This class helped me to re-focus and to realize how important it is to give my kids help at this tough time for them, too.”
  • “The class helped me to I realize that I needed some professional help for myself and my children. It is helping us all to move forward and to better cope with all the changes.”
  • “After this class, I will work to keep the conflict and game-playing down. I don’t plan to keep coming back to court.”
  • “Things aren’t perfect, but my ex and I are communicating better and the kids seem to be doing better.”
  • “Everybody should be required to attend this class.”
  • “The program changed our lives. It gave us all a new direction...one of hope and healing. I see too many people oozing with anger...I don’t want to go there anymore.”
  • "It was such an excellent program. The message of healing and rebuilding is so important...there will be two healthier children because of it.”

Enrollment:

  • A confidential enrollment form must be completed to sign up for a class. Information provided on the enrollment form is confidential and is not seen by anyone other than the Program Administrator.
  • Fee is $75.00. Scholarships are available based upon need. The form to apply for a scholarship can be obtained from this website, scholarship form or by calling 585-546-1817 or e-mailing ACT@mcba.org. Fee must be submitted with the enrollment form.
  • There are four questions on the enrollment form to determine whether domestic violence may be present. A parent who indicates that domestic violence may be a concern will be contacted by the program administrator and given the opportunity to decide whether or not to attend the program.
  • Parents of a child cannot attend the same class.
  • When your enrollment is processed you will be sent a confirmation letter and a map to the class location.

  • A.C.T.~For the Children, Monroe County Bar Center for Education, Telesca Center for Justice, One W. Main Street, Rochester, NY 14614. Phone: 585-546-1817. E-mail: ACT@mcba.org Fax: 585-546-1807