Since 2001 Brian has co-ordinated and practiced within a multi-disciplinary group of experts (psychiatry, psychology, social work and mediation). The Group specialises in preparing assessments for Courts in cases where enduring post-separation family conflict has resulted in long-running private law proceedings.
Increasingly, the Group has been undertaking follow-up therapeutic work with families. Brian is now keen to explore how this practice development could contribute to the extension of family mediation services, to include therapeutic work with high-conflict parental separations, Brian trained as a probation officer, latterly working as a team leader in Family Court Welfare. He co-designed that Service’s first national induction programme in 1995/6.
Becoming freelance in 1995, Brian’s projects included running a Family Assistance Order Scheme in North Yorkshire (1996-2000) as well as working part-time with CAMHS Cumbria with referred children and within a family therapy team (1997-2006). Brian has been involved in a number of practice development initiatives with Cafcass:-
- He co-wrote the agency’s Dispute Resolution Training Manual (2005)
- Along with Prof. Liz Trinder he was part of a Steering Group for the Children First Project (2008-9), based on the work done by Dr. Jenn McIntosh and her colleagues in Australia
- He has delivered a range of practice development training, regionally and nationally (2001-9)
Brian has been involved with four family mediation services over the years. Having undertaken NFM training in 1996 he worked as a mediator for four years, firstly with York FMS and then with Newcastle FMS. He had earlier served as supervisor and consultant with Leeds/West Yorkshire FMS and as a management/committee member of Hull FMS. From 2003-11 he was practice consultant to Ear4U, a children’s support service run by Action For Children and Newcastle FMS. Brian has published regularly in journals including Representing Children, Family Court Journal and Family Law.