While AFCC is a truly international organization, it began in California in 1963. Its original purpose was to provide continuing, specialized education for judicial officers, attorneys, and mental health professionals working with family court issues. Now there are over 5,400 members of AFCC in approximately 24 countries, and its international headquarters is located in Madison, Wisconsin.
California, with approximately 450 members, is one of twenty-two local chapters, including 19 other U.S. states and two provinces in Canada and Australia. The California Chapter has served an important role in the state’s training of family law judicial officers, mediators, evaluators, counselors, and attorneys in the past.
AFCC California’s interdisciplinary educational programs, linked to cutting-edge academic and clinical research related to family issues, have served as a model in national and international venues. In the last decade, the state has increased training programs for judicial officers and court-employed mediators and evaluators in family law, but these programs do not have the inclusive approach employed by AFCC.
The organization continues to be the critical point of intersection for everyone who works in family law, providing opportunities for cross-professional communication and training.
One of our challenges for the coming decade will be to expand the availability of interdisciplinary professional training in cooperation with the Administrative Office of the Courts and the Trial Courts.