This page contains information for individuals interested in working with the Vermont Superior Court Parent Coordination Program to deliver parent coordination services.

The Role of Parent Coordinators

Parent coordinators are specifically trained persons who are assigned by the court to assist in what are regarded as high-conflict cases. Parent coordinators work with a family to attempt to reduce the effect of conflict on the children.

Parent coordination is a dispute resolution process for parents involved in relationships featuring high levels of conflict. When a Family Division judge orders parents in appropriate cases to participate in parent coordination, the parent coordinator helps those parents address issues involving parent/child contact arising out of separation, divorce, or post-divorce (this may include parentage) actions. Issues addressed include but are not limited to when, where and how contact will take place; communication between parents about children; and extenuating circumstances surrounding parent/child relationships. Parent coordinators do not help parents discuss contested issues involving parental rights and responsibilities.

To deliver these services, the Vermont Judiciary enters into contracts with parent coordinators who: (1) meet certain training and experience requirements; (2) agree to charge for their services pursuant to the Uniform Sliding Fee Scale; and (3) commit to fulfill ongoing continuing education requirements.

Application Process

One of the parent coordinators in the program currently serves as a case supervisor for this program; the case supervisor shepherds prospective parent coordinators through the application process. If you are interested in becoming a parent coordinator, please contact the Chief of Planning and Court Services.

If you are interested in providing parent coordination services as a contracted parent coordinator, you must:

  1. Indicate in writing that you have met the qualifications for parent coordination as defined by the Vermont Superior Court Parent Coordination Program
  2. Supply writing samples and references
  3. Agree to abide by the protocols and requirements of the Vermont Superior Court Parent Coordination Program
  4. Participate in continuing education and peer supervision
  5. Provide professional services on a sliding fee basis
  6. Maintain professional liability insurance

Prospective parent coordinators should complete the application form and submit it to the case supervisor. The case supervisor will review the application and contact the applicant to explore whether the applicant has completed other training or acquired other experience not listed on the application that would satisfy the program's training and experience requirements (see below). Also, the case supervisor will offer suggestions about how the applicant can satisfy any unmet training or experience requirements. Accordingly, prospective applicants are encouraged to apply even if they have not yet satisfied all of the training and experience requirements.

If the case supervisor concludes that the applicant has met the training and experience requirements, the case supervisor forwards the application to the program manager for the Parent Coordination Program.

Applicants might be asked to meet with the case supervisor and the program manager before the application is approved provisionally or denied. The decision to approve or deny an application will be based on information in the application, feedback from references, and information gleaned during an in-person meeting among the applicant, the case supervisor, and the program manager. If the application is approved provisionally, the program will conduct a background investigation while the applicant secures the necessary professional liability insurance.

Once the background check is complete and the applicant furnishes proof of insurance, the program manager will present the parent coordinator with a contract.

Please note: the program manager may offer a parent coordinator a provisional contract dependent upon particular conditions required by the program manager and determined in consultation with the case supervisor.

Support for New Parent Coordinators

All parent coordinators receive oversight and support from the case supervisor during the first one to two years of their practice.

After the parent coordinator's contract with the Judiciary is fully executed, the case supervisor provides additional training and orientation to the new parent coordinator.

Parent coordinators are asked to identify which counties they will serve. As soon as a judge presiding in one of those counties orders parents to attend parent coordination, the case supervisor will assign the parents' case to the parent coordinator.

Minimum Training and Experience Requirements for Parent Coordinators

Prospective parent coordinators must demonstrate that they satisfy the following minimum training and experience requirements.

Minimum Training Requirements

60 Hours of Mediation Training, including a minimum of:

  • 28 hours of basic mediation training
  • 32 hours of divorce mediation training, of which 10 hours involve role play and debriefing activities

24 Hours of Domestic Violence and Substance Use Disorder Training, including a minimum of:

  • 8 hours of basic domestic violence training
  • 8 hours of advanced domestic violence training
  • 8 hours of substance use disorder training, including alcohol abuse training

Note: some of these hours may be included in the divorce mediation training.

20 Hours of Vermont Family Law and Court Procedures required as substantive family law and family court procedures.

Note: some of these hours may be included in the divorce mediation training.

36 Hours of Family Dynamics and Child Development Training, including:

  • 20 hours in the psychology of families, specifically divorcing family dynamics
  • 16 hours of child development

Note: some of these hours may be included in the divorce mediation training.

12 Hours of Parent Coordination Training, including training in parent coordination protocols and working with high-conflict families. This training may be acquired in a combination of the following:

  • Training provided by the Vermont Superior Court Parent Coordination Program
  • Individual consultation with the case supervisor
  • Regularly scheduled parent coordinator consultation meetings
  • Shadowing a parent coordinator under contract with the Parent Coordination Program in at least two cases

8 Hours of Writing Documents and Giving Testimony in Court

Note: this training will be supplied by the Parent Coordination Program and may be completed after the applicant enters the program.

Shadowing Parent Coordinators in at least Two Cases

Each applicant shall shadow a program-contracted parent coordinator for a minimum of two cases. The applicant shall be in supervision with the case supervisor during these cases. The applicant will not be paid during this time of shadowing and supervision. The program's case supervisor will generate a report to the program manager regarding the applicant's experience in supervision.

Minimum Experience Requirements

Parent coordinators must have at least five years' experience working with high-conflict family situations in any of the following areas or combination of areas: mediation, domestic or substance abuse services, child protective services, education, guardian ad litem, child care, mental health services, family law, guidance counseling, family home-based services, or special education.

Experience with high-conflict families should be documented in the following ways:

  • Types of services provided
  • Number of cases or hours

Note: applicants will be asked to provide the names and contact information of three people familiar with their work during the period they worked in these situations, including supervisors if relevant.


Please feel free to contact the Chief of Planning and Court Services for more information.