Helping people in central New Mexico find wholeness and healing through professional psychological counseling and education.

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Welcome to the Center for Changing Families (SCCF), a program of the Samaritan Counseling Center. High conflict between parents can be devastating to children. We help parents minimize conflict and maximize communication and cooperation provide their children the opportunity for a healthy, loving relationship with both parents.

SERVICES

Cooperative Parenting Classes:  This course offers important information and practical strategies to keep the focus on the child’s needs (and not on the parental conflict).    For more information and to register, go to www.samaritannm.org  and click on Center for Changing Families, Court-Ordered Services and then the Cooperative Parenting Class link.

The Cooperative Parenting Class helps parents reduce conflict and prepare to work together. This class (comprised of either six 2-hour or eight 90-minute sessions) provides information about the impact of conflict on children, post-separation parental communication, anger management and tips for getting along with the other parent even if you don’t agree. The format includes lectures, a cooperative parenting textbook, videos, workbook assignments and class discussion. Each parent attends class without the other parent; parents do not go to the same class. Some participants commented that they saved time and money otherwise spent in court or in legal fees by using what they learned in the class.

Wise Parent Counseling:  Through Wise Parent Counseling parents make decisions cooperatively concerning their children, lessening or removing the need for legal and Court involvement.  Wise Parent Counseling is less costly and time-consuming than legal expenses, custody evaluations or litigation. Parents work individually and together with a specially-trained counselor to determine their concerns, goals and plans for their child(ren).

Mediation:  Mediation is a process wherein a neutral third party (mediator) works with both parties/parents to find mutual agreement.  Mediation is commonly used to resolve disputes in divorce, child custody, visitation and other child-related issues such as school choice, religious participation, medical care, travel and extra-curricular activities. An attorney and mediator on staff at Samaritan conducts the mediation.  Mediation is cheaper than litigation and may achieve an early settlement, ending anxiety and distress.  Mediation does not, however, guarantee a settlement. It differs from arbitration wherein a third party (arbitrator) serves like a judge in an out-of-court, less formal setting without actively participating in the discussion.

Settlement Facilitation is often court ordered.  It is very similar to mediation except that the settlement facilitator may be more directive to the parties.  Successful settlement facilitation is also done by agreement.  An agreement is written and signed by the parties at the end of Mediation or Settlement Facilitation.  The agreement may become a court order, prepared by counsel, and filed.

Reunification Therapy:  In most cases the child’s interests are best served when he has a healthy and loving relationship with both parents and when each parent supports the relationship of the child with the other parent.  In reunification therapy the counselor works with family members to establish or re-establish a healthy parent-child bond where it has been disrupted by separation or divorce. Both parents are included in the reunification process. Once the therapy begins, records will be under the name of the child. The Court often directs the Samaritan counselor to first assess the appropriateness of reunification prior to the beginning of reunification therapy.

Individual and Family Counseling:  Samaritan Counseling Center offers individual and family counseling/therapy to adults, adolescents and children, including those in the SCCF program.  Children who are participating in reintegration therapy often participate in individual or family counseling, too.  Parents may also be advised to enter individual counseling at any point.

ADDITIONAL IMPORTANT INFORMATION

  • In all of our SCCF services, we advocate only for the child and not for either parent - an important difference between SCCF and the legal divorce process.
  • We do not offer custody evaluations nor do we provide court testimony. To have the counselor who has been meeting privately and confidentially with a child testify about those meetings in court greatly impedes (and sometimes destroys) the counseling process.  Parents/grandparents and their attorneys (if they have representation) must understand and agree to these terms.  If you have an attorney, please review this information with him or her.
  • In reunification therapy, we will provide information to the Court concerning:
    • Whether you have been attending sessions with the reunification therapist;
    • If progress is being made toward reunification; and,
    • If all parties are cooperating with the treatment process.
  • When there is joint legal custody, we are required by law to have written permission from both parents before we can see their children.
  • The programs offered by SCCF are not evaluative so the counselors do not make custody, visitation or timesharing recommendations.

 

THE PROCESS

Phase One: Getting Started

  1. If you are court-ordered to receive services at SCCF, submit a copy of your court order at Samaritan Counseling Center. The Patient Administrative Coordinator is available 8:30-5:00 PM Monday through Friday (closed on holidays).   Submit any other documents that will help us understand the background on your case (divorce decree, custody evaluation, parenting plans, prior court orders, Court Clinic reports or reports from a Guardian ad Litem).  Doing so will save time.  A $25 non-refundable processing fee due at the time you submit these documents is required for us to review them.Submitting your paperwork and supporting documents does not mean you are automatically in the program or have an open case at Samaritan.
  2. The SCCF Coordinator will review your court order and supporting documents to see if Samaritan can take the case. If there is a restraining order/order of protection in effect, it will be reviewed and determined if the court-ordered services can proceed.  If we are unable to accept your case, we will notify you and the court.
  3. Once the documents are reviewed, you may be scheduled to attend an SCCF Program Orientation. The orientation will explain the SCCF services and processes.  Orientation lasts about 45 minutes; there is a $25 non-refundable orientation fee that is due at the time of orientation.

 

Note: If you are referred for Mediation or Settlement Facilitation take the court order to Samaritan and tell the receptionist those are the services you need.  The Mediator will call you or your attorney directly.  You will not be required to pay fees or attend orientation if you are a mediation or settlement client.

If you are being referred only for Cooperative Parenting Classes, you will not need to attend orientation.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  Samaritan will not proceed with the case until BOTH parties have submitted copies of the court order(s) and other relevant documents to SCCF, completed the required SCCF paperwork, attended orientation (if necessary), paid fees and arranged for any other costs the parties will need to pay. 

Phase Two: Transition Education

  1. If you have not been through the Court Clinic, each parent and adult (guardians, grandparents or interveners) named in the court order will initially be required to attend a transition education session individually. These initial transition education sessions are NOT billable to commercial insurance or Medicaid; clients will be responsible for the costs (the court may order who is responsible for payment).  Every hour of the transition education meeting time will be billed at $120 per hour, payable at the time of service.
  2. After all parties have participated in a transition education session the transition educator will meet with both parents to suggest next steps.

Phase Three: Clinical Services

  1. If your case has been assessed by the Court Clinic and specific services are being ordered by the court, you will be enrolled via the Samaritan electronic medical records system to receive clinical treatment services.
  2. If you were not assessed by the Court Clinic but have completed the transition education process you will be ready to enroll for clinical services. Please review all SCCF terms and conditions of service along with patient rights and confidentiality statements.  You must attest that you have read and agree with them.  A fee agreement MUST be in place before any treatment begins.  If you do not agree to the SCCF terms and conditions and/or fail to sign a fee agreement, we cannot proceed with your case and will notify the court.  The initial clinical treatment session will be billed at $180 to commercial insurance or Medicaid or to the client directly (“self-pay”).  Subsequent treatment sessions will be billed at $120 per hour, also billed to commercial insurance, Medicaid or to the responsible party/parties directly.
  3. Utilization Review and Continuation of Care. The clinician(s) assigned to your case will assess the ability to benefit from therapy at all stages of care.  Your case will be reviewed at the SCCF clinical staffing at least every 90 days, with next steps determined for continuation or termination of care or referral for other services.  Utilization review time is not billable to commercial insurance; the party responsible for paying for services will be billed (commercial insurance and “self-pay” only.  Medicaid cannot be billed for this service).
  4. When the therapeutic goals in your case have been reached, treatment will be terminated and the court will be informed.

FINANCIAL INFORMATION

Note:  Payment is due at the time of service

Some of Samaritan’s court-ordered services are covered by insurance plans* but a diagnosis for the person receiving counseling is required if insurance is billed.  If insurance is being used for family counseling ALL sessions will be billed to the insurance regardless of who attends that session.  Your counselor can discuss this with you in more detail.

If you are “self-pay” you may leave a credit card signature on file or a retainer equaling the cost of four hours of service. Fees will be collected at the time of service and charged to your credit card or deducted from the retainer.

Important:  When the Court has assigned a percentage of counseling fees to each party (for example, mother pays 45% and father pays 55%), Samaritan Counseling Center will not be responsible for or involved in securing those divisions of payment; the parties must arrange with one another for costs or retainers to be paid.  Payment remains due at the time of service regardless of which party transports the child or is in attendance at the session.

RESPONSIBILITIES OF BOTH PARTIES

  1. Attendance – No shows and late cancellations (cancellations made less than 24 hours before a schedule appointment) will be charged directly to the responsible party/parties. If your appointment is scheduled for Monday, notification of cancellation must be received no later than the previous Friday.  (For example, if you are scheduled for Monday at 2:00 PM, cancellation notification must be received by the previous Friday at 2:00 PM).  Medicaid does not reimburse for no shows or late cancellations but after two cancellations or no shows you will not be rescheduled. 
  2. Update contact and insurance information.
  3. Assure that Medicaid or any commercial insurance is active and inform Samaritan of any changes or expirations. If commercial insurance or Medicaid expires during the treatment and Samaritan is not informed, the responsible party/parties will be charged for the services.
  4. Set up your home and cell phone voicemail (if you have not done so already).
  5. Clear out your voicemail so Samaritan can leave messages.
  6. Adhere to the terms of payment.

RECEIVING SERVICES FROM SAMARITAN COUNSELING CENTER

CENTER FOR CHANGING FAMILIES (SCCF)

How to get court-ordered services at Samaritan Counseling Center:

  • Take the court order referring you to Samaritan and copies of any other relevant documents (custody evaluations, Court Clinic reports, parenting plan, psychological evaluations, orders of protection/restraining orders, a divorce decree and prior court orders) to Samaritan Counseling Center. A $25 processing fee* (non-refundable) is required when you submit your paperwork so your information can be entered into the Samaritan system.
  • Complete the SCCF paperwork the Samaritan receptionist will give you when you provide your court order OR download the forms from the SCCF website: samaritanm.org. Print them out and fill them in.
  • If you are faxing your court order and other documents (SCCF paperwork, custody evaluations, court clinic reports, restraining orders, etc.) about the case (505-765-1100 Attention: SCCF) call Samaritan and give the receptionist your credit card number before you FAX so she can charge the processing fee to your card. Submitting your paperwork and supporting documents does not mean you automatically have a case open at Samaritan.  If we do not get the fee we will not process the paperwork.
  • Samaritan staff will review the court order and other documents. If there is a restraining order/order of protection in effect, they will determine if they can proceed with the case. If Samaritan cannot accept the case, they will notify you and the court.
  • Once your documents are reviewed, Samaritan SCCF office may call to schedule you for a Program Orientation. A $25 orientation fee (non-refundable) is due at the time of the orientation. 

Note: If you are referred for Mediation or Settlement Facilitation take the court order to Samaritan and tell the receptionist those are the services you need.  The Mediator will call you or your attorney directly.  You will not be required to pay fees or attend orientation if you are a mediation or settlement client.

If you are being referred only for Cooperative Parenting Classes, you will not need to attend orientation.

NOTE:  Samaritan will not proceed with the case until BOTH parties have submitted copies of the court order(s) and other relevant documents to SCCF, completed the required SCCF paperwork, attended orientation (if necessary), paid fees and arranged for any other costs the parties will need to pay. 

For more information on fees, terms and conditions, go to www.samaritannm.org and click on Changing Families Program, then Court-Ordered Services. 

Samaritan Counseling Center
1101 Medical Arts Avenue, NE - Building #3
Albuquerque, NM  87102
Phone:  505-842-5300
Website: www.samaritannm.org
NO EMAILS ACCEPTED

SAMARITAN CENTER FOR CHANGING FAMILIES COOPERATIVE PARENTING CLASS

Course Description

The Cooperative Parenting Class helps parents reduce conflict and prepare to work together. This class (comprised of either six 2-hour or eight 90-minute sessions) provides information about the impact of conflict on children, post-separation parental communication, anger management and tips for getting along with the other parent even if you don’t agree. The format includes lectures, videos, workbook assignments and class discussion. Each parent attends class without the other parent; parents do not go to the same class. Some participants have commented that by using what they learned in the class, they saved time and money otherwise spent in court or in legal fees.

Terms and Conditions

Registration

Registration is required to attend the SCCF Cooperative Parenting Class.  Registration may be completed online (www.samaritannm.org) or in person at Samaritan Counseling Center in Albuquerque no later than two days before the start of the first session of the series. Capacity is limited to 15 participants per class.

Cost/Payment

The cost of the SCCF Cooperative Parenting Class is $270 (non-refundable).  This includes instruction sessions and a cooperative parenting textbook.  Registration is confirmed only upon receipt of the full payment for the class. Samaritan accepts cash, credit cards (Visa and Master Card), PayPal, money orders and cashier’s checks.

We do not accept partial payments; there is a $30 non-refundable fee for returned checks.  This class cannot be billed to commercial insurance or Medicaid.

Attendance/Missed Sessions

A participant must attend all sessions in order to receive a certificate of course completion.  If a session is missed it may be made up by meeting individually with the instructor.  The cost for the make-up session is $85 (non-refundable), payable at the time of service.  If more than two sessions are missed the participant must register for another series and pay the full tuition again for the second class.

Proof of Attendance

Once a participant has attended all sessions and completed an evaluation form after the last session, the instructor will provide a certificate of completion.  Participants are encouraged to retain their certificate in their files in case it is needed for future court proceedings.