High-Conflict Divorce Family Camp Overview

Overview of Family Camp

Courtesy of Common Ground Center

This camp, with it’s relaxing activities and skilled, supportive staff who understand the complexities of the relationships, provides a unique opportunity to create new beginnings and new memories for families. In addition to traditional camp activities like yoga, arts and crafts, hiking and campfires, families will participate in specially designed Children and Adult Programs each morning.

The psycho-educational part of this family camp will help participants to sort out the complex causes of visitation resistance. The groups, led by experts in this field, will help both parents see the value of the other in the child’s life as well as help children become more free to feel and show connection with both parents. Families will learn how to repair ruptured relationships in a safe and healthy environment.

Participation of the Entire Family

Overcoming Barriers High-Conflict Divorce Camp requires the participation of all family members. In many cases this requires that the family obtain a court order through a legal process that can take time. Because space at camp is limited, OCB will give priority to those families in which all parties commit to participate over families that have not had all parties commit to participate.

Campers are expected to be present for all camp activities. Cell phone and internet use are only allowed during short pre-arranged times. Children under the age of 18 are not allowed to have cell phones.

Family Characteristics to Consider

  • Many families experiencing visitation resistance are referred to this program as an alternative or support to other interventions.
  • Family members should not have a history of verified domestic violence, current active substance abuse or current major diagnosed, untreated mental illness.
  • Families should have adequate professional support available to support the family in carrying out the aftercare.
  • All members of the immediate family will agree or will be ordered to attend camp. This will include both parents and all children between the ages of 9 and 18. Other members of the family may be included, and will be discussed during intake.

Post-Camp and Aftercare

All participating families are required to have adequate professional support to receive a summary of interventions and agreements. Who receives this information and what is considered an adequate professional support network will vary from case to case. In some cases parents agree to have OCB clinicians communicate directly with the court after camp. Throughout the intake process OCB intake staff will pay particular attention to the program goals for each family and determine during intake if the existing support network is considered inadequate.

A primary goal of the program is for parents to develop ways to break the cycle of litigation and agree to solve problems outside of the legal adversarial paradigm moving forward. The cost and adversarial nature of continued litigation is often a significant stressor for divorced families.

Some families who have attended previous camps have developed agreements at camp that have ended their involvement in the Court.

Application and Intake

If you are interested in this program on behalf of your family please ask professionals working on your case to look into the program. Admission to camp will require the agreement of both parents or a court order.

The High-Conflict Divorce Camp has a rigorous intake process to ensure that families will be a good fit for camp, be safe at camp and benefit from the program.  Neutrality on the part of Overcoming Barriers is a key component of all our programming and the intake process needs to assure that neutrality.

The application and intake process takes between one and two months from start to finish.  For this reason we recommend that families submit an application or have a case professional contact us as soon as possible. Intake is divided into the following stages:

  1. Pre-Intake
  2. Preliminary Intake
  3. Clinical Intake
  4. Camp Intake
These stages are explained with more detail on intake on our Family Camp Intake page (click here).

Staff

Clinical staff at camp are selected based on their significant experience working with high-conflict families, their commitment to the OCB Approach, and their familiarity with OCB programs through past participation and training with OCB.

Similarly, non-clincal staff are selected based on their experience with OCB programs, commitment to OCB’s mission, and skill leading fun and inclusive camp activities.

Cost

In a typical year, Camp fees cover approximately one half of Camp costs. By lowering our base fees, we make Camp accessible more families. Our efforts to fundraise and further develop the model to lower costs are ongoing and increasing access is a huge priority for our organization, a 501(c)(3) non-profit.

Fees are program specific and will be announced with the release of applications. Please see individual Family Camp program information on the Updates Page.

Reduced tuition – Overcoming Barriers is committed to making programs available to all families who will benefit. Beyond the subsidized base fee rate for Camp, we have been able to offer reduced tuition to qualifying families attending Family Camp since 2013. Reduced tuition offerings will be announced along with Family Camp applications.

More Information

OCB will send program updates to people who have joined our email update list (bottom of right sidebar) or otherwise given us their contact information.

Please see individual program pages for more detail and see the Updates Page for most current information about application deadlines and available space at Family Camps.

Direct questions to [email protected]*

*Please, in your initial inquiry, do not convey to us any information which you may regard as confidential.  Any information which you may convey to Overcoming Barriers by the internet or by e-mail may not be secure.