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Important Things To Know Before Child Custody Recommending Counseling (CCRC)

Setting appointments
Placer Superior Court contracts with private mental health professionals throughout the area to provide court ordered CCRC services. CCRC assignments are made from the Orientation class, either by mail or directly at the class. If parties have already attended the orientation class and request CCRC prior to the next court hearing, the Office of Family Court Services will mail out notice of the CCRC referral. A judge may also refer parties to CCRC from the court hearing. Parties are instructed to contact the professional assigned as the Child Custody Recommending Counselor (CCRC) immediately to set up their appointments.

What is Parent Orientation?
Child Custody Recommending Counseling Orientation is a mandatory program primarily designed to prepare parents for child custody counseling. The class also instructs parents about children's developmental stages and how they impact parenting plans. Time is also spent discussing conflict resolution, and Placer County's model for CCRC and evaluation.  CCRC Orientation is held at the courthouse and lasts for about 1.5 hours. Both parties are ordered to attend prior to participation in CCRC. There is no fee for this class.

Do children attend orientation?
Children should not attend orientation. This class is for parents only.

What if I can't attend orientation?
 It is very important that you make every effort to attend this court ordered class. If an emergency prevents one party from attending orientation, a mediation assignment will still take place. However, if both parties fail to attend orientation, they will not receive a CCRC assignment.

If this occurs, it is important that you still appear at the court hearing on the date scheduled. Both parties should be prepared to provide an explanation to the Judge why they were unable to attend orientation, and to re-schedule attendance for the class.

Can I submit information to FCS before my CCRC appointment?
You should submit your completed CCRC Information packet at your CCRC appointment. However, for all other information it is the policy of the court that information submitted to FCS by one party must be served on the other party. 

If you have any additional documents you believe will help you and the other parent reach an agreement in CCRC, you may submit them to the CCRC with a proof of service that verifies that the other party was also provided with copies of the documents.

CCRCs have discretion about the amount of additional documents they read, but they are not required to read more than 13 pages of additional documents submitted by each parent

Can I talk to the CCRC before the CCRC appointment?
"Ex Parte contact" is not allowed by parties or attorneys at any time prior to completion of the report. Ex parte contact means one party (or attorney) contacting the CCRC without the other party being present or having knowledge of the nature of the discussion. This does not include the scheduling of the appointment.

What if I miss my CCRC appointment?
Because of the short time frame between the CCRC appointment and the court hearing, another appointment may not be scheduled. If the other party attends as scheduled, the CCRC will go forward without your input. If time allows, the CCRC will attempt to reach you by telephone.

If both parties fail to attend their scheduled session, it will be dropped and the court notified of your failure to attend. If this occurs, it is important that you still appear at the court hearing on the date scheduled. 

Do children attend CCRC?
Counselors may request that you bring the child/children for an interview. This takes place on an individual basis. Ask your CCRC if they would like to interview your child.

Are both parties interviewed together?
Yes. CCRCs interview both parties together. The exception to this is if there is a Domestic Violence Restraining Order in place or one party alleges there has been recent domestic violence with the other parent. If this is the case, the parties will be given separate appointments. You must notify the CCRC if you are requesting separate sessions due to domestic violence.

I have a domestic violence restraining order. Can I bring a support person? Yes, a support person may accompany you to the CCRC appointment. However, the support person cannot participate in, and is required to maintain confidentiality of, the session.

A CCRC may exclude a support person from a session if:

  1. The support person attempts to participate in the session;
  2. The support person acts as an advocate for the victim in a session;
  3. The support person's presence or actions disrupt the session.

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