Minister ‘Confident’ About Co-Parenting Council

August 7, 2015

The Minister of Community, Culture and Sports Patricia Gordon-Pamplin provided further information about the Co-Parenting Mediation Council, and said she is “confident that the persons currently appointed to the Council will carry out their mandate with professionalism.”

Last month the Minister announced the members of the Co-Parenting Mediation Council as Kathy Lightbourne-Simmons, Dr. Eloise Pitts Crick, Honor Desmond-Tetlow, Susan Moore-Williams and Miriam Shaya-King.

In response, PLP MP Michael Weeks said that while he applauds the Minister for the institution of the council, he expressed concern about the members all being female, and urged her to “give more thought to an integrated council” in which “males and females find themselves working in tandem and making positive contributions to assist these disjointed families.”

In a statement today, Minister Gordon-Pamplin said, “There appears to be some concern regarding the role and composition of the Co-Parenting Mediation Council. I wish to emphasize that the purpose of the Council is to provide regulatory oversight for co-parenting mediation.

“As such, and contrary to some of the comments made in the media, the Council will not be directly engaged in the mediation of parental disputes over custody of or access to a child.”

The Minister continued, “Rather, the Council will carry out regulatory functions that include, but are not limited to, developing and maintaining standards for co-parenting mediation; establishing a Co-Parenting Mediation Code of Practice; establishing and maintaining a register of approved co-parenting mediators; issuing annual practicing certificates; undertaking reviews and client surveys of co-parenting mediation; and preparing and presenting an annual report to the Minister on co-parenting mediation in Bermuda.”

With regard to the fact that the Council currently has no male representation, Minister Gordon-Pamplin said, “I am confident that the persons currently appointed to the Council will carry out their mandate with professionalism and be able to set high standards for co-parenting mediation in Bermuda.

“I further wish to make clear that the legislation provides for a council of 5 members, with 2 representing public servants, one of whom must be a mediation coordinator with the Department of Child and Family Services, 1 member representing the Bar Council and 2 members representing mediators in the private sector.”

Minister Gordon-Pamplin added, “I expect that males who are interested in joining this regulatory Council, and who meet the legislative criteria will make themselves known for future consideration.”

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Comments (29)

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  1. stunned... says:

    as stated previously: having no males in the council is akin to having a committee on race relations with only one race being represented.

    there is no valid argument to support the current makeup of the council – unless there sre no males who wish to participate.

    btw, it is okay to apologise for the shortsightedness and seek to correct the imbalance.

    • Zevon says:

      You didn’t reead it did you.

    • Jarvis says:

      It makes no sense not to have men on this council. The women who have been appointed should speak up.

      • Zevon says:

        Ok, genius. Explain to us what you think this Council does.

  2. Rockfish#1 and#2 says:

    I understand what the Minister is saying. But males should have been there from the beginning.
    Now, many feel like afterthoughts!

    • Take a closer look at what Minister Patricia Gordon-Pamplin had said: With regard to the fact that the Council currently has no male representation, Minister Patricia Gordon-Pamplin said, “I am confident that the persons currently appointed to the Council will carry out their mandate with professionalism and be able to set high standards for co-parenting mediation in Bermuda.
      “I further wish to make clear that the legislation provides for a council of 5 members, with 2 representing public servants, one of whom must be a mediation coordinator with the Department of Child and Family Services, 1 member representing the Bar Council and 2 members representing mediators in the private sector.”
      Minister Gordon-Pamplin added, “I expect that males who are interested in joining this regulatory Council, and who meet the legislative criteria will make themselves known for future consideration.”
      You see, all’s well :-)
      “It’s a shallow life that doesn’t give a person a few scars.” -Garrison Keillor, radio host and author (b. 7 Aug 1942)

  3. hmmm says:

    there you go, it was just Weeks spinning !!!

    I guess like his Grand Atlantic announcement !

  4. frank says:

    ms gordan-pamplin do the right thing and bow out now
    cause I don’t see you being elected again

  5. where are the Fathers we matter? says:

    A Parenting council with no fathers sends a very clear message to men that fathers are not valued. It is yet another decision that shows Bermuda how out of touch……..well you know the rest.

    The spin that justifies leaving men or fathers off of the council simply does not cut it.

    • Zevon says:

      You don’t know what the Council does do you.

      • Lynne says:

        Zevon…are you a father in a co-parenting role? Does the Minister understand how much the parental rights of fathers are undermined in Bermuda? The above explanation from the Minister is a back door attempt to address her oversight of not having men in this council. The BTA and Energy regulatory bodies have representatives from the various industries that they are overseeing and the Parenting Council should take note of this. Omitting the stakeholders of fathers on this council clearly shows how out of touch the government is with the community.

        • Zevon says:

          Yes, I am a father in a co parenting role. The posters here are making false assumptions about what the Council is for.

  6. Betty Dump says:

    She just doesn’t get it… sad

  7. Mama Bear says:

    Should be 50/50 split – where is the group Child Watch?These men have been working for fair parent rights since before 2005!!!
    Oversight? I think not. There are plenty of fathers who would do same as a mother for their kids and would happily step up.
    Im shocked Child Watch (all men) is not some part of this committee.
    Complete waste of time if it is not 50/50. How can it be unbiased Many of the men in the group were qualified to represent based on the standards set for the concil.

    • Zevon says:

      What do you think is more important.
      1. Representing the rights of men, or
      2. Representing the rights of children.
      Which of these two involved parties should be considered above the other?

      • Mama Bear says:

        How can fathers be excluded regarding their children? Not starting a match with you – just don’t feel its a fair game if it is all women.
        Im surprised it was not a part of the original mandate. Have a nice weekend.

        • Zevon says:

          Farhers aren’t excluded. They’re included in the mediation process fair and square. The issue here is the oversight of the mediation process itself. And in that oversight, what matters is that the rights of the children are properly represented, not that some token ‘father’ gets to sit on the Council.

          • Rockfish#1 and#2 says:

            Had fathers/males been included from the beginning of the process they would not have been considered “token”

            If the Minister had appointed all males you would be objecting to that!

      • Serious Though says:

        Wonder where you are going with this, please enlighten ..also don’t forget information studies that justify your comments too ..i await

  8. Takbir Karriem Sharrieff says:

    Touche”……what a spin ball………ho hum……thats what cricket is all about…..or softball…….or Politics……..just struggling to……..get it right…….

  9. Serious Though says:

    Minister Gordon-Pamplin added, “I expect that males who are interested in joining this regulatory Council, and who meet the legislative criteria will make themselves known for future consideration.

    We’re there any efforts to look for a Male council member? Please share.

  10. Just be careful…n’don’t raise no orphans…let’s just legalise medicinal marijuana….license card holders and require behaviour from said…no one would wish to lose that license!

  11. Do as I request and require….

  12. just saying says:

    I applaud that there is some movement with this but you most definitely need a male on this committee…that seems to be a problem here in that men are not represented well . It suggests that all men are delinquent and this is not so…how can you have just women ? There are many women who constantly vilify the fathers…case in point…father’s day…I was in a store and a child asked her mother if she could buy a card for her daddy…”no way…you ain’t buying him anything but you can buy ****a card” I guess this must have been the boyfriend. I don’t care how difficult the relationship is between the parents but a child has a right to buy her daddy a card….it’s not their fault the parents can’t co parent…that’s why we also need a male!

  13. rhonda says:

    I can’t wait to see the legislation. How do you force someone who doesn’t want to parent. Mother wants co-parent, father wants nothing to do with child. Or vice verse.