AFCC is the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts – the premier interdisciplinary and international association of professionals dedicated to the resolution of family conflict. AFCC members are the leading practitioners, researchers, teachers and policymakers in the family court arena.


Our Mission

The mission of the  Maryland Chapter of AFCC is to implement the goals of the  AFCC at the state level. Both AFCC and the Maryland Chapter work to:

-Creates forums and networks that enable professionals to share information, ideas and experiences, identify trends and shape constructive change;
-Provides continuing education through conferences and workshops;
-Advocate for innovation and change in the court and legal system called upon to serve children and families in conflict;
-Publish the Family Court Review and other regular bulletins;
-Identify and disseminate standards of practice and model strategies;
-Disseminate research;
-Support the network of state and provincial chapter aligned with the mission and goals of AFCC, and
-Collaborate with other organizations to achieve its goals.

Our Chapter is organized and operated exclusively for purposes described in section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended and section 5-201, et. seq. of the Maryland Corporation and Associations Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland.

Members can also benefit from the Ambassador Program (AP). Read about the AP at this special page.

Meet the Chapter Board of Directors

Nolanda Robert, MS


Wendy Schwartz, JD

Vice President

Luanne McKenna, JD


Marshall Yaap, JD


Gina Santoro, Ph.D.,


Amy Karlen, Ph.D.


Risa Garon, LCSW-C


Hallie Strauss, Ph.D.


Katie Killeen, Ph.D.


Syretta James, Ph.D.


Joanie Raymond, Magistrate


Esther Finglass, Ph.D.


Erika Slater, JD


John Lefkowits, Ph.D.


Moments and Historical Events

OCTOBER 2016: Congratulations to Dr. Christopher Lane, PhD, Cecilia B. Paizs, JD, and Keith Schiszik, JD, on their election to the AFCC-MD Board

September 9, 2015:  Maryland Custody at a Crossroads featuring the Honorable Cynthia Callahan, Chair of the Maryland Commission on Child Custody Decision-Making and Delegate Kathleen Dumais, House of Delegates.  This seminar reviewed the work of the Commission with views from the bench, legislators, mental health professionals, and family law attorneys.

2016: Congratulations to AFCC-MD Board Member, Barbara Babb, MS, JD, on her appointment as Editor-in-Chief of the Family Court Review, the AFCC’s quarterly journal. The Family Court Review is a leading interdisciplinary academic and research journal for family law professionals.

June 2016: Barbara Babb, MS, JD, Gloria H. Danziger, JD, MPhil, Judge Cathy Holenberg Serrette, and Lionel Moore presented Addiction and Family Courts: What Judges, Lawyers, and Court Staff should know at the AFCC 53rd Annual Conference in Seattle, Washington.

October 6, 2016: Arnold Shienvold, PhD facilitated multiple panel discussions exploring meaningful alternatives to costly and protracted custody litigation and evaluations at the AFCC-MD Chapter’s 2nd Annual Chapter Meeting and Educational Seminar.

Thank you to our panelists: Paul Berman, PhD., Brian Kane, Esquire, Nolanda Kirby, Cecil County Circuit Court Family Support Services Coordinator, Keith Schiszik, Esquire, Rebecca Snyder, PhD., Powel Welliver, Carroll County Circuit Court, Family Court Administrator

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