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TERMS OF USE/Disclaimer

Terms of use: 

Rev. 08/07/09. This site serves to help fulfill the mission statement of StepfamilySystems.com which includes facilitating connections and providing support to those with stepfamily, single-parent, remarried or stepparent concerns for those raising children with parents in two or more households. Because the personalities and histories of individuals vary, no specific results of utilizing connections and exercising support suggestions, tips or ideas can be guaranteed. This website and related support services, motivational presentations and information provided is not to take the place of any other professional service such as individual or family therapy, psychiatric advice, legal or financial counsel and assumes no liability for actions taken or the results of the content on either live or print venues. This is partial blog, partial Q & A. It is based on mediator - stepfamily member perspective and opinion. For crises or emergency situations call 9-1-1 or check your phone book for local resources. This is partial blog, partial Q & A. It is based on mediator - stepfamily member perspective and opinion.


As a means of facilitating connections and providing support, other products and services are mentioned and/or discussed for consideration but no official endorsements are made. It is the client/patron/visitor/user’s responsibility to vet resources fully by means of their own determination and/or counsel.  Some parts of this website may contain adult content intended for people who are no less than 18 years of age. By viewing the material presented, you are representing that you are at least 18 and the content viewing was by y our personal choice and is acceptable to you. If you have any doubt or concern, you may consider the use of filtering software to exclude content you would prefer not to view.  
Fee-based Services & Limited Community Service, no-cost consultations:The Stepfamily Strategist, Patricia H. Powe, holds fast to the following professional code of ethics: 
Code Of Ethics
I am a designated neutral, and have the responsibility of maintaining strict confidentiality concerning matters that are brought to my attention unless I am given permission to do otherwise. The exception is at my sole discretion is whenever there appears to be imminent threat of serious harm.

I take all reasonable steps to protect any records and files pertaining to confidential discussions from inspection by all other persons.

When completing Shared Parenting & Stepfamily Management (SAM) Planning / consulting / making strategy recommendations, I have the responsibility to suggest actions or policies that will be equitable to all parties participating in the program. Our greatest focus is to produce results which will enable all stepchildren and biological children born into shared parenting / stepfamily households to enter their classrooms and homeowork environments with fewer home-life distractions and greater academic focus, and to reduce the dissolution rate of marriages with stepchildren.

Standards Of Practice

The outcome goal is to provide a confidential, neutral process which facilitates fair and equitable resolutions to concerns of mothers, fathers, stepparents, children and their extended family members. To meet this outcome goal I serve as a communication resource, upward feedback channel, advisor, coach (one-to-one coaching agreements for stepfamily household planning) dispute resolution expert and change agent.

While serving in this role:

1. I/We  base this mediation-based practice on confidentiality.

2. During the problem-solving, strategy or planning processes, I/we [support staff & planning team members] may make known information deemed necessary to move forward after discussing it with my client/s. There cannot be a guarantee that the continuation of the processes will not compromised. No party is obligated to complete the process. At times, it serves the process well to step back and continue after a break of days in order to process information and any agreements made to date.

3. Any data that I/we prepare will be safeguarded as will the identity of each individual whose concerns are represented.

4. Publicity about StepfamilySystems.com conveys the confidential nature of our work.

5. I/We assert that there is a privilege with respect to communications.

6. Communications between the Planning & Strategy Team members and clients are considered privileged. Others cannot waive this privilege.

7.I/We do not serve in any additional function which would undermine the privileged nature of our work.

8. I/We do not keep case records. It is our standard practice for the destruction of any written notes once SAM planning, strategy & consulting period ends.

9. I/We are designated neutrals and remain independent. We cannot be deemed as one who represents clients, which would compromise neutrality.

10. As mediation-based planners/strategists/consultants, we strive for objectivity and impartiality.

11. I/We have a responsibility to consider the concerns of all parties known to be involved in a dispute.

12. I/ We do not serve as advocates for any one person; however, we do advocate for fair processes, and the well-being of all children in all relevant households of our clients.

13. I/We help develop a RaAP (Response and Action Plan) Sheet and devlope responsible options to resolve problems and facilitate discussion to identify the best options. When possible, we help people develop new ways to solve problems themselves.

14. I/We do not make binding decisions, mandate policies or adjudicate issues.

15. I/We do not act as agent for nor do we accept and interpret legal documentation of any kind on behalf of our clients. We encourage communication documentation through www.OurFamilyWizard.com and like venues to reduce conflict related to miscommunication between the parties.  We do always refer individuals to the appropriate venues for assistance out of our scope of service.

16. Individuals should not be forced, threatened or coerced in an many to meet with a Team member of StepfamilySystems.com. All interactions should be voluntary.

17.I/ We foster communication about the philosophy and function of StepfamilySystems.com with the people we serve.

18. I/We provide feedback on ttrends & issues we observe through our on-going research through our Survey project without breaching confidentiality or anonymity. We identify new problems and we provide support for responsible systems change.

19. I/We keep professionally current and competent by pursuing continuing education and training relevant to our scope of service.

20. I/We will endeavor to be worthy of the trust placed in us.

Powe has been an independent researcher and innovator of shared parenting and stepfamily dynamics, documented to the 1980s which resulted in the development of ACES: Shared Parenting & Stepfamily Assimilation Management (SAM) planning services and study guide, and first presented as Stepping In for Successful Blended Family Living in 1990, documented & verifiable. She has earned certifications from La Sierra University, Center for Philanthropy under the instruction of Dr. James Erickson, and American Bar Association-approved instruction in Divorce Mediation, presented by Forrest "Woody" Mosten. Powe has presented at hotel venues, schools and participated in Community Fairs. Her work has been recognized by Sterling's and Manchester Who's Who for her pursuit and development of innovative stepfamily care services in 1994 and 2005. She is not a family therapist or mental health care service provider. She and paid or volunteer service providers stay within qualified scope of services. 

While StepfamilySystems.com does provide limited, no cost assistance as a community service support through E-mail, social venues, Braided Family Home Living, etc., in addition to our standard, fee-based services, we exercise the right to discontinue either fee-based or no-cost consulting at any time we sense our client (fee-based) or prospective client (no-cost consult) is not being honest, or is withholding relevant information upon which we base our mediation-based services. We also reserve the right to refuse to engage in services if we suspect harmful intents are discerned. These will be reported to authorities whenever prospective client, client or others are perceived to be in danger. One no-cost strategy session or consult is provided by phone/Direct Message/E-mail prior to engaging in SAM planning services. Recipient understands that a Services Agreement or Memorandum of Understanding is required for additonal services to be provided.
Changes to this Agreement: StepfamilySystems.com reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to modify, alter, or otherwise change this Agreement and/or Additional Terms at any time. It is the responsibility of the website viewer to return to the Agreement periodically for changes. Failure to do so and returning to the website is a default acceptance of terms at the time of each visit. If at any time you do not accept the terms/agreement, it is your responsibility to discontinue viewing website contents of StepfamilySystems.com, which functions independently from its advertisers, sponsors and all resources and contributing strategists and writers. 
Privacy and Protection of Personal Information: StepfamilySystems.com does not sell personal information of its visitors or clients to database collectors who in turn sell the information for profit. General topics, results and common experiences, however, may be discussed on the website, radio or in print. Scenarios might sound specific to your experience, but no personal information is ever released. Additionally, we may share information with advertisers or other third parties that will not disclose your identity for their research purposes. We are unable to determine the mental health of those listening to the talk show, reading the website or attending events. It is up to individuals to seek professional support for their needs or concerns and to take appropriate mental health or legal protective measures for themselves and family members in all presenting situations in both assumed risk and real time possibilities.           
          > Passwords, Account Security/Access, Personalization and Shopping On this site: Personal information is that which enables us to contact you (Email and home addresses, telephone numbers) or other information that, when linked to information you have provided, allows us to personalize your visit to our site by addressing information fitting visitors’ expressed needs or interests, as well as personalization/customization of products and services.  While access to the website without completing registration/sign-up form is an option available to everyone, those who subscribe to our exclusive Family-in-step Focal Points Corner may access additional information making it more likely to receive more specific information and to realize greater benefits associated with StepfamilySystems.com brand of products and services. For example, a subscriber is eligible for discounts on designated products, special seating at events, etc. In the future we aspire to bring more benefits to subscribers to enhance their experience relating to StepfamilySystems.com. Your information and IP address might be used to help diagnose problems with our server, to analyze trends and visitors’ webpage usage, to help us identify you and your shopping cart, or to gather demographic information as needed to analyze and improve services. Only if necessary, your information could be required by government or court entities.         
          > Opt-out option: To opt-out of receiving information send your demand to: CustomerCare@StepfamilySystems.com 
          > First Connection Policy: There are many avenues we provide parents of both households to find support through our company. Venue sharing is often a cause for openness to be harnessed and support maximized/minimized. We do exercise the right to block, deny requests or disconnect from the second connection family at any time on any shared venue but with the exension of the opportunity to reconnect privately through StepfamilySystems.com to continue support through Blended Family Home Living or other venues with privacy and consideration for the First Connection family until both family units have worked through their questions, needs or concerns.
Contests and Surveys: For ongoing research, the Stepfamily Satisfaction and Parental Alienation Experience Survey information may be analyzed by professionals and collegiate-level students involved with the study and development of stepfamily dynamics, research reporting and academic projects. We also offer Give-Away entry form options to win services/products through electronic transmission, this website, churches, and educational institutions. If you are ever contacted by anyone other than StepfamilySystems.com personnel, you are asked to report it immediately to TPowe@StepfamilySystems.com for immediate submission to legal counsel of Parker Stanbury for review of a possible breech, and when appropriate, terminations will follow possible suspensions. 
Public Forums: This site may make available or refer to chat rooms such as Tweet chat or any other variety of sharing forums, message/bulletin boards and other groups. Remember information disclosed in these areas are public and caution needs to be exercised about the amount of disclosure made in these areas. If you complete any feature requiring you to share your personal information off of our website, you realize you have chosen to transfer your information to that entity over which we have no control or oversight of information. 
Children’s Protection: Our website requests participants acknowledge they are age 18 or older. Children who post who are under the age of 13, as far as we are able to determine, will have their postings removed as soon as we become aware of it. Any information regarding children under the age of 13 will not be posted except when discussing general application of information and always without identifying information. 
Accuracy and Completeness: While StepfamilySystems.com does attempt to provide visitors and subscribers with relevant information, it is not final word. Visitors and subscribers have & accept the responsibility of vetting all sources and validating accuracy or completeness of information. Hence, StepfamilySystems.com shall have no liability for accuracy or completeness relating to authenticity, omissions, delays or other lack for claims of distress or loss relating to information on this website.
Transfers and use of StepfamilySystems.com Website Content: Powe believes more can be accomplished to further the Mission Statement of StepfamilySystems.com by embracing a complementary not a competitive attitude or mode of operation with other service providers, professional colleagues and peer services and requests the professional courtesy of sourcing StepfamilySystems.com for ideas, concepts and thoughts gleaned from Stepfamily Straight Talk show contents, guest appearances on any media venue, by reading our material, or attending an event. We apply the same professional consideration to all of our professional colleagues and peer support providers.  ©2006 – 2011 StepfamilySystems.com. All rights reserved. No part of this website, including but not limited to articles, suggested ideas, other text, images, illustrations, characters, titles, names which collectively are Intellectual Property, and are protected by copyright, trademark and other laws of the United States, as well as international conventions and laws of other countries. No part of StepfamilySystems.com may be used without authorization, nor reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher except for the inclusion of brief quotations for reviews or shared resources. Requests sent to TPowe@StepfamilySystems.com. Legal representation retained with Parker Stanbury, LLP, Los Angeles, Calif.