Risa Garon's Bio

Risa Garon, LCSW-C, BCD, CFLE is Executive Director and co-founder of the National Family Resiliency Center, Inc.(NFRC)  formerly Children of Separation and Divorce Center, Inc. in Columbia, Rockville and Solomons, Maryland.  NFRC is a private, non-profit mental health center serving children and families throughout the lifecycle who are experiencing transitions such a pre marriage, marriage, separation, divorce and step parenting. 

Ms. Garon is a licensed clinical social worker, board certified diplomate and certified family life educator.  In addition, she is a certified mediator and is trained and certified in collaborative law, serving as a divorce coach and child specialist. As a psychotherapist, Ms. Garon specializes in working with adolescents and adults. She works with many parents experiencing separation, divorce and blended families, helping them craft child focused parent plans.

Recently, Ms. Garon led a team or professionals in writing and developing NFRC’s on line parenting plan program, FamilyConnex® which is utilized by parents across the country.  Ms. Garon developed the Child and Family Focused Decision Making Model that supports the best interest of the child and is utilized in training judges, lawyers, mediators and mental health professionals across the country. Ms. Garon and a team of judges, attorneys, mediators and specialists from the community, along with NFRC staff, have developed the National Family Resiliency Program, a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to a non-adversarial, child focused divorce process.

The model is detailed in a book that she co-authored, Guidelines for Child Focused Decision Making. Ms. Garon, along with NFRC staff, developed a national certification training program for professionals who want to implement the NFRC’s Healing Hearts®  divorce education program for parents and KidShare® educational programs for children. Ms. Garon designed a state of the art advanced training seminar for Best Interest Attorneys and co-authored the book: Attorneys Representing Children: Guidelines for Interviewing and Assessing Children and Parents Experiencing Separation and Divorce. She has also contributed numerous articles to professional journals and major newspapers. Ms. Garon contributed two chapters in the American Bar Association's "Child and Youth Developmental Considerations," and "Parenting Considerations," A Judge's Guide: Making Child-Centered Decisions in Custody Cases. Ms. Garon is a faculty member of The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, which recently selected NFRC as an exemplary program to work with family courts and adjunct assistant professor with the University of Maryland School of Social Work. In 2001, the Association of Family Court and Community Professionals presented Ms. Garon with the Irwin Cantor Award for Innovative Programming.