Masterclass: Expert Assessment Skills for the Family Court
Monday 18 June 2018
De Vere West One, London
Aimed at mental health professionals who currently, or wish, to provide expert opinion on parents who are involved in child care proceedings in the Family Courts. Including psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, psychotherapists and allied professionals.
Child care proceedings in the Family Courts are challenging for those involved. Participants and decision makers struggle to make sense of parents with complicated presentations and complex interpersonal dynamics inevitably arise in the course of the legal process. All parties involved in such proceedings, including Judges, legal representatives and Social Services, wish to make the right decision. They rely upon good quality expert witness evidence to guide them in making sense of the complicated issues with which they are presented. Good quality evidence is highly valued. Yet psychologists, psychiatrists and allied professionals often feel daunted by the task of applying their knowledge to this area of work.
This masterclass aims to provide an introduction to the necessary skills in working in this area and to facilitate participants in the application of what they know to the legal process. Participants will be provided with a framework for assessing parents in proceedings, and introduced to the elements of the relational model as applied to Court proceedings, including assessing a parent’s internal working models of attachment and how this impacts upon their capacity to parent children to a satisfactory level. We will discuss the areas to challenge individuals undergoing assessment in order to address the issues of risk.
Key Learning Objectives:
- Understanding the legal framework and the role of the expert witness in the Family Court.
- Making sense of the letter of instruction and knowing what to do with the Court bundle.
- Identifying particular forms of dysfunctional personality patterns in parents.
- Using elements of the relational model, including assessing a parent’s internal working models of attachment.
- Understanding how internal working models of attachment impact upon an individual’s satisfactory level.
- Knowing where and when to challenge individuals undergoing assessment in order to address the issues of risk.
- Recognising when to recommend remediation of risk through management and psychological treatment.
- Identifying patterns of dynamic interactions between parents, professionals and agencies involved.
Facilitated by: Dr Stephen Blumenthal, Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Psychoanalyst.
Also of interest