About this book
Whether assessing general family functioning or specific areas of conflict, professionals ordering, conducting, or reviewing child custody evaluations require sound knowledge of three interrelated fields: up-todate legal issues, psychological findings, and forensic procedures. A Comprehensive Guide to Child Custody Evaluations covers these three essential areas to walk readers through the evaluation process clearly and concisely. This unique interdisciplinary book emphasizes professional ethics, children’s psychological well-being, and clear communication among all parties as keys to resolving disputes with efficiency and thoroughness, and minimizing the chances of children and their families getting lost in red tape.
Among the Guide’s features:
• Legal standards for custody evaluations and recommendations.
• Procedures for conducting custody evaluations, with the latest data on psychological testing, interviewing children, and home observations.
• Guidelines for writing: evaluation reports, orders for evaluations, parenting plans.
• Legal and ethical standards for critiquing evaluation reports.
• Current legal and research-based information on special issues, including alternative family arrangements, medical problems, child sexual abuse, estrangement, and parental abduction.
• Reference and resource sections provide additional support.
• Companion CD includes dozens of forms, checklists, letters, and other documents ready to download, customize, and print.
The Guide’s interdisciplinary approach will be of invaluable aid to forensic mental health professionals in conducting evaluations and communicating results, family and probate judges in ordering and assessing custody evaluations, and family attorneys in deciding how to approach various aspects of the family situation, whether to request a custody evaluation, and how to proceed after the custody evaluation is done.
Content Level » Professional/practitioner
Keywords » family court - visitations
Related subjects » Psychology & Law - Psychotherapy & Counseling
Joanna Bunker Rohrbaugh, Ph.D. is a trauma specialist who has been on the faculty of the Harvard Medical School for over twenty years, and is a clinical supervisor for the Victims of Violence and other outpatient programs at Cambridge Hospital. She holds a B.A. from Brown University and a Ph.D. in Personality and Developmental Psychology from Harvard University. Dr. Rohrbaugh has a private forensic psychology practice in Cambridge, MA, where she does child custody evaluations, parenting/bonding evaluations, and forensic consultation, and also serves as a child expert and a divorce coach in collaborative law cases.
Dr. Rohrbaugh is a member of the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) and a former board member of the Massachusetts Association of Guardians Ad Litem (MAGAL). Her family forensic experience includes Custody and Visitation, Care and Protection, Adoption, Child Estrangement/Alienation, Domestic Violence, Sexual Orientation, Physical Abuse of Child, PTSD, Sexual Abuse of Children, Substance Abuse, Removal, and Termination of Parental Rights.
"If you are involved in any aspect of child custody cases, as a lawyer, mental health professional, judge or litigant, Dr. Rohrbaugh’s book contains everything that you will ever need to understand and conduct a child custody evaluation. The text is logically constructed, and encompasses both the legal and mental health aspects of this complex topic. Her crystalline writing style makes even the murkiest subject areas comprehensible. As if that weren’t enough, the book comes with a CD that contains all of the forms, sample pleadings, and questionnaires necessary for a professional to conduct an evaluation. As a family lawyer with over 25 years of experience, I give this book the highest recommendation." -Linda Fidnick, J.D., Past President, Massachusetts Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts
"A Comprehensive Guide to Child Custody Evaluations: Mental Health and Legal Perspectives is true to its title. Dr. Rohrbaugh gives us a concise and comprehensive overview of the components and issues that comprise a custody evaluation, from the beginning state of identification of the questions to be evaluated to the disposition of the report. This book will be found on the desks of an interdisciplinary group of judges, lawyers, mental health professionals and court personnel." -Robin M. Deutsch, Ph.D., Director of Forensic Services, Children and the Law Program, Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital
"Dr. Rohrbaugh has integrated a great deal of scientific, clinical, and legal information to produce a book that has depth and breadth, and is a ‘good read’ to boot." -Robert Zibbell, Ph.D., Forensic Psychologist, Founder, Massachusetts Association of Guardians Ad Litem
"Throughout this careful and comprehensive consideration of child custody evaluations, Dr. Rohrbaugh’s priority is to provide the forensic evaluator with a user friendly methodology that incorporates thorough, clinical, observational, and collateral data collection that can guide professionals and families during a highly emotional and difficult transition in family life." -Sharon Gordetsky, Ph.D., Past President, Massachusetts Psychological Association, Assistant Prof. of Pediatrics, Tufts New England Medical Center
"This book discusses all of the aspects of child custody evaluations, using an interdisciplinary approach to help readers understand the perspectives and needs of mental health professionals, judges, and attorneys. … Graduate students in clinical psychology and law students who will be pursuing careers in these fields (forensic psychology, family law) would also benefit greatly. … With its CD of downloadable forms, this is a truly comprehensive guide. It is an invaluable resource in the field, written by a trauma expert … ." (Gary B. Kaniuk, Doody’s Review Service, October, 2008)
"Everything you need to know as a custody evaluator can be found here.
This 700 page aptly named comprehensive volume comes complete with a CD-Rom
containing organizational tools for case management, forms for relevant pleadings,
checklists and resource material … . will be a helpful reminder to both
legal and mental health practitioners. … I have no hesitation in saying
that this work will be a valuable resource in every family law professional’s
library." (Arline S. Rotman, American Psychology-Law Society, Vol.
29 (1), Winter 2009)