Child Custody: Practice Standards, Ethical Issues, and Legal Safeguards for Mental Healthprofessionals

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Essential reading for any mental health professional who is currently involved in custody cases as well as those who are considering work in the family law arena.  The author uses his unique perspective as both a psychologist and attorney to delineate standards for practice when providing services to children and families when there are custody disputes.  He describes the ethical issues, legal risks, and appropriate safeguards for providing services in child custody cases and defines the core areas for custody evaluations, including: child development, family relations, parenting skills, psychopathology, family systems and dysfunction, and the ruling-out of child abuse.  The author stresses the importance of clarifying professional roles and functions. Specialized intervention and assessment strategies are presented as well as management issues, legal concerns, and guidelines for testimony. Includes over 100 valuable summary guidelines and caution.  This is also a valuable resource for judges and attorneys who must evaluate the extent to which testimony by mental health practitioners is ethical, appropriate, and consistent with accepted practice standards.  Also contains useful information for divorced and divorcing parents.