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Rebecca Delaney
Rebecca Delaney
Director & Partner
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A trial for change: the experiences and dilemmas of a multidisciplinary expert witness team
Date:7 JUN 2018
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Expert in child and adolescent psychiatry
Child and adolescent psychotherapist
In this article, which features in the June 2018 issue of Family Law ([2018] Fam Law 742), the authors, who are members of a multidisciplinary mental health expert witness team, discuss a model they have developed of extended assessment carried out in the context of Care Proceedings, referred to as a ‘Trial for Change'. This is designed to answer unresolved questions about the possibility of sufficient change in parenting capacity by assessing the outcome of a time-limited, goal directed psychological intervention.

Examples of its usefulness include a newly diagnosed and previously untreated mental health condition in a child or untested parental capacity to respond to a tailored parenting intervention. Advantages of the model include the assessing team establishing a sound basis for recommendations. There can be challenges around the need for close multi-agency working, the court’s perceptions of the expert’s role, and the need to extend time to conclude care proceedings.


The full version of this article appears in the June 2018 issue of Family Law

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