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Psychological assessments in care and family proceedings within the new world of social distancing

Date:29 MAR 2021
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Prof Daniel T Wilcox, Clinical and Forensic Psychologist; Owner and Director of WPA Ltd
Dr Rosalind M Berry, Forensic Psychologist


During the COVID-19 Pandemic of 2020-2021, the global climate has undergone a period of unprecedented social change. Perhaps the most significant shift has been the strict social distancing measures imposed by the Government.  Within these circumstances, psychologists have increasingly been asked to conduct psychological assessments remotely. This paper explores the implications of this for family proceedings. The authors assert that the pandemic has led to rapid, unanticipated changes in practice, impacting upon assessment and report preparation as well as other aspects of this work. They note that time and travel costs associated with traditional assessment approaches are much reduced through the employment of videolink appointments. However, they also describe challenges with regard to the potential comprehensiveness of psychological reporting where, for example, opportunities to see people face-to-face to examine their interactional styles with others (e.g, reception, administrative and assisting staff) as well as observe issues such as hygiene, alcohol/substance use etc, are not so readily achievable. In relation to this, the authors discuss their employment of hybrid approaches and predict the likely continuation of remote working that will free up office space, allowing staff to potentially work more effectively from home and providing more convenience to our clients being assessed.


The full article will be published in the April issue of Family Law

 

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