Archive | Forensic Services

The Nuts and Bolts of a Child Forensic Interview

What is a Forensic Interview? A child forensic interview can be conceptualized as a structured conversation that is designed to obtain information from a child about an event the child may have experienced. The interview should be “developmentally sensitive,” meaning questions should be phrased based on a child’s level of cognitive development and linguistic skills. […]

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Juror Knowledge of Child Sexual Abuse and The Role of Expert Witness Testimony

Overview Accurate knowledge regarding the dynamics of child sexual abuse and the reliability of children’s eyewitness testimony is crucial for juror decision-making. However, if jurors harbor mistaken beliefs about how children respond to sexual abuse or are not aware of children’s ability to accurately describe their experiences, the likelihood of reaching a fair verdict is reduced. […]

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Reliability of Hearsay Testimony

What is hearsay testimony? There are numerous circumstances where adults provide information about their conversations with children. In informal settings, one parent may report to the other a child’s statement, or a teacher may report a conversation with a child to the child’s parent. In a legal proceeding, statements made by a child to a […]

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Therapeutic and Forensic Role Conflicts

Psychologists and other mental health professionals who provide therapy to patients involved in litigation are sometimes asked by attorneys to provide expert witness testimony. It may be appropriate for a therapist to testify when there are questions involving the nature of a patient’s symptoms, response to therapy, diagnosis, or prognosis. However, in other proceedings, such […]

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Children Who Resist Parental Contact

Many referrals that we receive for child custody evaluations include allegations of parental alienation (also commonly referred to as ‘child alienation’). This is a serious allegation that requires thorough, in-depth examination to determine the reason(s) that a child is resisting or refusing contact with a parent. If there is a legitimate basis for a child […]

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