here to read the introductory chapter of The Custody Evaluation Handbook
Amidst the chaos of the postdivorce world, the most bitter parental battles occur over priorities regarding the children. The mental health professional called upon to serve as the custody evaluator must bring far more to this world than a recommendation for primary custodial parent.
The Custody Evaluation Handbook: Research-Based Solutions andApplications presents the first truly scientific way to address these issues. Written by an expert in the fielld of custody evaluation, the book eschews what the author calls "the negative incident model" in which each parent responds to the custody process by compiling a long list of grievances against the "opponent." It advocates, instead, a test-based approach that measures how sucessful each parent actually is at the job of parenting.
The book describes numerous tests and tools for eliciting reliable information from both children and parents. With an eye to learning the actual impact a parent has on a child rather than on what a given parent may or may not be doing, the book emphasizes the importance of obtaining measurements from the involved child. Parent tests are designed to reflect the effectiveness with which a parent responds to typical child-care situations, and the degree to which a parent truly knows--and can satisy the needs of--a particular child. Other critical measurement targets are detailed.
The volume also examines concepts derived from extensive research that are particularly helpful in understanding parent-child interactions and provides a specific system of nonadversarial communication strategies that can be used and modeled in all interchanges with evaluation participants. Readers will also welcome the numerous helpful suggestions from evaluations all over the country on specific custody dilemmas thay have faced, including how to assess the importance of grandparents, dealing with allegations of sexual abuse, interacting with attorneys, courtroom testimony, splitting up siblings, and many more.
An important chapter details
how to get accurate information from children who are torn by loyalty
conflicts and/or are being "programmed," by adults promising enormous
incentives to misrepresent the truth.
CONTENTSLeaps, Halos, and Bitterness
Loving the Courtroom
Post Divorce Issues
Bricklin Perceptural Scales: Child Perception of Parents Series
The Perception of Relationships Test (PORT)
The Parent Awareness Skills Survey (PASS)
The Parent Perception of Child Profile (PPCP)
Getting Accurate Information
Areas of Assessment
Creating a Custody Plan
Communicating the Results of a Custody Evaluation
Validity and Reliability Issues
Dilemmas in Child Custody