The new Guidelines for Specialist Report writers (psychologists) in the Family Court<br />New Zealand Psychological Societ...
Changes since 1996 Guidelines<br /><ul><li>New legislation/rules
Care of Children Act (2004)
Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act (2004)
Code of Ethics (2002)
Code of Conduct for Expert Witnesses
New Practice Note
Case law  e.g. K v K
Professional development and supervision requirements </li></li></ul><li>Other changes in the Family Court environment <br...
Recording Technology<br />Safety/ security issues<br />More self-represented litigants<br />More litigious society <br />
This means we must adapt to changes <br />Better methodology and justification for departures from standard methodology <b...
Consistent reading and correct application of research literature<br />Better reports that have relevant information that ...
Greater attention to consent procedures<br />Greater professionalism<br />What are the hallmarks of this?<br />
How we arrived at the guidelines<br /><ul><li>Original 1996 guidelines
Current research on methodology
Current research on Family Court issues
Case law
New Practice note
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The new guidelines for specialist report writers in the family court. Suzi Blackwell

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The new guidelines for specialist report writers in the family court. Suzi Blackwell

  1. 1. The new Guidelines for Specialist Report writers (psychologists) in the Family Court<br />New Zealand Psychological Society Annual Conference<br />Rotorua, July 17-20, 2010<br />Dr Suzanne Blackwell<br />Professor Fred Seymour<br />
  2. 2. Changes since 1996 Guidelines<br /><ul><li>New legislation/rules
  3. 3. Care of Children Act (2004)
  4. 4. Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act (2004)
  5. 5. Code of Ethics (2002)
  6. 6. Code of Conduct for Expert Witnesses
  7. 7. New Practice Note
  8. 8. Case law e.g. K v K
  9. 9. Professional development and supervision requirements </li></li></ul><li>Other changes in the Family Court environment <br />Greater access to information (internet)<br />This means lawyers and litigants also<br />Research findings about children and families<br />Case law (tribunals and courts) <br />
  10. 10. Recording Technology<br />Safety/ security issues<br />More self-represented litigants<br />More litigious society <br />
  11. 11. This means we must adapt to changes <br />Better methodology and justification for departures from standard methodology <br />Better control of the assessment process<br />Better boundaries in assessment process<br />
  12. 12. Consistent reading and correct application of research literature<br />Better reports that have relevant information that is synthesised by the report writer<br />Clarity and format of reports<br />Appropriate supervision <br />On going professional development<br />Stay within areas of expertise <br />
  13. 13. Greater attention to consent procedures<br />Greater professionalism<br />What are the hallmarks of this?<br />
  14. 14. How we arrived at the guidelines<br /><ul><li>Original 1996 guidelines
  15. 15. Current research on methodology
  16. 16. Current research on Family Court issues
  17. 17. Case law
  18. 18. New Practice note
  19. 19. Code of Conduct for Expert witnesses
  20. 20. Disciplinary tribunal and PB decisions
  21. 21. Code of Ethics
  22. 22. Legislation</li></li></ul><li>Also<br />Experience <br />Anecdotal reports from various professionals<br />Report Writers’ survey conducted by Summer Scholarship student Katie McCormick <br />Consultation with report writers both informally and formally <br />
  23. 23. Implications for guidelines<br /><ul><li>Consent procedures formalised
  24. 24. Boundary setting at outset
  25. 25. Structure of assessment
  26. 26. Safety considerations
  27. 27. Cultural aspects
  28. 28. Interview methodology (adults)
  29. 29. Who ?
  30. 30. When ?
  31. 31. What ?
  32. 32. Why ?
  33. 33. Record keeping</li></li></ul><li>Most importantly<br /><ul><li>Interview of children
  34. 34. Age
  35. 35. Where ?
  36. 36. When ?
  37. 37. With whom???
  38. 38. Questioning forms (vital)
  39. 39. Language (child appropriate)
  40. 40. Trauma issues
  41. 41. Loyalty issues
  42. 42. Decision making issues</li></li></ul><li>Other assessment issues <br />Observation methodology<br />Where?<br />What?<br />Naturalistic?<br />Structured ?<br />Why?<br />Record keeping<br />
  43. 43. More<br /><ul><li>Psychometrics
  44. 44. What ?
  45. 45. Why ?
  46. 46. Relevance
  47. 47. Interview of collateral interviewees
  48. 48. Who ?
  49. 49. Why ?
  50. 50. Balance
  51. 51. Professionals
  52. 52. Consent </li></li></ul><li>More<br />Transparency and explanation of methodology<br />Why <br />Advantages <br />Self represented litigants <br />Relationships with other Family Court professionals <br />Format of report<br />
  53. 53. Report headings<br /><ul><li>Terms of reference
  54. 54. Expertise
  55. 55. Child’s access to report
  56. 56. Interviews
  57. 57. Documents
  58. 58. Methodology
  59. 59. Background (focussed)
  60. 60. The child
  61. 61. Answers to terms of reference
  62. 62. Summary</li></li></ul><li>Format<br />Headings <br />Clarity <br />Spelling, punctuation and grammar<br />Proof read <br />Numbered paragraphs <br />
  63. 63. Finally<br />The guidelines cover Care of Children Act <br />Also CYPF Act <br />Where there are different issues these are delineated <br />Hopefully they will assist us through the next decade<br />
  64. 64. Thank you<br />Any correspondence to <br />Dr Suzanne Blackwell<br />Suzanne.blackwell@xtra.co.nz<br />s.blackwell@auckland.ac.nz<br /> Professor Fred Seymour<br />f.seymour@auckland.ac.nz<br />

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