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UK suggestions for FR's and Experts

While trying to find how a child gives evidence to a UK Court I found this which appears to be a good start as to what information if back worked would be helpful to a FR.


Drafted by the UK Family Justice Council.


Questions in letters of instruction

to child mental health professional or paediatrician

in Children Act 1989 proceedings

A. The Child(ren)

1. Please describe the child(ren)'s current health, development and functioning (according to your area of expertise), and identify the nature of any significant changes which have occurred

        �� Behavioural

        �� Emotional

        �� Attachment organisation

        �� Social/peer/sibling relationships

        �� Cognitive/educational

        �� Physical

                - Growth, eating, sleep

                - Non-organic physical problems (including wetting and soiling)

                - Injuries

                - Paediatric conditions

2. Please comment on the likely explanation for/aetiology of the child(ren)'s problems/difficulties/injuries

        �� History/experiences (including intrauterine influences, and abuse and neglect)

        �� Genetic/innate/developmental difficulties

        �� Paediatric/psychiatric disorders

3. Please provide a prognosis and risk if difficulties not addressed above.

4. Please describe the child(ren)'s needs in the light of the above

        �� Nature of care-giving

        �� Education

        �� Treatment

in the short and long term (subject, where appropriate, to further assessment later).

B. The parents/primary care-givers

5. Please describe the factors and mechanisms which would explain the parents' (or primary care-givers') harmful or neglectful interactions with the child(ren) (if relevant)

6. What interventions have been tried and what has been the result?

7. Please assess the ability of the parents or primary care-givers to fulfil the child(ren)'s identified needs now.

8. What other assessments of the parents or primary care-givers are indicated

         �� Adult mental health assessment

         �� Forensic risk assessment

         �� Physical assessment

         �� Cognitive assessment

9. What, if anything, is needed to assist the parents or primary care-givers now, within the child(ren)'s time scales and what is the prognosis for change

         �� Parenting work

         �� Support

         �� Treatment/therapy

C. Alternatives

10. Please consider the alternative possibilities for the fulfilment of the child(ren)'s needs.

         �� What sort of placement

         �� Contact arrangements

Please consider the advantages, disadvantages and implications of each for the child(ren).

Questions in letters of instruction to adult psychiatrists and applied psychologists in Children Act 1989 proceedings

  1. Does the parent/adult have - whether in his/her history or presentation - a mental illness/disorder (including substance abuse) or other psychological/emotional difficulty and, if so, what is the diagnosis?

  2. How do any/all of the above (and their current treatment if applicable) affect his/her functioning, including interpersonal relationships?

  3. If the answer to Q1 is yes, are there any features of either the mental illness or psychological/emotional difficulty or personality disorder which could be associated with risk to others, based on the available evidence base (whether published studies or evidence from clinical experience)?

 4. What are the experiences/antecedents/aetiology which would explain his/her difficulties, if any, (taking into account any available evidence base or other clinical experience)?

 5. What treatment is indicated, what is its nature and the likely duration?

 6. What is his/her capacity to engage in/partake of the treatment/therapy?

 7. Are you able to indicate the prognosis for, time scales for achieving, and likely durability of, change?

 8. What other factors might indicate positive change?

 (It is assumed that this opinion will be based on collateral information as well as interviewing the adult).
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