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1307

Conducting Child Custody Evaluations Best Practices for Counselors

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Credit Value: 1
Exam Questions: 10
Passing Grade: 8 correct
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Course Description: This course is based upon material published in the Journal of Mental Health Counseling and is available as an open access article.

As the number of high conflict separation cases continues to rise, mental health counselors are increasingly called upon to assist courts with child custody evaluations. Counselors can provide family courts with invaluable services either as treating or as forensic experts. Because each of these roles is unique, however, it is imperative that counselors who provide services to family courts understand the differences. Ethical, legal, and malpractice risks also increase considerably for counselors who provide courts with expert testimony. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the central differences between the roles of counselor and of child custody evaluator, and describe best practices for conducting child custody evaluations.

This course on child custody evaluations for mental health counselors is designed for social workers, professional counselors, psychologists, nurses, and substance abuse counselors, who do clinical work.  This course is appropriate for beginning, intermediate and advanced level practitioners who wish to develop their understanding of child custody evaluations. The course material includes a brief literature review.  It may also be useful for licensed clinicians who require clinical continuing education courses for license renewal.  

The course is based on a journal article which includes research.  It contains statistical analysis and data that some clinicians enjoy reading and others do not.  A major benefit of reading research based articles for continuing education is they provide practitioners with the latest findings in their field. 

Authors:  Patel, Choate

Learning Objectives: This course will provide the practitioner with detailed information regarding child custody evaluations.  Specifically, a professional will:

  • Describe the central difference between the roles of counselor and of child custody evaluator.

  • Identify the best practices for conducting child custody evaluations.

  • Recognize ethical and legal considerations in child custody evaluations.

Citation:  Patel, S. H., Choate, L. H., (2014). Conducting child custody evaluations: best practices for mental health counselors who are court appointed as child custody evaluators. Journal of Mental Health Counseling.

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Credits: 1 Exam Fee: $11.00 Format: Online

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  • Social workers participating in this course will receive 1 Clinical continuing education clock hours.

  • The National Association of Addiction Professionals (NAADAC) Provider #96981. Expires 9/1/2017
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  • The California Board of Behavioral Sciences. Ce-Classes.com is approved to provide continuing education by the following professional organizations: ASWB and APA. The California Board of Behavioral Sciences, BBS, recognizes relevant course work/training that has been approved by these nationally recognized certifying bodies to satisfy renewal requirements.
  • The California Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (CAADAC) Provider Number OS-12-174-1116 Expires 11-2018
  • The Texas Board of Social Work Examiners, Continuing Education Provider – 5674 expires 4/30/2018.
  • The Texas Board of Professional Counselors, Continuing Education Provider – 1622 expires 2/28/2018.
  • Massachusetts Authorization Number: 1307
  • Ohio Counselor, Social Worker and Marriage and Family Therapist Board – Provider # RCST031201 Expires 5/31/2019
  • New York Social Work Board NYSED Provider #120


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  • The California Board of Registered Nursing. CEP 15647 Expires 11/30/2018.


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