New guidance has been produced jointly by the Family Justice Council (FJC) and British Psychological Society (BPS) on psychologists as expert witnesses in the family courts; it is essential reading for family lawyers. In this webinar Dr Liz Gillett, Family Justice Council member and co-chair of working group that produced the report, will take you through the key elements of the guidance.
Psychologists may be instructed in the family courts when their expertise is necessary to make decisions in the case. Whether in public or private law proceedings comprehensive assessments may be required that include developmental, psychological, social, relational and neuropsychological issues in complex situations. With psychologists’ work covering a wide range of work, such as behavioural and emotional functioning; mental capacity; personality type; substance misuse and/addiction; psychological impact of trauma and/or abuse, it can be a challenge for lawyers to know how to understand and manage the process of involving psychological experts.
You will learn:
- The background to the need for the new guidance
- The essentials of role of psychologists as experts
- The regulatory framework including understanding protected titles
- The typical training and expertise of different psychological professionals
- The amount of work likely to be involved in particular assessments and reports
- Discipline specific information in relation to regulation, codes of conduct, competencies, supervision/peer review and quality of service.
- A practical guide to instructing and working with psychological professionals
Dr Gillett is a Clinical Psychologist (HCPC Registered Practitioner) who specialises in working with complex families with a lifelong interest in working with children and adults with learning disabilities and looked after children. Dr Gillett acts regularly as an Expert Witness in Family Court proceedings across England, Wales and the Channel Islands as well as undertaking assessments outside of the court arena for care and treatment planning purposes. Dr Gillett held clinical and management positions within the NHS and voluntary sector organisations prior to becoming independent 10 years ago, when she established and became the Director of the Phoenix Psychology Group, a large independent psychological practice in the Midlands.
Dr Gillett is in the process of passing on the baton of being the Mental Health Specialist on the Family Justice Council (FJC), having served since 2008. Dr Gillett contributed to the BPS guidance on assessing parents with a learning disability (2011) as well as being the Chair of the Steering Groups for two DfE research papers (Decision Making Within a Child's Timeframe, Ward and Brown 2012; Assessing Parental Capacity to Change when children are on the edge of Care, Ward et al 2014). Since 2007 Dr Gillett has regularly presented and / or run workshops at local and national Family Justice Council events as well as those run by the Judicial College, ALC and Resolution, amongst others.