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This practical volume delineates legal and clinical guidelines for practitioners involved as expert witnesses in parental rights cases. Coverage of relevant statutes, case law, and professional standards is integrated with current psychological theory and research to help readers conduct defensible, scientifically based consultation and testimony. The book guides readers step-by-step through the process of typical cases, from the initial report bringing the family to the attention of child protective services, through various hearings and conferences, to the final decision on termination. Chapters present findings on the psychological impact of foster care, separation, loss, abuse, and neglect; describe instruments and techniques to assess parenting skills and child attachment; and explore ethical considerations for clinicians. Featuring case examples, sample cross-examination questions, and definitions of important terms, the book also covers such topics as the impact of the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 and the admissibility of expert testimony under the standards set forth in the Daubert decision.
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