Harry L. Munsinger, JD, PhD, Kevin W. Karlson, JD, PhD
The UCCES was developed by two forensic psychologists with law degrees and extensive experience in child custody evaluation to meet the need for a uniform custody evaluation procedure for mental health professionals. The UCCES consists of a Manual and 25 forms that provide a systematic method for gathering data necessary to determine the child's best interest, organising information, presenting relevant data in an organised and logical manner, writing logical evaluation reports, and testifying in court.
The 25 forms are organised into three categories.
1) General Data and Administrative Forms
- UCCES Checklist
- Initial Referral Form
- Chronological Record of all Case Contacts Form
- Case Notes Form
- Consent for Psychological Services to Child(ren) Form
- Authorisation to Release Information Form
- Suitability for Joint Custody Checklist
- Collateral Interview Form
- Consent for Evaluation of Minor(s) Form
- UCCES Summary Chart for noting significant entries from other completed forms
2) Parent Forms
- Parent's Family/Personal History Questionnaire
- Parent Interview Form
- Parenting Abilities Checklist
- Suitability for Joint Custody Interview
- Analysis of Response Validity Checklist
- Behavioural Observations of Parent-Child Interaction Form
- Home Visit Observation Form
- Agreement Between Parent and Evaluator Form
- Explanation of Custody Evaluation Procedures for Parents and Attorneys
3) Child Forms
- Child History Questionnaire (1 for each parent to complete)
- Child Interview Form
- Child Abuse Interview Form
- Abuse/Neglect Checklist
- Child's Adjustment to Home and Community Checklist
- Parent-Child Goodness of Fit Observation Form and Checklist
The Manual presents an overview of child custody evaluation research, discusses the requirements for a comprehensive custody evaluation, describes each of the 25 forms and provides helpful suggestions for testifying as an expert witness.
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