About the Family Law Week blog

The Family Law Week Blog is a companion site to Family Law Week. It complements the news, cases and articles published on Family Law Week with additional comment and coverage of the wider aspects of family law.

The Blog is edited by Jacqui Gilliatt, of 4 Brick Court and Lucy Reed, of St Johns Chambers.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Possible questions to child mental health professional or Paediatrician (all from FJC)

The children

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

Attachment organisation
Social / peer / sibling relationships
Cognitive / educational
Growth, eating, sleep
Non-organic physical problems (including wetting & soiling)
Paediatric conditions

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

Please provide a prognosis and risk if the difficulties you identify are not addressed.

Please describe the child(ren)’s needs in the light of the above

Nature of care-giving

In the short and long-term (subject, where appropriate, to further assessment later)

The parents / primary care-givers

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

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

Please assess the ability of the parents or primary care-givers to fulfil the children’s identified needs.

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

Adult mental health assessment
Forensic risk assessment
Physical assessment
Cognitive assessment

What if anything is needed to assist the parents or primary care-givers now, within the child(ren)’s timescales, and what is the prognosis for change?

Parenting work
Treatment / therapy


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 children.

Click for a full draft letter of instruction in word.

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