This practical career guide is the first book written specifically for professional counsellors on how to provide services to the family court system, a growing and lucrative field of practise. Written by a professional counsellor with over 20 years of experience, it discusses the roles of counsellors in family court and provides step-by-step guidelines on how to expand one's counselling practice to include family forensic services. It describes how to enter the field, build a successful practice, and how to work effectively with attorneys and judges as well as parents and children.The book provides specific guidelines and examples of how to communicate effectively with attorneys, conduct interviews with parents and children, make recommendations for custody and visitation, write reports and successfully testify in court. Content builds on the background and expertise already possessed by the professional counsellor, and describes the advantages that counsellors have-and challenges they must often overcome-in successfully practising in the family law system. Included is a wealth of relevant information about the court system, definitions of legal terms, standards of practise required by the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC), training and licensing requirements for evaluators and mediators, scope of practise and ethical concerns. The book also includes forms for taking interview notes, templates for writing reports, examples of actual reports, sample visitation schedules and case studies.
Virginia B. Allen, EdD, is Professor, Department of Counseling, Kasiska College of Health Professions, Idaho State University. She has been a Licensed Clinical Professional Counsellor in the state of Idaho for 28 years and has worked in private practice as a Custody Evaluator for the Magistrate Courts in Idaho for 20 of those years. Dr. Allen has performed hundreds of custody evaluations for the Family Court in Idaho and has extensive experience testifying in court both before a judge and prior to trial. Dr. Allen was instrumental in opening the field of Forensic Counselling to Licensed Counsellors in Idaho and developed a Divorce Education Program for families for the Sixth District Magistrate Court in Idaho. Her research currently focuses on children of high-conflict divorce and the use of LPCs in doing Interim Parenting Time Evaluations. She is the author of over 30 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, and book reviews. As the former chair of American Counseling Association (ACA)'s Ethics Committee she was instrumental in writing both the Ethical Standards and Ethical Casebook documents. She presents widely at national, regional and state conferences.