Revision of Guidelines for Psychological Evaluations in Child Protection Matters

The Board of Professional Affairs (BPA) seeks member and public comments on the draft revision of Guidelines for Psychological Evaluations in Child Protection Matters as developed by the Committee on Professional Practice and Standards (COPPS). The original guidelines were drafted in 1998 and are currently undergoing revision.

COPPS is a committee that reports to APA Board of Directors and Council of Representatives through BPA. COPPS is responsible for developing and recommending to BPA standards and guidelines for providers of psychological services, and for monitoring, evaluating and developing information regarding the scientific and professional aspects of psychological services.

BPA seeks targeted comments on the following sections:

  • Guideline 2. In child protection cases, the child's interest and well-being are paramount.
  • Guideline 4. The role of psychologists conducting evaluations is that of professional expert who strives to maintain an unbiased, objective stance.
  • Guideline 5. Psychologists gain specialized competence.
  • Guideline 6. Psychologists are aware of personal and societal biases and engage in nondiscriminatory practice.

BPA seeks general feedback on the following concepts, definitions and/or issues:

  • "Best interests of the child"
  • Parent rehabilitation
  • Interpretation of test data
  • Cultural/social differences that may affect test interpretation
  • Record keeping
  • Current references in this area of psychological practice
  • Overall importance/relevance of these guidelines.

The revised document is available for review below. Where a new guideline is proposed, we strongly encourage you to include suggested wording. Where modifications are proposed, we ask that you reference the corresponding section, title, line number, and so forth. The original guidelines document is available for reference below.

For security reasons, you will have 20 minutes to enter your information into the comment form. As such, you may want to formulate your comments in a separate word processor (such as Microsoft Word or OpenOffice), then copy and paste your comments into the form. Please keep your comments concise as there is a 5,000 character limit (which includes spaces and punctuation) for each comment field.

Additional Information: Thank you for your efforts to provide comments. By participating in this public comment, you hereby grant APA a perpetual, royalty-free license to use, copy, display, print, reproduce, and/or transfer to any media your name and comments for any and all purposes. You hereby agree that your comments and any identifying information contained therein, including your name, with the exception of your email address, personal address and phone number, will be available for public viewing and review by APA governance. You agree to not use confidential information or codes in the registration process. If you accept these terms of agreement, please click below to proceed to the comment form.

All comments should be submitted no later than November 1, 2009.

Draft Revision of Guidelines for Psychological Evaluations in Child Protection Matters
Access the reviewable document (PDF, 66K)
Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader: Download here!

Original Guidelines for Psychological Evaluations in Child Protection Matters (1998)
Access the reviewable document (PDF, 863K)
Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader: Download here!

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