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Book Chapter

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Many questions presented to the court in child welfare cases are resolved with the direction, professional advice, and judgment of mental health professionals. Lawyers and judges look to a number of different professions for this guidance; chief among them are psychiatrists, psychologists, and clinical social workers. The focus of this chapter is on ways for lawyers to enhance and improve the performance of the mental health professionals in the courtroom.

This chapter presents a step-b/step process for lawyer collaboration with mental health professionals in child protection and foster care cases, which is relevant for attorneys representing the child welfare agency, the child, or the parents. If focuses on the pretrial collaborative process between the lawyer and the psychiatrist, psychologist, or social worker.


1983, Published in Foster Children in the Courts by the American Bar Association. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or downloaded or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association.