Practice parameter for child and adolescent forensic evaluations

J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2011 Dec;50(12):1299-312. doi: 10.1016/j.jaac.2011.09.020.


This Parameter addresses the key concepts that differentiate the forensic evaluation of children and adolescents from a clinical assessment. There are ethical issues unique to the forensic evaluation, because the forensic evaluator's duty is to the person, court, or agency requesting the evaluation, rather than to the patient. The forensic evaluator clarifies the legal questions to be answered and structures the evaluation to address those issues. The forensic examination may include a review of collateral information, interviews and other assessments of the child or adolescent, and interviews with other relevant informants. The principles in this Parameter suggest the general approach to the forensic evaluation of children and adolescents and are relevant to delinquency, child custody, child maltreatment, personal injury, and other court-ordered and noncourt-ordered evaluations.

Publication types

  • Editorial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child Abuse / ethics*
  • Child Abuse / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Child Abuse / psychology*
  • Child Custody / ethics*
  • Child Custody / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Confidentiality / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Ethics, Medical*
  • Expert Testimony / ethics*
  • Expert Testimony / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Forensic Psychiatry / ethics*
  • Forensic Psychiatry / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Humans
  • Interview, Psychological / methods*
  • Juvenile Delinquency / ethics*
  • Juvenile Delinquency / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Juvenile Delinquency / psychology
  • Malpractice / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Physician's Role
  • Psychotherapy / legislation & jurisprudence
  • United States