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Child & Family Forensic Psychology: Practicing Through A Social Justice Lens

April 13, 2023 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm


Presentation: Child and Family Forensic Psychology: Practicing Through a Social Justice Lens

Date & Time: Thursday, April 13th, 2023 from 6:00PM-8:30PM

Location: Webinar via WebEx https://hartford.webex.com/meet/mccloskey/

CE: 2 Continuing Education credits

Cost: $60

Co-Sponsored with the Association for Women in Psychology – CT Chapter


Two clinicians present information about the relevance and application of social justice and feminist intersectionality theory to child & family forensic psychology. Examples from the authors’ own clinical experience will provide evidence for the existence of intersectional phenomena, as well as provide templates and tools to improve the quality and effectiveness of professional psychologists’ service delivery efforts within child & family forensics

Dr Aleesha Young – Part 1: Labeling Oppressive Paradigms that Bias Child and Family Forensic Evaluations
Although systematic inequalities are well documented in mental health, multicultural considerations within child and family forensics evaluations are scarce compared to broader domains of psychological practice, research, and discussion. This is problematic since the stakes are high in forensic evaluations and these evaluations strongly influence outcomes and long-term consequences for court involved children, youth, and families. A failure to apply culturally competent practices maintain the status quo and legitimize false assumptions. This discussion will articulate oppressive paradigms that underpin child and family forensic evaluations and the assessment process. Strategies for challenging the dominant discourse will also be provided.

Dr. Jessica Greenwald O’Brien – Part 2: Best Practices for Ensuring Fair, Socially Conscious Child & Family Forensic Evaluations

Forensic evaluations of families, youth, and children embroiled in the legal system require both fairness by traditional forensic standards and heightened attention to potential racial and cultural biases to ensure that systemic inequities are not perpetuated. To do so requires both the visible and invisible strategies of the forensic evaluator, including self-awareness, culturally attuned interview strategies, self-education, attunement to power and privilege dynamics, and the ability to self-correct flexibly. This presentation will focus on best practices for data gathering, formulation, and, most importantly, self-reflection necessary toproduce socially conscious evaluations.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will be able to identify two critical paradigms of oppression that underpin the potential for biased forensic evaluation processes and case formulations within child & family assessments.
  2. Participants will be able to identify two strategies to reflect on and challenge the way child & family forensic evaluations are typically conducted, with attention to systemic inequalities.
  3. Participants will be able to articulate four data gathering and formulation approaches to child & family forensic evaluations that prioritize racial and cultural factors.
  4. Participants will learn three strategies for self-examination to assess for conscious and unconscious attitudes that may influence child & family evaluations.

Presenter Bios:

Dr. Young holds a Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology and is a Forensic Clinician within the Juvenile Court Clinic at Behavioral Health Network in Springfield, Massachusetts. Dr. Young is also a Consultant for Innovative Psychological Services in Boston, Massachusetts and a Vendor for Massachusetts Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS), a Board Member of the Massachusetts Association of Family & Conciliation Courts, and a Co-Chair of the Massachusetts Committee for Ethnic Minority Affairs (CEMA).

Dr. Greenwald O’Brien is a Licensed Clinical Osychologist, a Certified Juvenile Court Mentor within the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, and the Director of the Center for Excellence for Children, Families and the Law and the Child and Family Forensic Evaluation Service at William James College in Newton, Massachusetts.


April 13, 2023
6:00 pm - 8:30 pm


Connecticut Psychological Associaton
Association for Women in Psychology – CT Chapter


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