Expert Witness Work for Family Courts

FAMILY LAW

Taylored Psychology offers expert witness services regarding adult carers in public and private law proceedings. We deliver thorough, informative and balanced independent reports on time and which follow current guidelines and Legal Aid fees. We have good working knowledge of services local to Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley and Doncaster which helps inform our recommendations on interventions. We accept referrals from solicitors and Local Authorities for Expert Witness and Pre-Proceedings work.

Dr Emma Taylor is the lead clinician offering this service, having written many reports and given evidence for the Family Courts over the past 7 years.

We have experience in offering opinions regarding:

  • Carer’s psychological functioning
  • Intellectual functioning
  • Assessment of risk, including impact of psychological profile on parenting
  • Capacity to change and work with professionals
  • Therapeutic interventions
  • Outcome of therapeutic interventions

INDIVIDUAL THERAPY

We are strongly committed to supporting children and families involved in Family Court proceedings. We offer assessment and therapy for adult carers, accepting referrals from Local Authorities, solicitors, Cafcass and self referrals. We ensure that these cases are allocated to an appropriately experienced therapist and that the therapist is carefully supervised because we understand the unique systemic factors arising from court proceedings. We take care to respect client confidentiality and the independence of therapy as far as possible whilst liaising with parties where necessary and at the client’s request.

We offer therapy for post traumatic stress disorder, including when civil legal proceedings are still in process.

CONSULTANCY FOR PROFESSIONALS

We offer consultancy to professionals working with adults involved in care proceedings, including social workers and Cafcass.

Sometimes individual therapy is inappropriate, a client’s needs may be too complex to be held by individual therapy alone or professionals might be feeling stuck on how to move forward or improve client engagement. We recognise the excellent work that can be done with clients within relationships with case workers and core professionals. Brown et al (2015) report many benefits to using relationship-based practice before, during and after care proceedings, such as its focus on ‘working with rather than doing to’, which is important for people who view services with ‘suspicion or hostility’, because it may encourage engagement (Brown et al, 2015). Workers who showed respect and empathy made an important difference to how children and families felt about themselves, their need for services and their hope for good outcomes.

To enable relationship based practice, we offer reflective space to make sense of a client’s relationship history, how they have learnt to cope and how history may be replaying within the present. Understanding client’s relationship blueprint can help services think how to avoid unhelpfully stepping into and repeating harmful patterns. Identifying and mapping patterns can help clients and professionals find new ways forward, and provides a framework for clients to continue this work within the family. This indirect way of working is recognised and researched within the Cognitive Analytic Therapy tradition.

Our packages may include working with individual professionals, teams or organising three way meetings with case workers and their client. Please contact us to discuss your requirements and we can advise on what is suitable.

Brown, S., Craig, L., Crookes, R., Summerfield, A., Corbett, N., Lackenby, J. and Bowen, E. (2015) The Use of Experts in Family Law: Understanding the Processes for Commissioning Experts and the Contribution They Make to the Family Court, London, Ministry of Justice, available online at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/486770/use-experts-family-law.pdf