UCLA Child Forensic Services
The UCLA Child Forensic Service Program was established with the mission of assisting judges and attorneys who need to negotiate the complex issues of children's mental health in the legal system; improving the lives of children and families who are in that system; and training the next generation of forensic mental health professionals.
The faculty of the UCLA Child Forensic Service Program has advanced training and board certification in forensic, child and adult psychiatry and has extensive experience conducting evaluations, working within the legal system and providing courtroom testimony.
The service is part of the UCLA Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the UCLA Department of Psychiatry, an internationally recognized and renowned research, training and clinical facility dedicated to increasing the awareness of child mental health issues and improving the treatment of child psychiatric illnesses through scientific practice, research and education.
Some of our areas of forensic expertise include: personal injury/emotional harm, child custody and visitation, post-divorce disputes, adoption, child abuse and neglect, education and disability, criminal and civil competencies, juvenile delinquency and risk assessment.
We provide the following services:
- Consultation. We offer consultation to attorneys, courts, government agencies and other organizations that confront psychiatric-legal issues. We are available to collaborate with law enforcement, advocacy groups and mental health social service agencies. We offer second opinions and trial preparation services. Consultation for individuals is provided exclusively through their attorneys.
- Evaluations. We provide comprehensive assessments and evaluations in court-related matters, utilizing evidence-based medical practices. Our evaluations include extensive medical and legal record reviews, thorough interviews of direct and collateral informants, and psychological and neuropsychological testing. We also provide written forensic reports and expert testimony.
- Treatment. When treatment is indicated we can make referrals to the clinicians of UCLA Faculty Practice Plan or to the multidisciplinary treatment and specialty clinical programs of the UCLA Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
- Research. The faculty of the UCLA Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry has worked extensively with the juvenile justice system and the foster care system in areas of prevention, evaluation and treatment.
- Outreach. Our faculty is available to lecture on a variety of topics including the applications of forensic psychology to various legal arenas; child mental health issues; and violence and criminal behavior. Presentations can be tailored to mental health professionals, law enforcement agencies, judges, attorneys, parents, support groups or school professionals.
Some of our areas of forensic expertise include:
- Child custody and visitation
- Child Maltreatment
- Personal injury/emotional harm
- Education and disability
- Legal competency—civil and criminal
- Juvenile delinquency and risk assessment