What Can We Learn From Turned-Around Cases
Presenters: Joyanna Silberg, Ph.D., Senior Consultant for Child and Adolescent Trauma at Sheppard Pratt Health System in Baltimore Maryland and the Executive Vice-President of the Leadership Council on Child Abuse & Interpersonal Violence and Stephanie Dallam, Research Associate, Leadership Council; former Pediatric Surgery and Trauma Nurse Practitioner, University of Missouri Health Sciences Center.
Description: In this presentation, new information will be presented about the results of a case analysis of 27 custody cases involving the abuse of children. In these cases, a judge initially ordered the children into unsupervised contact with an abusive parent and then a later judicial decision protected the children from abuse. This sample is illustrative of failures common in family court where signs of child abuse are ignored and theories which blame the mother, such as accusations of parental alienation are relied upon. The case analysis shows that it is often the court-ordered custody evaluators who recommend access to the unsafe parent and experts in child abuse and domestic violence who correct the information for the court. This presentation will present recommendations derived from this case analysis about how to approach allegations of abuse in contested custody cases so that children are more consistently protected.