Child custody evaluations when there are allegations of child abuse and/or intimate partner violence - Seminar - Auckland - 16 Apr 2014

When Wednesday 16 April 2014, 9.30 - 12.00 pm

Where Lecture Theatre 732-201, University of Auckland Tāmaki Campus, Gate 1, 261 Morrin Rd, Glen Innes. Directions to Tāmaki Campus

Hosted by New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse

Free seminar presented by Robert Geffner Ph.D.

Notes from this seminar are now available

Robert-GeffnerAbstract: The procedures, assessment, and ethical practice for child custody disputes when there are allegations of child maltreatment, intimate partner violence and/or exposure to domestic violence are discussed. Distinguishing between abuse, high conflict, alienation, estrangement, and rejection are presented. These are very difficult and complex cases from mental health/social work, criminal justice, and legal perspectives. Appropriate investigative techniques and common errors that often are made in these cases are presented. The myth of 'parental alienation syndrome' that is often alleged in these cases is discussed, along with ways to avoid common pitfalls. Recommendations for custody and visitation when abuse or high conflict has occurred are provided. Case examples are shown.

Learning Objectives

Participants will:

  • Be able differentiate between abuse, high conflict, alienation, estrangement, and rejection
  • Be able to identify two common mistakes made by custody evaluators in the context of intimate partner violence and child abuse
  • Better understand the dynamics of domestic violence and child abuse as they occur in child custody cases
  • Be able to list three procedures that should be followed in investigating child abuse or intimate partner violence in child custody cases

Robert Geffner, Ph.D., is: Founding President of the Family Violence and Sexual Assault Institute in San Diego, CA; Founding President of Alliant International University’s (AIU) Institute on Violence, Abuse and Trauma (IVAT); Distinguished Research Professor of Psychology at AIU; Licensed Psychologist and Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in California and Texas; Editor of five internationally disseminated journals; and former clinical director of a large private practice mental health clinic for over 15 years.  He has a Diplomate in Clinical Neuropsychology and is Board Certified in Couple & Family Psychology. Dr. Geffner is Co-Chair of the National Partnership to End Interpersonal Violence Across the Lifespan and President of the American Academy of Couple & Family Psychology.  He has been a researcher, trainer, practitioner, and consultant for more than 30 years.  He has served on national and state committees dealing with family violence, child abuse, forensic psychology, trauma, and family law. He has presented over 450 keynote addresses, plenaries, and workshops at international, national, and regional conferences. 

Please RSVP by email to Nicola Paton, n.paton@auckland.ac.nz by Wednesday 2 April. For questions or problems, please phone (09) 923-5873.

Directions to Tāmaki campus:

The Tāmaki Innovation Campus is 20 minutes from the University of Auckland's City Campus. Access is easy with a choice of driving, train or bus. Plenty of free parking available. For a map and information on driving and public transport options, click here.