The evaluation of parental fitness in termination of parental rights cases: A functional-contextual perspective

Sandra T. Azar, Allison F. Lauretti, Bruce V. Loding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

61 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article highlights issues involved in carrying out evaluations for termination of parental rights cases and suggests caution for mental health professionals doing such evaluations. It argues that current models of parenting that come from the child development and child maltreatment fields are too narrow in their focus to act as a foundation for such evaluations and are often based on research with select groups in our society making them open to bias. Similarly, it is argued that traditional assessment measures are limited in their utility for responding to the kinds of relational and basic care questions asked in such evaluations. A functional-contextual model is offered as an alternative with examples of potentially useful measurement strategies. With such a frame as a starting point, the field might progress to providing more useful information to courts. Future research directions to improve this practice arena are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-100
Number of pages24
JournalClinical Child and Family Psychology Review
Volume1
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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