Legislative Line

I spoke with legislative aides to a New York state Senator about the family court issues.

How did I arrange to meet with them? I didn’t. One of their constituents arranged their meeting and invited me to provide information after they did.

I followed-up with this resources email sent to the legislative aides. Information enters the mind-stream. I’m an organizing core, but I’m not the information.

Information travels from mind to mind – there’s a problem – there’s a solution – Judicial Education Curriculum and a Pilot Program for the Family Courts with University Involvement for evaluation research.

A parent set up the meeting and emailed me – “Can you attend?” I said yes. The parent spoke. I spoke. Thirty minutes with this follow-up. Movement by one is movement by all


Attached is an Amicus Letter I wrote regarding CA SB-331, a Kayden’s Law bill, along with a Handout regarding recommendations for a CA Judicial Curriculum & Pilot Program from a section of a Powerpoint presentation I recently gave.

Amicus Letter CA SB-331

Powerpoint Handout: Judicial Curriculum & Pilot Program

I am also providing a link and an attachment to the Checklist of Applied Knowledge that I use in my analysis of forensic custody evaluations to document violations to Standard 2.04 Bases for Scientific and Professional Judgments, This violation begins the chain to violations in Standard 2.01 Boundaries of Competence and 9.01 Bases for Assessment.

2.04 Bases for Scientific and Professional Judgments
Psychologists’ work is based upon established scientific and professional knowledge of the discipline.

The established scientific and professional knowledge is:

Attachment – Bowlby & others
Personality disorders – Beck & others
Family systems therapy – Minuchin & others
Complex trauma and child abuse – van der Kolk & others
Child development – Tronick & others
DSM-5 diagnostic system – American Psychiatric Association

Checklist of Applied Knowledge

I use these documented ethical violations to overturn the incompetent forensic evaluation’s recommendations. That is my current consulting practice in the family courts. My professional practice is built on the unethical practices of forensic psychology.

My Consulting Website describes my current practice in the family courts divided into three sections, one for Attorneys with handouts, one for Mental Health Professionals with resources for them, and one for Parents with information that might be helpful to them.

Dr. Childress Consulting Website

Relevant handouts from the Attorney section include:

Risk Assessment Handout

Dr. Childress Domains of Expertise Handout

Pathology Description Handout

The findings of the New York Blue Ribbon Commission on Forensic Custody Evaluations are absolutely correct:

From Blue Ribbon Commission: “In the New York State courts, judges order and rely on forensic evaluations for some cases involving child custody and parenting time. Statewide, there is no consistent approach regarding if and/or when evaluations are ordered, who may act as a forensic custody evaluator, how evaluators should conduct these evaluations, or how incompetent or unethical evaluations may be subject to review.”

My current court-involved consulting practice IS the review of incompetent and unethical forensic evaluations. I AM the review.

Why am I enforcing ethical standards for competence? Where are the licensing boards? Nowhere to be seen. Why is that? Why aren’t licensing boards protecting consumers from incompetent and unethical practice? Pull the string and it all will begin to unravel. The practice of forensic custody evaluations needs to end. Now. Clinical psychology (treatment not custody) needs to return to court-involved practice.

But clinical psychology will refuse to work in the family courts because it is too professionally dangerous to our licenses. The mental health system in the family courts is a complete mess, and children are being routinely abused as a result – with the participation of the court system.

From Blue Ribbon Commission: “As a result, family courts have extraordinarily high case dockets, long delays in cases being adjudicated, and a dearth of available court-appointed counsel for those financially unable to afford private attorneys.”

We can speed up the court docket considerably. We know what the pathology is, narcissistic-borderline-dark personality pathology. We need to plan for it.

The differential diagnosis for severe attachment pathology is child abuse by one parent or the other. Court processes should be streamlined to automatically seek a proper clinical diagnostic risk assessment for child abuse surrounding all cases of severe attachment pathology displayed by the child (i.e., a child rejecting a parent).

There is only one cause of a child rejecting a parent, child abuse by one parent or the other. The only question is, which parent? The court needs an accurate answer to that central question – which parent is abusing the child? So in all cases of court-involved custody conflict involving severe attachment pathology displayed by the child, a proper risk assessment for possible child abuse needs to be conducted to the appropriate differential diagnosis for each parent.

One parent or the other is abusing the child. The court needs to know – with accuracy – which parent.

The diagnostic assessment protocol needs to be standardized and of the highest quality. This is possible. I recommend that the task of developing structured and standardized diagnostic assessment and treatment protocols for the family courts be given to top universities through a pilot program for the family courts (duration of two years; six-months set-up, one year program, six-months data analysis and reporting).

From Blue Ribbon Commission: “Ultimately, the Commission members agree that some New York judges order forensic evaluations too frequently and often place undue reliance upon them. Judges order forensic evaluations to provide relevant information regarding the “best interest of the child(ren),” and some go far beyond an assessment of whether either party has a mental health condition that has affected their parental behavior. In their analysis, evaluators may rely on principles and methodologies of dubious validity. In some custody cases, because of lack of evidence or the inability of parties to pay for expensive challenges of an evaluation, defective reports can thus escape meaningful scrutiny and are often accepted by the court, with potentially disastrous consequences for the parents and children.”

My court-involved consulting practice IS the challenge of an evaluation, I am the scrutiny for defective reports – Dr. Childress Consulting Website. My services are essentially a surcharge on the forensic custody evaluation to correct the deficiencies of the forensic custody evaluator.

From Blue Ribbon Commission: “As it currently exists, the process is fraught with bias, inequity, and a statewide lack of standards, and allows for discrimination and violations of due process.”

This is correct. The process also allows and often participates in the psychological abuse of the child by a narcissistic-borderline-dark personality parent, and the spousal emotional and psychological abuse of the ex-spouse and parent using the child as the weapon. The family courts are active child abuse and active spousal abuse, and no one is stopping either.

From Blue Ribbon Commission: “By an 11-9 margin, a majority of Commission members favor elimination of forensic custody evaluations entirely, arguing that these reports are biased and harmful to children and lack scientific or legal value. At worst, evaluations can be dangerous…”

I fully concur with the majority opinion of the New York Blue Ribbon Commission on Forensic Custody Evaluations. Forensic custody evaluations need to end, and clinical psychology (treatment not custody) needs to return to court-involved practice.

I have a webpage in the Attorney section in which I compile my blog posts regarding the serious problems with forensic custody reports – immensely serious problems. They violate multiple ethical standards and they are not valid. The forensic psychologists know, they just don’t care.

Dr. Childress on Forensic Custody Evaluations

NY Senate Bill 5385 ending the practice of forensic custody evaluations has my full support and is immensely needed. At the same time, clinical psychology (treatment not custody) needs to return to the family courts or else these families and children will have no mental health involvement and the pathology is child abuse and spousal abuse by a narcissistic-borderline-dark personality parent.

Greenham & Chidress (in submission): Dark Personalities & Delusions Part I: Solving the Gordian Knot of Conflict

Greenham & Chidress (in submission) Dark Personalities & Delusions Part II: Research Gap in the Family Courts

Greenham, Childress, & Pruter (in submission): Dark Personalities & Delusions Part III: Identifying Pathogenic Parenting

These families have no competent mental health care for an extremely serious pathology. Who can they turn to? Me. I ‘m the only one. I am a clinical psychologist. I’ve returned to the family courts because these children need competent mental health services – this is child abuse pathology. I am a trauma psychologist out of foster care, this is my pathology.

I could use some help. Where are the licensing boards enforcing ethical standards of practice?

We need standardized and top-quality diagnostic assessment and treatment protocols, these can be developed through top-tier university involvement on a pilot program for the family courts to do just that – develop the diagnostic assessment and treatment protocols for the pathology in the family courts.

Crag Childress, Psy.D.
Clinical Psychologist, CA PSY 18857

One thought on “Legislative Line”

  1. Dear Dr. Childress,

    Congratulations. I see we have made great progress. I honestly believed you stopped. I am personally fatigued and beyond repair in this fight, but we shall see. I’m waiting for that paradigm shift to kick in. Perhaps this will help.

    I forwarded your post to one of our Florida representatives.

    Respectfully, Suz Remus Children and Family Advocacy (321) 804-3221

    On Fri, May 19, 2023, 9:31 AM Dr. Craig Childress: Attachment Based Parental Alienati

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