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Children, Families and the Law

The Center of Excellence for Children, Families and the Law

Certificate in Child and Family Forensics - 4 Courses

The certificate in Child and Family Forensics provides students with a solid foundation in the concepts, theories and practices in child and family forensic mental health work and will help professionals hone their skills and increase their knowledge to prepare them for work in child welfare, juvenile delinquency, sexual offending, divorce child custody and post-divorce parenting contexts. Courses include: parenting coordination, child custody evaluation, child maltreatment, and mental health and juvenile justice. These courses will review the law and systems, describe and practice protocols for evaluations, and review empirically based best practices and interventions through in-depth didactic instruction and opportunities for practice and consultation. Students have the option of substituting one course for an online course offered by New York Law School.

All courses are offered for 2 academic credits or 28 continuing education credits in a blended learning format, consisting of a 4-week online course and a required "weekend in residence" at the MSPP campus in Newton, MA.

The Courses

Parenting Coordination: Working with High Conflict Families
Robin Deutsch, PhD, instructor
Online Portion begins March 3, 2014
Weekend in Residence: April 4, 5, 2014
$1476 for academic credit, $975 for 28 CE Credits

Parenting Coordination will examine the role and functions of the Parenting Coordinator and the interventions for parents to reduce chronic high conflict and develop a more functional relationship between parents that focuses on the best interest of the children. Students will become familiar with parenting coordinator interventions and best practices, understand ethical issues inherent in the process, and focus on specialty issues such as mental illness, substance abuse, domestic violence, and alienation.

> Click here for a detailed course description.

Divorce Custody Evaluations
Robin Deutsch, PhD, and the Honorable Christina Harms (ret.), instructors
Online Course begins April 14, 2014
Weekend in Residence: May 16,17, 2014
$1476 for academic credit, $975 for 28 CE Credits

Divorce Custody Evaluations will cover the laws and systems governing these evaluations, the evaluation process, and specialty evaluations such as relocation, sexual abuse, alienation, domestic violence, and military. Current research on validity and reliability of interviewing and data collection will be examined.

> Click here for a detailed course description.

In addition, applicants have the opportunity to take any of the courses listed below from New York Law School in lieu of one of the courses outlined above:

  • Sex Offenders
  • Survey of Mental Disability Law
  • Americans with Disabilities Act: Law, Policy and Practice
  • Race, Gender, Class and Mental Disability
  • Custody Evaluations, Juvenile and Family Law and Mental Disability
  • Mental Illness, Dangerousness, the Police Power and Risk Assessment
  • International Human Rights
  • Therapeutic Jurisprudence
  • Mental Disability and Criminal Law
  • Mental Health Issues in Jails and Prisons
  • Forensic Reports, The Role of Experts and Forensic Ethics
  • Trauma and Mental Disability, and Advocacy Skills in Cases Involving Mental Disability

Credits, Tuition, Application

Enrollment Type Price Credit Hours Per Course Upon Completion of 4 courses Application
Academic Credit $1476 2 Academic Credits
15 hours in person,
13 hours online
8 Academic Credits and the Certificate in Child and Family Forensics Non-Matriculating Application
Continuing Education Credit $975 28 CE Credits 15 hours in person, 13 hours online 112 CE Credits and the Certificate in Child and Family Forensics Continuing Education Registration


Applicants will demonstrate an interest in family forensics and may include mental health professionals, lawyers, judges, probation officers, juvenile justice professionals, child welfare professionals, and court service workers. Prerequisites include an advanced degree in law, mental health, human services or criminal justice and certification or licensure in law, mental health or mediation. A formal transcript and a writing sample will be required for all applicants taking these courses for academic credit.

Please contact Robin M. Deutsch, PhD at robin_deutsch@mspp.edu.

Updated 1/29/14

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