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A Guide to Children’s Court Clinic Assessments

children court assessment

A Children’s Court Clinic Assessment is a comprehensive evaluation conducted by mental health professionals appointed by the court. Assessments are conducted to help the court make informed decisions regarding all the factors the court has to consider in determining what is in the best interest of the children. The assessment aims to: 

  • Evaluate the child’s emotional, psychological, and physical needs.
  •  Assess the parenting abilities and capacities of each parent or guardian.
  •  Identify any risks or concerns related to the child’s safety and well-being.
  •  Make recommendations to the court 

Any of the parties in the proceedings can make an order for a Clinic Assessment. The Children’s Court Clinic is independent of the Department of Communities and Justice and will interview anyone the court has decided should be assessed.  

Our tips for preparing for a Children’s Court Clinic Assessment: 

  • Stay child-focused and keep the child’s best interest at the forefront of your discussions 
  •  Be truthful in your responses and provide accurate information. 
  •  Emphasize your understanding of and commitment to your child’s needs
  •  Show your willingness to facilitate a relationship between the child and important relationships in the child’s life including the other parent 
  •  Highlight your positive parenting skills and show insight as you will be assessed on your parenting capacity 
  •  Show that you can engage with the DCJ caseworkers and can follow their directions. 
  •  Be ready to answer questions about your child’s preferences, routines, and any special needs or challenges they may have. 
  •  Show that you are open to conflict resolution and remain child-focused in conversations regarding conflict between you and other parties. 
  •  Stay composed and focused during your interview. Avoid being defensive or confrontational. 
  •  Review any court documents and your evidence before you go into the assessment to have a clear view of what the allegations are. 
  •  Get legal advice. Your Solicitor will be able to provide guidance and advice about the assessment process, and the specific issues in your case. 

Remember that the goal of a parenting assessment is to determine what is in the best interests of the child. If you have an upcoming Children’s Court Clinic Assessment, NLS Law can provide you with advice and explain the process to you. We can also assist you in your Children’s Court Proceedings and give you advice about the issues you need to address in the assessment.