Family courts routinely turn to mental health professionals (e.g. psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, etc.) to conduct parenting plan evaluations (also known as child custody evaluations or parenting assessments) and provide recommendations about the optimal parenting plans for children and their families within the context of parenting plan disputes post-separation and divorce. 

Parenting plan evaluations typically include expert opinions regarding the level of interparental conflict, parent functioning, child-parent relationships, and the children’s developmental, social, emotional, and educational needs post-separation and divorce. 

The primary purpose of parenting plan evaluations is to compile information and to formulate opinions pertaining to the custody and/or parenting of children and to disseminate the information and those opinions to the family court, to the litigants, and to the litigants’ lawyers.  

Parenting plan evaluations are given considerable weight by the family courts, with the expectation that evaluators integrate the best available scientific evidence and use objective, reliable, and valid procedures. This presentation will highlight the current state of scientific knowledge regarding parenting plan evaluations. An exploration of procedural and methodological considerations will include evidence regarding interviewing parents and children, conducting observations, including third-party evidence, conducting settlement meetings, and making recommendations. 

Webinar Structure

Completing this on-demand webinar will result in a 3 CE (3 hours) credits certificate. 

In order to earn your credits, you are required to read the content, watch the webinar, complete a survey, and submit a small final assignment.

The Presenter


Michael Saini

Professor Michael Saini holds the endowed Factor-Inwentash Chair in Law and Social Work. He is the Co-Director of the combined J.D. and M.S.W. program with the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto. His scholarship addresses the advancement of children and families’ wellbeing in systems governed by law. He has over 200 publications, including books, book chapters, government reports, and peer-reviewed journal articles. In 2019, He was awarded AFCC’ Stanley Cohen Distinguished Research Award, sponsored by the Oregon Family Institute.

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