Child Custody Evaluator Essay

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Essay 4: Please describe your research experience and interests. As someone who embraces the scientist-practitioner model, my clinical interests and research interests correspond. I have sought clinical training and a degree specialty in forensic psychology, with my research falling into the same realm. My research while in graduate school has revolved around child custody evaluations with gay and lesbian parents. More specifically, my thesis explored considerations child custody evaluators take into account when they are conducting evaluations involving a gay or lesbian parent separating from a heterosexual partner. With the increasing presence of these cases in the family courts, it is important to gain a better understanding of the…show more content…
It is becoming clear that custody evaluators tend to approach these cases with a culturally insensitive approach toward sexual orientation. This phenomenon is similar to the “color-blind” approach, which ignores differences between various racial groups, often times stripping them of their identity and unique needs. While it may seem politically correct to treat cases involving a same-sex parent as you would treat cases involving two heterosexual parents, failing to acknowledge and address critical differences in these cases violates our ethical responsibilities not only to our profession, but also ignores what is best for the children involved. The continuation of this research is vital in creating appropriate guidelines for custody evaluators and developing the proper training for psychologists to become competent to work on these specific types of cases. Moving this research forward as a dissertation project combines my passion for issues of diversity with my interest in the legal system. It presents a unique opportunity to use the resources provided to me to advocate for a population I identify with and will undoubtedly work with someday. Given the gravity and seriousness of the outcomes associated with custody evaluators’ decisions, it is negligent to ignore the issue and not give proper attention and resources to research that can inform such
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