Title

Parenting capacity evaluation in Poland: A descriptive analysis.

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2015

Abstract

High rates of child maltreatment and neglect by parents continue to be a significant problem worldwide, underscoring the importance of adequate systemic assessment of substantiated cases of parental incapacity. Given the complexity of determining a parent's ability to meet a child's needs, psychological evaluations of the family are being increasingly requested by courts in numerous jurisdictions, despite receiving considerable criticism about a lack of standardized procedures. This descriptive study sought to examine the content of forensic mental health assessments conducted in child protection cases in Poland. Given that there is very little extant research on forensic mental health assessment practices in child welfare cases in general, and virtually no research on such evaluation practices outside of the United States, this study sought to examine such practices in Poland in comparison to existing U.S. forensic mental health assessment guidelines. The content of Polish parenting capacity evaluation reports was examined and compared to aggregated relevant professional guidelines. Results indicated that evaluators in Poland appeared to utilize many practices consistent with those recommended in the United States, as reflected in professional guidelines. Study findings and their implications are discussed in light of cultural, philosophical, and global differences in forensic assessment and child protection.