Since 1982, Village Publishing has been offering the child custody and family/parenting tests and assessment instruments of two of the most well-known experts in the field of child custody.

Dr. Barry Bricklin has developed various data-based approaches to the decisions which must be made when parents divorce. He is the author of The Custody Evaluation Handbook published by Bruner/Mazel. One of his many custody evaluation instruments, the Bricklin Perceptual Scales (BPS), is the most-used custody evaluation test for children. Dr. Bricklin is the Chair of the Professional Academy of Custody Evaluators (PACE), a nationally recognized mental health professional organization that certifies qualified mental health professionals to practice the specialties of Custody Evaluator and/or Parenting Coordinator. PACE is also approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for mental health professionals. Courses related to child custody issues have been created by Drs. Bricklin and Elliot and are available from Village Publishing.Dr. Gail Elliot is the head of Child Development and Family Processes Research for Bricklin Associates and is Vice Chair of the Professional Academy of Custody Evaluators (PACE). She has contributed to the research and design of many of the custody and family/parenting evaluation instruments offered by Village Publishing.

These tests and multi-source assessment instruments are the tools for providing a truly comprehensive, all-around view of a child. Based on the concept of 360 degree feedback, a multi-source assessment, gathering information from all the major people with whom a child interacts in different settings and contexts, provides additional, and very valuable, information. This information takes one outside the perceptions of just the parents and child to an analysis of how the child and his or her parents are perceived by others with whom they interact. While their tests and other instruments were originally designed for forensic use in child custody evaluations, they have found their way into more general use as their value in other settings involving parents (married, divorced, unmarried) and their children became apparent. The assessment instruments provide information that is useful for a variety of applications, including:

  • Screening and diagnosis for family counseling/psychotherapy

  • Family counseling evaluations to assess differing parenting relationships, beliefs, and practices among parents or other caregivers

  • Assessment of strengths and weaknesses in parenting skills

  • Assessment of how a child perceives and values his or her interactions with each parent in many critical childcare areas and his or her associations to various specific family systems

  • Monitoring the effectiveness and impact of therapeutic interventions through periodic re-administrations

  • Termination of parental rights and parental fitness evaluations

  • As a process measure in family interaction

  • Assessment of a parent’s knowledge and understanding of a specific child in a wide variety of important life areas (interpersonal relationships, daily routine, health history, developmental history, school history, fears, personal hygiene, communication style)

The instruments have been used by all mental health professionals (e.g., psychologists, clinical social workers, marriage counselors, school psychologists and counselors, psychiatrists, pastoral therapists, juvenile-offender counselors) who perform or plan to perform child, parent, or family assessments, or serve in the roles of child and family therapists or counselors.

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