Since 1982, Village Publishing has been offering the child custody 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 also certifies attorneys to practice the specialty of Parenting Coordinator. PACE members come from many mental health specialties, including psychology, psychiatry, counseling, and social work. Dr. Bricklin has been on the full or part-time faculties of Jefferson Medical College, Hahnemann Medical College, and Widener University, and has given invited lectures at Temple University and Johns Hopkins University. He is also known for his work in decision theory. 

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 evaluation instruments offered by Village Publishing. She authored one of the instruments (Assessment of Parenting Skills – Infant and Preschooler) and, with Dr. Bricklin, has co-authored many articles, in books and journals, on child custody issues. Since the mid-1990’s, they have presented seminars across the United States, Canada, and Hong Kong on how to conduct comprehensive custody evaluations. They have been invited to address: 

  • Various state and provincial psychological associations in the United States and Canada

  • American College of Forensic Psychology

  • American Psychological Association conventions

  • Joint Conference of the American Bar Association and the American Psychological Association

  • Judges and family law attorneys in Cook County Family Court in Chicago and in St. Louis, MO and Victoria, British Columbia in Canada

  • The government of China’s Social Services Department in Hong Kong

  • The state of Georgia’s Department of Human Services

  • Canadian Academy of Child Psychiatry

  • Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

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 readministrations

  • 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)