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Expert Witness/Evaluator Training

The Expert Witness/Evaluator training prepares psychologists and psychiatrists to provide expert opinions in child abuse/neglect matters and termination of parental rights matters. Participants learn and hone skills necessary to render psychological opinions within the context of the current state of the child welfare laws in New Jersey and to offer sound testimony.


The Expert Witness/Evaluator Training is designed to provide information, demonstrations, role-playing and practice testimony for psychologists and psychiatrists. The reference material that will be offered will enable educated and experienced professionals to attain the skills and understanding necessary to assume the role and responsibilities of an Expert Witness in child welfare cases.

The training consists of 3.5 days of training. Two days of classroom clinical instruction are followed by a day of legal instruction regarding termination of parental rights in the child welfare context and a half day consultation day. The legal day of training includes mock direct or cross-examination.

A half day training, designed to serve as a follow-up consultation day is scheduled to occur at a later date. During the annually scheduled follow-up half day, each participant provides a completed evaluation for consultation.

Training Population:

Attendees had a New Jersey license to practice psychology or psychiatry as well as clinical or forensic experience with children and parents.


The training was developed in collaboration with DYFS, Rutgers University, New Jersey Attorney General's Office, Legal Services of NJ, a Family Court Judge, the Office of the Public Defender-Parental Representation Unit and the Law Guardian's Office. Past training offerings were paid for by DYFS for the purpose of expanding the pool of individuals available to provide quality evaluations of families and children involved with child welfare services. Additionally, this program has been co-sponsored by the New Jersey Psychological Association (NJPA). NJPA is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. NJPA maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Continuing Education Credits:

Upon successful completion of the entire program, participants earned 20.5 CE credits from the New Jersey Psychological Association.

Current Status/Offerings:

Currently, individuals that are interested in training offerings are encouraged to contact Julissa Vizcaino at 848-932-0510 for additional information.

For additional information, contact:

Julissa Vizcaino, Program Coordinator
Tel: 848-932-0510
Fax: 732-932-1798

Institute for Families
120 Albany Street, Tower One, Fifth Floor, Suite 503
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

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