Evaluating the best interests of the child - A model of multidisciplinary teamwork

E. Pardess, R. Finzi, J. Sever

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


This article describes the rationale, goals and procedure of a working model of multidisciplinary teamwork in conducting clinical evaluations of children and families and preparing expert testimony. Over the past five years, the team has evaluated over 60 cases involving child abuse and neglect, and questions of parental ability. Teamwork can reduce the distorting effects of personal biases, beliefs and countertransference issues. The contribution of integrating different theoretical viewpoints (theories of development, object relations, family systems, etc) is discussed. Recommendations include: (a) separation of roles of expert witness and therapist; (b) utilization of different diagnostic tools (psychodiagnostic tests, observations of interaction, joint clinical interviews, etc); (c) value of examining the feasibility of the recommendations with parents, care givers and community workers; and (d) strategies of dispute resolution and attainment of parental consent, utilizing the effects of potential judicial power and focusing on the best interests of the child.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-211
Number of pages7
JournalMedicine and Law
Issue number3-5
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes


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