• Children, Families and the Law

    The Center of Excellence for Children, Families and the Law (CECFL) recognizes the life-changing decisions that are made when children and families come before Courts.

Certificate in Child and Family Forensics

The Certificate in Child and Family Forensics provides students with a solid foundation in the concepts, theories and practices in child and family forensic mental health work and will help professionals hone their skills and increase their knowledge to prepare them for work in child welfare, juvenile delinquency, sexual offending, domestic violence, divorce custody and post-divorce parenting contexts. These courses are open to mental health professionals, attorneys, judges, mediators, court personnel, and other professionals with a graduate degree. Courses include:child custody evaluation, interpersonal violence, child maltreatment, mental health and juvenile justice, and parenting coordination. These courses will review the law and systems, describe and practice protocols for evaluations, and review empirically based best practices and interventions through in-depth didactic instruction and opportunities for practice and consultation.

Each course is a blended learning format and spans 4 weeks of online coursework for 14 hours and 14 hours of on-site instruction over a weekend in residence. Each course is 28 hours and 28 Continuing Education Units for psychologists and social workers. Students who choose four classes will obtain a Certificate in Juvenile and Family Forensic Issues from the William James College. 

Fall 2015 Course Schedule

Divorce Custody Evaluation
Robin Deutsch, PhD and Hon. Christina Harms, JD (ret.), instructor
Online Course begins September 1, 2015
Weekend in Residence: October 2-3, 2015

The Course in Divorce Custody Evaluation is designed for professionals who aspire to use empirically based research and methodology and best practices to provide or understand forensic psychological assessments in contested custody matters to the courts.

Click here for detailed course description
Click here to register online


Intimate Partner Violence
Robin Deutsch, PhD, and Leslie Drozd, PhD, instructors
Online Course begins October 7, 2015
Weekend in Residence: November 13-14, 2015

The Course in Intimate Partner Violence is designed for professionals engaged in providing services to children, adults, families and the courts who seek to provide or understand best practices of investigation, evaluation, and testimony in matters where domestic violence is alleged.

Click here for detailed course description
Click here to register online

Spring 2016 Course Schedule

Child Maltreatment
Robin Deutsch, PhD, and Amy Tishelman, PhD, instructors

Online Course begins February 1, 2016
Weekend in Residence: March 4-5, 2016

The Course in Child Maltreatment is designed for professionals engaged in providing services to youth, families, and the courts who seek to provide or understand best practices of investigation, evaluation, and testimony in matters of child abuse or neglect.

Click here for detailed course description


Mental Health and Juvenile Justice
Robert T. Kinscherff, PhD, JD, instructor

Online Course begins March 7, 2016
Weekend in Residence: April 8-9, 2016

The Course in Mental Health and Juvenile Justice is designed for professionals engaged in providing evaluations and services to youth and families involved in the juvenile justice system who aspire to improve outcomes for youth and families through enhancing their programs and services, and by more effectively partnering with public and private agencies and providers (state, local, tribal or other).

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Parenting Coordination
Robin Deutsch, PhD, instructor

Online Course begins April 11, 2016
Weekend in Residence:  May 13-14, 2015

The Course in Parenting Coordination will examine the role and functions of the Parenting Coordinator and the interventions to reduce chronic high conflict and develop a more functional relationship between parents that focuses on the best interests of the children.

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Advanced Parenting Coordination

This new post-certificate course is offered in a blended learning format
Online Course begins March 7, 2016
Residence Days:  April 1 and May 20, 2016

Participants in this advanced training will learn advanced strategies and techniques to work effectively with difficult clients including those with personality disorders, and manage cases where children resist contact with a parent and where young children are involved. Participants should have completed either the William James College Parenting Coordination course or another minimum two-day core training course on Parenting Coordination and have some experience providing or referring to parenting coordinator services.

Tuition-Credits-Application
Program Annual Tuition Annual Student Services Fee
Certificate in Child and Family Forensics ($1,100/course)  $5,500


Credit Hours Per Course
: 28 CE Credits, 15 hours in person, 13 hours online
Upon Completion of 4 Courses: 112 CE Credits and a Certificate in Child and Family Forensics
ApplicationRegister for individual courses online.

Applicants will demonstrate an interest in family forensics and may include mental health professionals, lawyers, judges, probation officers, juvenile justice professionals, child welfare professionals, and court service workers. Prerequisites include an advanced degree in law, mental health, human services or criminal justice.

Please contact Robin M. Deutsch, PhD at robin_deutsch@williamjames.edu for more information.