NACCFI’s Forensic Interviewing of Children Course

National Association of Certified Child Forensic Interviewers  pic

National Association of Certified Child Forensic Interviewers

Dr. Miriam Galindo holds a master of social work from California State University, Long Beach, and a doctor of psychology from Trinity College of Graduate Studies. Throughout her career as licensed clinical social worker and psychologist, Dr. Miriam Galindo has completed a number of continuing education and advanced training programs, including Forensic Interviewing of Children through the National Association of Certified Child Forensic Interviewers (NACCFI).

A self-paced e-learning course, Forensic Interviewing of Children is designed to help professionals learn the proper procedures and interview techniques involved in effectively questioning children, whether they are victims or witnesses of a crime.

Analyzed and reviewed by more than 1,500 practicing child forensic interviewers, the Forensic Interviewing of Children course features 40 hours of online training designed as part of the curriculum needed to qualify for child forensic interviewer certification. Other portions of the curriculum include 16 hours of peer review practicum and 32 hours of competency training.

How Co-Parenting Counseling Can Help in High-Conflict Cases


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Co-Parenting Counseling

Child Custody Evaluations in California

Dr. Miriam Galindo pic

Dr. Miriam Galindo

A licensed clinical psychologist, Dr. Miriam Galindo holds a doctor of psychology from Trinity College of Graduate Studies. Dr. Miriam Galindo runs a private practice in Irvine, California, where she conducts child custody evaluations.

In California, parents who go through a divorce often have to undergo a child custody evaluation, or a 730 Evaluation. While judges sometimes order these evaluations for concerns related to substance abuse or child abuse, they also order them when parents simply cannot come to an agreement on custody.

A 730 Evaluation may be conducted by four types of professionals in California: psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and marriage and family therapists. If the parents cannot agree on an evaluator, the judge either chooses one or requires the parents to submit a list of potential evaluators. The professional conducting the evaluation assesses the parenting practices and mental health of both parents in order to inform the judge’s orders related to custody and visitation.

The Importance of Culturally Informed Child Custody Evaluations

Dr. Miriam Galindo pic

Dr. Miriam Galindo

Dr. Miriam Galindo is a licensed clinical psychologist and social worker who earned her Doctor of Psychology from Anaheim’s Trinity College of Graduate Studies in 2007. Since 2005, Miriam Galindo has evaluated 286 child custody cases and focused her postgraduate dissertation on the subject of Religion and the Best Interest Standard in Child Custody Evaluations.

The American Psychological Association lists 14 important guidelines for conducting child custody evaluations, one of them being “Psychologists strive to engage in culturally informed, nondiscriminatory evaluation practices.” One of the most important things for psychologists when evaluating child custody cases is to be aware of their own biases – and those of others – against gender, race, age, religion or nationality. Data collection and its interpretation can be misconstrued with a lack of culturally competent insight.

Should the subject of examination possess a cultural or racial background with which the evaluator is unfamiliar, the psychologist is directed to prepare and conduct the evaluation with informed peer consultation and extensive literature review.

Inside Child Custody Evaluations

Miriam Galindo pic

Miriam Galindo

From her private psychology practice in Irvine, California, Dr. Miriam Galindo works with families involved in high-conflict divorces. Dr. Miriam Galindo also serves as a child custody evaluator, having participated in some 300 court cases.

Custody evaluation is the process of determining the needs of children and how the parents can best help meet them. While it concentrates on the children’s situation, custody evaluation also attempts to consider the needs of the family as a whole. It is not intended to decide who is at fault or to choose sides.

The evaluation begins with interviews of both parents, separately and together. The individual interviews will help the evaluator look at each person’s concerns about the children and the other parent. The joint interviews allow the evaluator to see how the parents work together. A session with the entire family can yield more relevant information.

The evaluator may ask permission to access records from schools, doctors, social services, and law enforcement. These will provide an outside perspective of the family environment. As a means of obtaining more information, a judge may also require psychological tests of each parent. A psychologist will then interview both parents and may administer several tests.

Many parents wonder if the evaluator will ask the children who they would like to live with. Although counseling does involve questions about thoughts and feelings, evaluators do not ask children to make that choice.

After these steps have been taken, the custody evaluator will present his or her findings to the judge. In most areas, this information is confidential.

What is a 730 Custody Evaluation?

Dr. Miriam Galindo pic

Dr. Miriam Galindo

Dr. Miriam Galindo is a licensed psychologist and social worker practicing at Galindo and Associates, Inc., in Irvine, California. In addition, Dr. Miriam Galindo is a member of an approved panel of experts for Orange County Superior Court. She completed a 730 Evaluation for the high-profile 2014 Tamra Barney custody case.

Essentially, a 730 Evaluation is a child custody evaluation that is used in divorce cases when the court needs an expert’s opinion on the mental health and the ability of one or both parent(s) to care for a child. These evaluations look specifically into the parenting practices and routines of one or more of the parents, and whether or not they are beneficial and healthy for the children.

However, 730 Evaluations are not routine for every divorce case. They are mandated only in cases in which a child’s safety, wellbeing, or best interest is in question. The evaluator is chosen by the judge, and to qualify, he or she must fulfill a set of requirements and certifications, such as training in child psychology, custody procedures, the parent-child relationship, and more.

Approaches to Family Systems Therapy

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Family Systems Therapy

A diplomate of the American Board of Forensic Social Workers, Dr. Miriam Galindo is a licensed psychologist and clinical social worker based in Irvine, California. In this capacity, Dr. Miriam Galindo offers a wide range of family therapy services.

Established by the psychoanalyst Murray Bowen, family systems therapy operates based on the theory that familial relationships have a major impact on the development of the individual. Below are three common approaches to family systems therapy.

Strategic family therapy: Strategic family therapy looks at the problem-solving patterns of families outside of the therapeutic setting, often requiring families to redefine challenging scenarios. Unlike other types of family systems therapy, strategic family therapists believe that intensive analysis is not necessary to realize rapid change.

Structural family therapy: While strategic family therapy looks to interactions outside therapy, structural family therapy examines behaviors and patterns within the therapy context. Structural family therapists also analyze subsystems within the family unit.

Intergenerational family therapy: In many cases, individual behavior can be influenced by the beliefs and patterns of previous generations. By acknowledging multigenerational behaviors, families can normalize their problems and correct problem behaviors.