Expert Witness Service

Expert Witness Services

SPA’s consultants include clinical and forensic psychologists, cognitive behavioural psychotherapist, neuropsychologist and social workers. Our expertise is the assessment of family, forensic and personnel matters facing individuals of all ages. We are trained at the highest level of independent practice. We are knowledgeable about mental health issues within the legal system and have experience providing expert testimony in civil and criminal courts.

What we do?

SPA’s Expert Witness Service is designed to undertake expert assessments within public and private family law family, criminal and immigration proceedings. We have received instructions from solicitors, private individuals, probation services and social service departments providing comprehensive expert witness services.

We offer an extensive array of assessments exploring sexual dangerousness, risk assessment of violence, guardianship, parental capacity and specialised assessments of cognitively impaired individuals.

Parenting Capacity Assessments

Many local authorities have requested the support of SPA to undertake specialist assessments of parents. Our Parenting Capacity Assessments follow the guidelines in the PLO, Common Assessment Framework, Safeguarding Children Assessment and Parenting Assessment Model (PAMS). We provide an overview of the impact of any identified difficulties upon parenting capacity.

Our services include:

  • Assessment of mental health and impact on parenting capacity
  • Assessment of risk of physical and sexual abuse
  • Assessment of the effects of childhood physical or sexual abuse on adult functioning
  • Assessment of cognitive skills and problem solving ability
  • The impact of substance abuse on parenting
  • Assessment of anger and impact on parenting
  • Assessment of partners’ ability to protect
  • Assessment of violence including domestic violence

Child and Adolescent Assessments

Children and adolescents often struggle with emotional difficulties which result in self harming behaviour, vulnerability to sexual exploitation, eating disorders, substance misuse and suicidal ideation. Due to the growing demand on services such as CAMHS, SPA has developed a unique resource to support children in need.

SPA’s Child and Adolescent Assessment Service examines the psychological wellbeing of young people and their ability to function successfully. We have expertise in assessing young people with mental health difficulties including:

  • Depression
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Attachments Deficits
  • Conduct Disorder
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Eating Disorder
  • Substance misuse difficulties
  • Violence and aggression
  • Social phobias
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Anxiety and Panic Disorder
  • Childhood traumas including sexual, physical and emotional abuse

SPA’s Child and Adolescent Assessment Service can also examine the relationship between young people and their parents or carers. We will assess the attachment to parents and explore the strength of their relationships with siblings. Our work attempts to investigate the child’s developmental history and early life experiences, particularly trauma and how this may affect them in the future.

Our assessments cover a broad area focusing on social, educational, behavioural, cognitive and emotional functioning and we offer clinical advice to professionals during care proceedings.

Neuropsychological Service

SPA’s Neuropsychological Service is designed to provide specialised neuropsychological assessments and recommendations to address the complex issues of children, adolescents and adults cognitive functioning. Our assessments have been utilised for civil, criminal and medico legal proceedings or used to assist in developing learning, treatment and intervention for schools or colleges. We provide comprehensive neuropsychological, psycho-educational and psychological evaluations for all ages and our work often requires the administering of selected battery of psychometric tests.

Neuropsychological assessments could be used to test skills and abilities including:

  • Intelligence
  • Cognitive functioning
  • Memory
  • Attention and Concentration
  • Planning and related Executive Skills
  • Listening Comprehension
  • Reading Comprehension and Fluency
  • Learning
  • Writing
  • Speech
  • Behaviour
  • Emotional Intelligence