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Thursday, June 30, 2016
Friday, January 22, 2016
BARRY GOLDSTEIN ON "CT VIEWPOINTS" SPEAKS OUT AS FOLLOWS:
"This summer, following the tragic murder of Aaden Moreno -- the baby who was thrown off a Middletown bridge by his abusive father -- the Connecticut legislature appointed the Task Force on the Statewide Response to Minors Exposed to Domestic Violence (DV).
The numbers are staggering as almost 5,000 Connecticut families and their children had been affected by Domestic Violence in 2012-2014. Chaired by Karen Jarmoc, the Executive Director of the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and Gary Lapidus, Yale Pediatrician, the task force includes respected DV advocates, medical professionals and state legislators dedicated to finding solutions for children exposed to DV
I was pleased the draft report repeatedly focused on the need for evidence-based, multi-disciplinary and trauma-informed approaches. The widespread failure to use these best practices in custody cases leads to decisions that fail to protect children from harmful abusers. I wish the task force had better explained what the improved practices would look like and how to implement needed reforms..."
Friday, September 18, 2015
Safe Child Act
by Barry Goldstein
"Purpose: Improve the Safety of Children involved in Child Custody Cases
1. The paramount concern of all child custody decisions must be to provide complete safety when determining the best interests of the children.
2. Whenever domestic violence or child abuse is raised as an issue either during or before a child custody matter is litigated any professional who provides advice or recommendations to the court must have substantial training and experience about Domestic violence and child abuse to fully understand safety issues including behaviors that are associated with higher lethality or injury risks; domestic violence dynamics; effects of domestic violence on children; ability to recognize domestic violence and research about batterer narratives. Any professional without this necessary expertise must consult with someone who has this knowledge prior to giving any recommendation to the court.
3 A post graduate degree in mental health such as psychology, psychiatry or social work absent specialized and approved training shall not be considered proof of domestic violence expertise. A court shall not refuse to qualify an individual as a domestic violence expert because the witness does not possess a post graduate degree if the witness can demonstrate expertise based upon training and experience.
4. In any custody case where either domestic violence or child abuse is raised during the litigation process and even where a court may have already heard and determined there is not significant enough domestic violence to warrant a restraining order and in which there is no substantial basis to believe the parties or children have a significant mental health impairment likely to interfere with parenting ability, courts should not order a mental health evaluation. The court may appoint a domestic violence expert to help the court understand the significance of evidence related to domestic violence and must permit parties to present evidence from a qualified domestic violence expert..."