Psychodiagnostics in a Forensic Setting
Rotation at the Superior Court of the District of Columbia
Child Guidance Clinic
Michael E. Barnes Ph.D.
From August to July
In addition to providing psychodiagnostic services to students seeking treatment at the Howard University Counseling Service on an "as needed basis, the interns participate in an intensive six-month rotation, providing psychological evaluations for the Social Services Division's Child Guidance Clinic.
Interns are required to attend four specialized in-service training seminars each six months, on topics relevant to the work of the Clinic. These seminars are provided by the Court and selected by the Clinic. Local and nationally recognized experts are scheduled each year. Scheduling is made far in advance such that interns may adjust their time accordingly.
Referrals focus on:
Referral questions may address, but not limited to:
Risk to self or to the community at large
Competency to stand trial
The impact of a traumatic event(s) upon a juvenile such as physical, emotional or sexual abuse
Level of detention required
Whether a juvenile may be rehabilitated subsequent to a serious violent offense
Referrals are typically made by:
The Clinic has access to a variety of age-appropriate, nationally named and standardized instruments for assessment of specific diagnostic categories such as, but not limited to:
Interns may expect to participate in the following services pursuant to their work:
Consultation to court social workers, probation officers or other court professionals
Consultation to court liaison agencies such as public or private schools, Youth Forensic Services,
Corporation Counsel, Public Defender Service, Child Advocacy Center, etc.
Interviews or data gathering forums with collateral informants
Outreach to youth and professionals in the community
Testimony in court (if strongly desired)
There are five licensed clinical psychologists on staff, including a clinical neuropsychologist.
Full-time deputy clerks help with the interns' adjustment to the Clinic and Court.