The APA and the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Family Law conference concluded with reports from seven APA/ABA working groups charged with exploring legal, psychological and professional interactions issues and the development of collaborative projects. The working groups, made up of lawyers and psychologists, are devoted to: psychological evaluation and assessment; custody and parenting plans; issues of alleged abuse, neglect and endangerment; representing and advocating for children; ethics and standards; psychological and legal interventions with parents, children and families; and alternatives to current models and processes.

The groups will develop public informational materials on these topics, as well as professional publications and training materials for attorneys, psychologists, judges and the many others involved in family court cases. They represent the continuing need for collaboration between these two fields, said Gregg M. Herman, JD, chair of the ABA section of family law.

"The Chicago conference was designed as just one step on the path of an ongoing relationship between lawyers and psychologists who practice in the family law area," he said. "These working groups will continue to exchange ideas and work on projects of common concern, with the goal of improving the field of family law and most importantly, to minimize the effects of family dissolution on children."