Colleen Law

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Medico-legal Assessments

Medico-legal assessments are an intersection between psychology and the justice system. It involves understanding aspects of family law, developmental psychology, psychopathology and family dynamics in order to be able to provide important information to judges, attorneys, legal professionals and parents. The recommendations based on such an assessment enable parents to make informed decisions about the care, contact and maintenance of minor children based on their best interest.
(Children’s Act 38 of 2005)


Comprehensive psycho-diagnostic assessments are provided for the following:


Care & contact (custody & access) assessment

A care & contact assessment typically involves the following:
• Psycho-diagnostic assessment of the child/children
• Psychological profiling of the parents/caregivers
• Parenting capacity assessment of the parents/caregivers
• Home visits
• Consultations with collateral sources


Clinical neuropsychological assessment

Experts in clinical neuropsychology assess whether a head or other forms of serious injury have resulted in psychological deficits severe enough to support a civil court claim. In many cases, traumatic brain injury (tbi) may result following serious motor vehicle accidents (mva). Legal damage claims might also be sought after physical assault, for instance, or injury through negligence. For further information on the complex field of clinical neuropsychology, you can visit sacna’s website by clicking on the following link:


Child & adolescent forensics

Medico-legal evaluation may be necessary where young children or adolescents have beenphysically, sexually or emotionally abused. In these cases the young person, the victim, as well as the perpetrator/s of the abuse, are assessed by psychologists. Expert testimony and evidence is provided to the court, which, together with other information, is used to decide on the necessary treatment, management and legal consequences of each specific case.
I also providepsychological profiling of underage legal offenders– regarding theft, violence, murder or drug-related offences, for example. The information psychologists provide as expert witnesses assists the court in both their legal proceedings, and in making rehabilitation related decisions in the young person’s best interests, while also taking the needs of society into consideration.


Work capacity

Mental illness can seriously affect workplace adjustment. This may be reflected in loss of productivity; loss of efficiency; absenteeism and interpersonal conflict. Psychiatric illnesses are increasingly being recognized as an important cause of work impairment. Psychological adjustment to chronic illness may also pose a serious problem for work capacity.


A comprehensive assessment to determine the extent that the health impairment (physical and/or mental) significantly affects the employee’s activities of daily living, social functioning, concentration, motivation, efficiency and accuracy, as well as their overall work capacity is carried out.

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