Psychiatric assessments of adults involved in care proceedings can play a critical role in assisting the family court to resolve proceedings justly. To properly carry out this role, the psychiatric expert should have an up-to-date understanding of the wider context within which they are working. This article outlines the legal framework of care proceedings in England and Wales and summarises the key aspects of the process. The duties of the expert and how the expert is engaged are explained. Finally, guidance is presented on how the expert should approach questions that are commonly raised in these proceedings.
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