Dr. Monique Busch, PhD, ACSW, LCSW, of Performance Solutions Unlimited, LLC, writes on what it takes to consult as a child welfare expert witness.
Being an expert witness is so often more about being an expert consultant as matters are less likely to go to trial and more likely to settle or to be mediated. I have found as an expert in child welfare matters that some of the more helpful information that I have to contribute has to do with understanding day-to-day operations of the industry, functions of key players, checks and balances in the system, and the federal, as well as state laws that make state public child welfare agencies more alike than different.
Child welfare matters involve a great number of different professionals: public child welfare agency personnel; legal – juvenile courts, family courts, guardian ad litem, court appointed special advocate (CASA), attorneys, law enforcement; medical; mental health; and familial. I believe that being passionate about the subject matter in which one is an expert is important. These matters pull on the heart strings, and it is critically important to keep the child(ren) in the matter as the focal point.
Monique Busch, PhD, ACSW, LCSW is an Associate Professor and Field Director in the Department of Social Work at the University of Saint Francis in Fort Wayne, IN. Dr. Busch has direct practice experience in public child welfare as a child protective services worker, foster care certifier, family sex abuse treatment specialist, and runaway and homeless family / crisis therapist.