• Forensic Report Writing Workshop


This is a three day training program for psychologists and social workers and other professionals who work with divorcing families. The CONDUCTING ASSESSMENTS & REPORT WRITING IN FAMILY LAW MATTERS workshop is a professional development program providing mental health professionals with the knowledge and skills to prepare reports and testify in matter in a professional and competent manner. This course includes a comprehensive manual with resource sheets. Participants step through the assessment process with the assistance of theoretical background, case studies and exercises.


This workshop is presented by Dr Ronel Duchen and Irma Schutte.

Dr Ronel Duchen has been practising as a Counselling psychologist since July 1994. She holds the following degrees from RAU: BSc (Mathematical Sciences), National Higher Education Diploma, BSc (Hon), MA (Psychology) (cum laude) and a D.Litt. et Phil.
Her practice consist of forensic work and includes psychological assessments and testifying in civil and criminal matters. She has testified as an expert witness in the High, Regional and Magistrate Courts, as well as the CCMA. The focus of her work is mediation and the drafting of Parenting Plans.
Dr Duchen serves on the panel of experts working with the Office of the Family Advocate. She is a trained mediator and provides continuous professional development training and supervision. Dr Duchen developed the Familyzone Grid System.

Irma Schutte is a senior social worker with twenty-five years ‘experience in the field of child and family care. She obtained the degree BA (SW) in 1987 and her MA (SW) cum Laude in 1995. She worked in the child and family care system for a period of ten years before embarking on the academic field of employment, joining the University of Pretoria.
Mrs Schutte has been in private practice since 1996. Her areas of specialisation are all matters relating to families and children, divorce, sexual abuse, child therapy and mediation.
Mrs Schutte was also the founder of the annual conference: “Dealing with children and divorce”, aimed at linking different professions in the field of divorce and providing them with skills to deal more effectively with divorce related matters. Mrs Schutte is also a contributor to various workshops which are presented nationally.

Workshop Summary

Date: 17 - 19 May 2017
Accolades Boutique Venue, 72 Dale Road, Midrand
Duration: 3 days
CPDs: HPCSA 22 ethical (level 2) & SACSSP 15
Cost: R5 000
Register online or download the Registration Form

Learning Objectives

  • Understand standards of practice applicable to forensic report writing.
  • Understand the ethical obligations when compiling and writing a forensic report.
  • Gain knowledge about the legal requirements for presenting an expert report.
  • Learn how to integrate the Best Interest of the Child Standard with assessment designs and report format.
  • Learn to implement assessment designs that match referral questions.
  • Understand the building blocks or architecture of a forensic report.
  • Gain practical experience in the various report writing components by means of case study work.
  • Discuss and understand the specific challenges presented in assessing difficult cases.
  • Understanding cooperation with other professionals in the context of writing a forensic report.
  • Gain knowledge and experience in linking the assessment process with recommendations.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is the Child’s Voice toolkit included in the price of the workshop?

    No, the Child’s Voice Toolkit must be purchased separately.


Day one
08:00 Registration
09:00 An overview of international standards of practice and report writing in divorce matters
10:00 Contracting with clients
11:00 Tea
12:00 The best interest of the child standard as set out by the Children's Act no 38 of 2005 and assessment criteria flowing from this Act.
13:00 Lunch
14:00 Child assessment methodologies including the use of the Child's Voice Toolkit and recording these results in the forensic report.
16:00 Close of day
Day two
08:00 Registration
09:00 Adult assessment methodologies and recording these results in the forensic report
11:00 Tea
11:30 Family assessment methodologies, collateral information and assessing specific allegations e.g. substance abuse, domestic violence and utilising literature.
13:00 Lunch
14:00 Practical writing session
16:00 Close of day
Day three
08:00 Registration
09:00 Using the best interest of the child standard as mechanism to formulate a conclusion and recommendation
10:00 Finalising the report, communicating the outcome and other obligations following from writing a forensic report.
11:00 Tea
11:30 Practical Writing session
13:00 Lunch
14:00 Preparing for giving evidence, evidence in chief, cross examination
16:00 Close of day