CMHCs who are requested or required to perform forensic functions such as assessments, interviews, consultations, report writing, responding to subpoenas, or offering expert testimony comply with the provisions of the AMHCA Code of Ethics and act in accordance with applicable state and federal law.
a. CMHCs who engage in forensic activity are expected to possess appropriate knowledge and competence.
b. When conducting interviews, writing reports, or offering testimony, CMHCs objectively offer their findings without bias or investment in the ultimate outcome.
c. CMHCs inform clients involved in a forensic evaluation about the limits of confidentiality, the role of the CMHC, and the purpose of the assessment.
d. CMHCs’ written forensic reports and recommendations are based on information and techniques appropriate to the evaluation.
e. CMHCs do not provide written conclusions or forensic testimony regarding any individual without assessment of that individual adequate to support statements and conclusions offered in the forensic setting.
f. When testifying, CMHCs clearly present their qualifications and specialized training. They accurately describe the basis for their professional judgment, conclusions, and testimony.
g. CMHCs do not typically provide forensic evaluations for individuals whom they are currently counseling or have counseled in the past. Conversely, CMHCs do not typically counsel individuals they are currently evaluating, or have evaluated in the past, for forensic purposes.
h. Forensic CMHCs do not act as an advocate for the legal system, perpetrators, or victims of criminal activity.