Dr. Taina Laajasalo: „Child Abuse Allegations in Custody Evaluations“ | International Symposium on Forensic Psychology in Family Law (FPFL)

Logo International Symposium „Forensic Psychology in Family Law“ (FPFL)

We are pleased to invite you to the first International Symposium on Forensic Psychology in Family Law (FPFL) initiated by Dr. Jelena Zumbach! The next session will take place on October 28th, 2020 at 18:00-19:30h (UTC+1, Berlin) via Zoom. Dr. Taina Laajasalo (Finnish Institute of Health and Welfare, University of Helsinki) will speak about research and case-related experience on „Child Abuse Allegations in Custody Evaluations“. In order to participate in the symposium, please register below.

Information on the session

If allegations of child abuse and neglect are included in child custody disputes, family law professionals face particular challenges. Accurately identifying child maltreatment requires assessing the background, the history and the context of the allegations in order to differentiate confirmed, unfounded, and fabricated allegations. The presentation provides a review of child abuse allegations within the context of child custody disputes. It describes the relevant recent academic research, including studies on substantiation rates, alienation and child interviewing. Furthermore, it emphasizes on how to build research-based practices for dealing with these highly complex and challenging cases.

Speaker’s short bio

Taina Laajasalo, PhD, adjunct professor (title of docent) in Forensic Psychology, has research expertise in issues related to child abuse, child abuse investigations and child behavioural disorders. Her other interests are evidence based mental health promotion and prevention, early intervention and psychological wellbeing of children and families. Currently she works as a chief specialist at the Finnish Institute of Health and Welfare, aiming to develop child-friendly, evidence-based justice procedures as well as interventions and services for children who have experienced violence. Previously she has worked several years ​as part of a multidisciplinary team, assisting the police and the judicial system in investigations of child sexual and physical abuse as well as consulting and teaching professionals on these matters.

Certified forensic psychologists from Germany can collect training units with their participation. Zertifizierte FachpsychologInnen für Rechtspsychologie BDP/DGPs haben die Möglichkeit mit der Teilnahme Fortbildungseinheiten gemäß Weiterbildungsordnung zu erwerben.

About FPFL

The International Symposium on Forensic Psychology in Family Law (FPFL) has been initiated by Dr. Jelena Zumbach, Assistant Professor of Family Law Psychology at PHB. It is open to anyone who conducts child custody or child protection evaluations, is a researcher in the field, or is generally interested to learn more about the subject.

The symposium will take place via two to three online sessions a year. For each session, we will invite an international speaker on a specific topic. All speakers are internationally renowned researchers with a practical background.

Our most important aim with this symposium is to connect practitioners and researchers in the field from different countries. We would like to discuss problems of practical relevance with you. Sharing case-related experience is encouraged. We want to learn how practitioners from different countries address challenges and how research can contribute to create solutions.


Psychologische Hochschule Berlin (PHB)
Am Köllnischen Park 2
10179 Berlin