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Juveniles and the Law 

Juveniles and the Law
Juveniles and the Law

Matthew Lahaie

and Robert Kinscherff

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date: 23 September 2020

This chapter discusses areas of law relevant to mental health clinicians working with juveniles. Clinicians must be aware of the law in the specific jurisdictions in which they practice. The chapter provides an overview of several areas of law that clinicians are likely to encounter in their professional practice with juveniles, including legal constructs concerning the relationship between juveniles and their parents, guardianships, custody considerations in divorce cases, decision making on behalf of juveniles, and separate provisions for juveniles in the criminal justice system. It discusses the state’s interest in promoting the healthy development and protection of maltreated juveniles, shaping the provision of clinical care or education, and providing protections for juveniles with disabilities. Intended as a guide for clinical care providers, the chapter considers the differences between clinical and forensic roles and strongly cautions clinicians to avoid blurring these roles, which involve distinctly different responsibilities and rules.

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