Best Practices in the Evaluation of CST in Juveniles

Best Practices in the Evaluation of CST in Juveniles


20 Hours | 20 CEs (CEUs)

Program Description

This self-paced training program on Best Practices in the Evaluation of Competence to Stand Trial in Juveniles is presented by Dr. Ivan Kruh.

In recent years, there has been an increasing focus upon the competence to proceed of juvenile’s being adjudicated in juvenile and adult courts. This training program focuses on conducting juvenile adjudicative competence evaluations that meet best practices standards. The use of cases to highlight relevant issues is emphasized and the training includes activities to assist participants in honing their interviewing, record reviewing, data interpretation, and report writing skills.

The training covers foundational issues, including the evolution of legislation regarding juvenile competence and differences in legislation across states. The manner in which these legal standards can be translated into measurable forensic concepts is discussed, with a focus on how these concepts differ between juvenile and adult cases. The current empirical literature relevant to juvenile adjudicative competence is reviewed, with a particular focus on the intersection of adolescent development and court-related functioning. All of this background set the stage for a detailed discussion of conducting juvenile adjudicative competence evaluations. Preparation for the evaluation and the data collection process is examined, with particular focus upon developmentally sensitive competence interviewing, the role of available Forensic Assessment Instruments in juvenile adjudicative competence evaluations, and the importance of third-party corroboration. Methods for interpretation and integration of data are presented, as well as strategies for effective communication of findings. Throughout this discussion, there is a focus upon sensitivity to functional limitations based on normal child development and developmental psychopathology. Juvenile competence remediation is also highlighted.

The fee for this training program is $500 and includes all materials.

Intended Audience

This training program is relevant for professionals who want to obtain or strengthen skills in forensic evaluation, including those involved in civil and criminal forensic mental health assessment, forensic inpatient and community settings, and those who work at the intersection of clinical psychology and law. This training program is appropriate for beginner, intermediate, and advanced level clinicians.

Upon completion of this course, participants should be able to:

  • Describe the best practices in conducting juvenile adjudicative competence evaluations
  • Describe the legal standards for juvenile adjudicative competence
  • Describe forensic concepts, and models for thinking about juvenile adjudicative competence
  • Describe the body of empirical research related to the issue of juvenile adjudicative competence
  • Describe the role of normal childhood development in conducting developmentally sensitive juvenile adjudicative competence evaluations
  • Describe the role of developmental psychopathology in conducting developmentally sensitive juvenile adjudicative competence evaluations
  • Describe key elements in conducting a developmentally sensitive competence interview of a juvenile
  • Describe the strengths of using various Forensic Assessment Instruments in the evaluation of juvenile adjudicative competence
  • Describe the weaknesses of using various Forensic Assessment Instruments in the evaluation of juvenile adjudicative competence
  • Describe the steps in forming opinions relevant to juvenile adjudicative competence
  • Describe the key elements of a juvenile adjudicative competence report that meets best practice standards
  • Describe the current approaches to remediating incompetence with juveniles

    About Dr. Ivan Kruh

    Dr. Ivan Kruh received his PhD from the Clinical Psychology program at the University of Alabama, where he concentrated in the study of Forensic Psychology and obtained specialized training in Child Clinical Psychology. He completed a pre-doctoral internship at Western State Hospital in Tacoma, WA, where he provided adult and juvenile forensic mental health services.
    He received advanced post-graduate training in adult and juvenile forensic mental health through the University of Washington’s Postdoctoral Fellowship in Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology. For ten years, Dr. Kruh was the Director of Washington State’s Juvenile Forensic Services at Child Study & Treatment Center, where he conducted pre-adjudication evaluations of juveniles, including competence to stand trial, competence to waive Miranda rights, mental state at the time of the offense, risk for future offending and violent offending, and intervention planning, as well as competence remediation services.

    He also administered the Juvenile Forensic Services, developing policies and practices at clinic, agency, and state levels. During that time, Dr. Kruh also was a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at the University of Washington, where he directed a post-doctoral training fellowship in juvenile forensic mental health. He provided direct clinical supervision to pre-doctoral psychology interns, psychiatry fellows, and post-doctoral psychology fellows.

    This course is excellent for professionals who work in a forensic inpatient and community settings.


    Participants will learn the foundational issues of juvenile adjudicative competence evaluations


    Participants will learn legal standards and measurable forensic concepts and how they differ in juvenile and adult cases


    Participants will learn about the preparation for the evaluation and the data collection process

    “Overall, this was a very useful, thorough, helpful, and enjoyable training program. Dr. Kruh was great! Thank you!” –Psychology Director

    “Excellent! Informative! Excellent practical information–very relevant to issues that arise in these types of evaluations. Concise and focused. Very interesting and well-presented.” –Forensic Evaluator

    “This was an excellent course. Thanks! I’ll be doing more trainings in the future.” –Social Work Intern

    Continuing Education Credit

    This Distance Learning Course is a Home Study Training Program. To earn CEs you are required to complete all course materials, quizzes, and the evaluation. No partial credit is available. A score of 70% is required to proceed; you will be able to re-take any quiz on which you score less than 70%. Participants will earn 20 CE hours upon completion of these requirements. Each participant will be able to download and print the CE certificate upon completion of the final evaluation.

    Board Approvals: APA, ASWB, CPA, NBCC. Click here for state and other regional board approvals.

    Your satisfaction with our programs, products and services is important to us; however, because these are immediately made available to you upon registration and payment, we do not issue refunds. Should you find that a particular program, product or service is not the right fit for you, we will assist you in crediting your registration towards another one of our offerings that might better suit you.

    We specialize in training groups — from a handful to hundreds — and are happy to contact you to discuss your group training needs.

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