Parenting Capacity Assessment

How does a parenting capacity evaluation affect my child’s custody?

A Parenting Capacity Evaluation is ordered by a court to see if a person is “good enough” to be a parent. A good parent mainly covers the following four aspects.

  • Fulfills child’s developmental and health needs
  • Provides consistent and daily care
  • Prioritize children’s need
  • Addresses their problems and provide all possible supports

While the following things are examined for as poor aspects of parents:

  • Ignoring child’s basic needs
  • Keeping adults’ needs first.
  • Irregular routine and uncertain situations
  • Nonsupportive behavior

A detailed assessment of a parent to look into whether he/she can fulfill the above requirements through sets of tests and interviews is called parenting capacity assessments.

Why would anyone need a Parenting Capacity Evaluations (PCEs) or Parenting Capacity Assessments (PCAs)? It is a complete evaluation of any person as a parent to minimize the risk of him/her abusing their child. It comprises extensive interviews and psychological tests to make a complete analysis.

Parenting capacity evaluations are a routine matter in family courts.  Child protection agencies also use parenting capacity evaluations when considering making final decisions and judgments about how far to pursue cases because it helps them analyze risk factors. Judges order parents’ parenting capacity evaluations to help in making any final decision in the child custody cases and to see whether a parent is good enough to be able to see their child. The parenting capacity is an analysis ordered by the courts for a mental health professional to see if a parent is “good enough” to not endanger their child.

Child Abuse and Protection

Whenever there is a suspicion of child abuse, there needs to be an evaluation of the type of abuse and severity. Additionally, the role of parents in the alleged child abuse needs to be examined.  The level and severity of child abuse must be determined with respect to societal, medical, psychological and socioeconomic factors.  Also, the level of intensity of the child abuse must be placed into the context of what material impact it has had on the child’s wellbeing. This assessment of parent capacity is conducted to help guide the court system as to the level of risk a parent may pose potentially to the child. Expertise in the field of child psychiatry and behavioral medicine, as well as extensive forensic testimonial experience, is utilized by Dr Hasan Memon to conduct Parenting Capacity Evaluations.

Parenting capacity is not a fixed ability.

Parenting capacity is not static and changes with time. The parenting capacity also changes with the age of the child, in that a 5-year-old may require more care than aa 16 year old. Parents often mature themselves by learning from the past situation and taking measurable steps to address their past shortcomings. The socioeconomic and environmental factors that the child will be raised in are also in flux, affecting the parenting capacity of a parent. requirements also change, and so do the responsibilities of parents. Parenting capacity means fulfilling the requirements of your child according to the changing circumstances. Dr Memon has to account for multiple variable factors that are in constant flux to determine the parenting capacity of the parent at that particular time of the evaluation.

Parenting Capacity Assessments in Divorced Couples

The process of divorce between a couple is difficult and even bitter, especially when kids are involved. During divorce members many members of the family experience extreme anxiety and stress. Sometimes the situation between the couple becomes a game of blaming. As the structure of the family is changing, there start to evolving new definition of rights and responsibilities of the parents. The stress of the change can have long-lasting effects on the kids’ lives. The parents themselves may suffer from addiction, depression, and anxiety which can further complicate how the new family structure will be defined. Parenting capacity assessments can be helpful in determining if an individual parent should have access to the child. The difference between a child custody evaluation and a parenting capacity assessment is that a child custody evaluation determines how much time a parent should have versus a parenting capacity assessment which determines if a parent should have access to the child.

“a child custody evaluation determines how much time a parent should have versus a parenting capacity assessment which determines if a parent should have access to the child”

Approach the right place for assessment

In parent assessment, evaluation cases depend upon the skills of the mental health expert doing the evaluation. A good forensic psychiatrist is able to look past the blame game and get to the facts which are being used to do the parenting capacity assessment.  Dr. Memon is a child psychiatrist who is board certified in psychiatry and addiction medicine. The work required to complete a forensic parenting capacity assessment is different than a clinical assessment. A parenting capacity assessment is a fact-based evaluation system and not based on words but things that can be proven. The parenting capacity assessment requires an interview of the parent, interview of the children, interview of family members, and review of records(medical, educational, legal, etc).

Areas Of Focus For Parenting Capacity Assessment

There are a couple of important questions that are essential in determining the capacity of the parent. These include:

  • How flexible is the parent to respond to any situation?
  • What can be the after-effects of ending the parent-child relationship?
  • What are the specific challenges and strengths of a parent for the child?
  • To what extent can the parent provide safety and care to the child?
  • What are the possibilities of domestic violation for the child?
  • What is the level of attachment of the child with the parent?
  • Is the child suffering from any difficulties created by the parent?

 For child custody cases, a psychiatrist’s role is crucial to do an accurate assessment and provide solid grounds in the court to certify that a parent meets right standard of parental care and fitness. Dr. Hasan Memon is an expert in doing evaluations for child protective agencies. He is considered a balanced and fair evaluator. He is an expert in evaluating family structures and is impartial, transparent, and culturally competent. 

If any parent needs help regarding his/her psychological problems, which are impact his/her parenting capacity assessment, we offer solutions to help close the gap. We work with many parents who need supply and have the clinical expertise to offer the court in helping parents struggling with ADHD, Anxiety, and Depression. Parents may themselves be going through a “rough patch” and we are able to suggestions in our parental capacity assessment on how parents can further enhance their parenting abilities.


Parenting capacity assessments are tools used by courts to determine the fitness of parents ability to parent their child. For a fair and transparent evaluation, contact our practice at 609-601-4161