20 Hours | 20 CEs

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

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.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course you will be able to:

  • Describe the best practices in conducting juvenile adjudicative competence evaluations & Legal Standards

  • 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 & the current approaches to remediating incompetence with juveniles

Presented By

Ivan Kruh, PhD

Dr. Ivan Kruh received his PhD in Clinical Psychology with a concentrated study of Forensic Psychology from the University of Alabama. For ten years, he was the Director of Juvenile Forensic Evaluations in Washington State and coordinated a post-doctoral fellowship in Juvenile Forensic Psychology at the University of Washington. In private practice, he conducts juvenile forensic evaluations and consults to state juvenile forensic evaluation systems. He is the Director of Juvenile Competency Services at National Youth Screening and Assessment Partners (NYSAP).

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  • Intended Audience

    This self-paced course is intended for mental health and other allied professionals.

  • Experience Level

    This self-paced course is appropriate for beginner, intermediate, and advanced level clinicians.

  • CE / CPD Credit

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


  • 1


    • Review Before Proceeding

  • 2


    • Lesson 1 Video

  • 3

    Adolescent Development & Psychpathology

    • Lesson 2 Video

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 4

    Juvenile Court History

    • Lesson 3 Video

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 5

    Competence to Stand Trial

    • Lesson 4 Video

    • The Legal Context

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 6

    Conceptualizing Competence to Stand Trial

    • Lesson 5 Video

    • Forensic Mental Health Concepts

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 7

    Juvenile Competence to Stand Trial

    • Lesson 6 Video

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 8

    Relevant Research & The MacArthur Study

    • Lesson 7 Video

    • Empirical Foundations and Limits

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 9

    Clinical Guidance and State Law

    • Lesson 8 Video

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 10

    Legal Ambiguity-Predicate Definitions

    • Lesson 9 Video

    • Preparation for the Evaluation

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 11

    Developmentally Sensitive Evaluation

    • Lesson 10 Video

    • Attorney CST Questionnaire

    • Notes from Inital Attorney Call

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 12

    Data Collection

    • Lesson 11 Video

    • Data Collection

    • Treatment Plan Update

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 13

    Caregiver and Youth Interviews

    • Lesson 12 Video

    • Interviewing Exercise

    • Caregiver Questionnaire

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 14

    Social, Developmental & Clinical History

    • Lesson 13 Video

    • Summary of Developmental and Social History

    • Summary of Mental Status Exam

  • 15

    Psychological Testing

    • Lesson 14 Video

    • Psychological Testing

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 16

    Assessment of Competence Abilities

    • Lesson 15 Video

    • Interpretation

    • JACI Responses

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 17

    Forming Opinions

    • Lesson 16 Video

    • Report Writing & Testimony

    • Forming Opinions Worksheet

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 18


    • Instructions

    • Evaluation

    • Submission Verification

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  • CE Credit

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  • Convenience & Flexibility

    Learn at your own pace, from wherever you might be!

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