Our practice strives to uphold the highest ethical and legal standards. Our policy regarding custody and consent to treatment is based on rulings by the Pennsylvania State Board of Psychology and guidance from the Pennsylvania Psychological Association.

It is our policy that, for children ages 13 and younger, all individuals with legal custody of the child must consent (give permission) to services. Consent is required before the first appointment is scheduled. Children 14 and older may consent to therapy or evaluation on their own behalf.

This policy applies when:

  • The child’s biological or adoptive parents are divorced.
  • There is a custody order involving the child, for any reason.
  • When the child is in the custody of Children & Youth Services and is in a kinship or foster placement.

If you have sole legal custody

Sole legal custody means that one parent has been granted the right to independently make all decisions about a child’s well-being, such as decisions about education and healthcare, without involving the other parent. This is unusual. Legal custody is not the same as physical custody, which has to do with where a child lives and the visitation arrangement with other caregivers.

If you have sole legal custody, we will need the following before the first appointment is schedule:

  1. a copy of the custody order
  2. Agreement for Court-Involved Families (if there is a current or anticipated custody dispute)

If you have shared legal custody

If there is a custody order granting shared legal custody to two or more parents or guardians, we require the following:

  1. Intake paperwork signed by each adult listed in the custody order. Forms will be sent to each guardian through our secure Client Portal.
  2. A copy of the custody order (if the guardians include anyone besides the child’s parents)
  3. Agreement for Court-Involved Families (signed by all parties, if there is a current or anticipated custody dispute)

Once we have received the required paperwork, our Client Care Coordinator will contact the parent/guardian who initiated the request for services to schedule an appointment.