Designated Forensic Professional Training
- As part of DFP training, all trainees are required to attend training visits to: Bridgewater State Hospital , a DMH facility, a correctional facility, and MASAC (Massachusetts Alcohol and Substance Abuse Center – the facility run by Department of Correction for males committed under section 35). The visit to MASAC is a new requirement, based on the fact that section 35’s now represent the modal type of evaluation performed at court clinics.
- For DFP candidates who do not work in inpatient settings, it is often difficult to find suitable reports to submit to the DFP Committee for mid-training and final review. Therefore, in such cases, DFP candidates may submit “extended” 15a reports to the DFP Committee, provided that such reports follow the 15b format and are comparable in scope and comprehensiveness to 15b reports (with the obvious exception of not having a Course of Hospitalization section).
- All reports submitted to the DFP Committee for (mid-training and final reports) are reviewed anonymously by the Committee (with the exception of the Chair of the Committee, who is aware of the identity of candidates submitting final reports but who does not vote on approval of these reports). The identity of the candidate is revealed to the Committee only:
- After the Committee approves the final reports; or
- If, after the report has not been approved, the Committee is considering termination of candidacy (e.g., due to three final submissions which have not been approved, or if the Candidate has not completed the training within the approved deadline).
- Reports submitted to the Committee should be “redacted” to hide the identity of the evaluator and the defendant. [ guidelines for redacting reports ]
- The final reports submitted to the Committee must represent the Candidate’s work and cannot include editing or supervision of the case by the Forensic Mental Health Supervisor. Although the Supervisor will likely have reviewed the case and may have made suggestions or edits, the version of the report submitted to the Committee must be the unedited version submitted by the Candidate to the Supervisor. Nevertheless, Forensic Mental Health Supervisors are strongly encouraged to review final reports that the Candidate is considering submitting to the Committee. The Supervisor should offer guidance to the Candidate as to whether he/she thinks that the report is a suitable one to submit for final approval.
- By contrast, mid-training reports can and should be reviewed by the Forensic Mental Health Supervisor and the version submitted to the Committee should be the final product, including edits and changes made by the Supervisor.
- Although the reports are “redacted”, nonetheless care must be taken in preserving confidentiality from individuals other than the DFP Committee. Therefore, reports should not be submitted across the Internet, unless appropriate security precautions have been taken (e.g., encryption). Candidates need to obtain specific permission from the Chair of the DFP Committee before submitting reports across the internet using secure technology.
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