Qld Section of the APS College of Forensic Psychologists. MEMBERS SURVEY RESULTS (May 2015)

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1 Qld Section of the APS College of Forensic Psychologists MEMBERS SURVEY RESULTS (May 2015) Response rate A total of 35 responses were received, representing 49% of Full members (30/61) and 100% of Associate (3/3) and Academic members (1/1). Only one student member (1/39) and no affiliate members (0/9) responded. Overall, responses were received from 31% of Qld CFP members across all grades. PROFILE OF MEMBERS CFP Member Grade Most respondents were Full members (86%) of the CFP. Other respondents included Associate (8%), Academic (3%) and Student (3%) members. Geographical distribution Approximately half of respondents lived/worked in the Brisbane metropolitan area (51%), followed by North Qld (17%), the Gold Coast (14%), Sunshine Coast (5%), and other rural/regional areas (11%). Areas of practice endorsement Not surprisingly, the vast majority of respondents were endorsed in the area of Forensic Psychology (97%). Other areas of endorsement included clinical (34%), educational and developmental (11%), health (9%) and organisational (6%). One respondent was completing a forensic psychology registrar program towards endorsement. Board-approved supervision status (Forensic Psychology) Sixty percent of respondents held both primary and secondary supervisory status for the Forensic Psychology registrar program, while 6% held secondary only and the reminder (34%) held neither. Current employment context The majority of respondents worked in private practice (82%) and/or government organisation (30%), university/tertiary education (27%) and non-government organisation (6%) settings. Areas of current forensic practice Respondents reported working in a variety of areas of practice including: adult forensic mental health (58%), criminal law (45%), victims of crime (39%), corrections (36%), family law (36%), child protection (27%), civil injury (27%), child and youth forensic mental health (21%), youth justice (18%), immigration (12%) and forensic disability (9%). Other areas of practice nominated by one or two respondents included guardianship, testamentary capacity, police and mediation. Prepared by Diane Barber (Chair) and Dr Tim Lowry (Deputy Chair), Qld CFP Committee

2 Forensic services currently provided by college members Respondents reported providing the following forensic psychology services: interventions for forensic populations (73%), forensic assessment (70%), expert witness (52%), programs for forensic populations (30%), consultancy (27%), teaching/training (24%), research (21%), supervision of forensic registrars (21%) and alternative dispute resolution (12%). Other self-nominated areas included pre-court counselling and child-focused mediation (family law areas). Particular areas of expertise Forty eight percent of respondents identified as being an expert in a particular area of forensic practice. The nominated areas of expertise included: forensic mental health, stalking/fixation, risk assessment, sexual offending, substance abuse, mental illness, youthful offenders, young victims, family court, child safety, QCAT, indigenous offending, group interventions, and teaching/training/curriculum development. Future plans Most respondents (91%) indicated that they intend to continue working in the area of forensic psychology for at least the next 5 years. Some respondents (17%) were completing additional post-graduate training (e.g. PhDs, Masters/ Doctorate in clinical psychology). Some associate members expressed an interest in upgrading to full membership, however were uncertain how to do this (without being required to undertake post-graduate training). The greatest challenges or concerns for forensic psychologists A number of challenges or concerns were identified by 86% of respondents. These included: Lack of recognition of expertise and lack of understanding of forensic psychology as a speciality, both within psychology (i.e. compared to other colleges, e.g. clinical) and in the community (e.g. legal profession, court, MHSA, DPSOA). Lack of recognition of advanced forensic training in the public service and by employers Poor rebates and financial remuneration for level of training and responsibility Misunderstanding and misperceptions regarding forensic psychology (versus psychiatry) Limited access to training and closure of forensic psychology programs Limited opportunities for career progression and development A lack of specific forensic psychology PD opportunities, especially in regional areas Concern that psychologists without forensic psychology training are able to undertake forensic work Limited opportunities and networking/peer support with other forensic psychologists Low (and decreasing numbers) of forensic psychologists Limited number of, and limited access to, forensic psychology supervisors Lack of funding to treat forensic populations Lack of training in managing court presentations and testimony Lack of support from the APS for forensic psychologists Challenges in managing private practice (clinical, financial and other obligations) Prepared by Diane Barber (Chair) and Dr Tim Lowry (Deputy Chair), Qld CFP Committee

3 PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT Current PD activities To meet their College CPD requirements, most respondents reported engaging in reading research/literature (90%), followed by peer support (74%), professional supervision (61%), attending various PD events (58% non-aps events; 54% conferences; 48% CFP-hosted events; 42% employer training), participating in webinars (29%), and completing online training (16%). Almost one-third of respondents (29%) reported finding it difficult to meet their CPD requirements for various reasons, such as geographic location (not available/accessible), scheduling difficulties, cost of event or travel required, loss of income (time out of private practice), and competing work pressures. Areas for further training When presented with social justice issues of interest for training, respondents prioritised the following: Child pornography (74%) Victims of sexual abuse (Royal Commission) (68%) Domestic violence (61%) Transcultural practice (52%) Terrorism (52%) Indigenous mental health (48%) Other areas identified as being of interest to respondents for further training, included: Expert evidence and court testimony Assessment in family court and report writing Psychological autopsies Risk assessment tools and other forensically-relevant tools Assessment/intervention with special populations (e.g. indigenous, intellectually impaired, CALD) Intervention and management of adult and child offenders (sexual and violent) Victim assessment and intervention Interventions for trauma (offender and victim) (e.g. EMDR) Assessment/interventions with complex populations (e.g. personality disordered, problematic behaviours) and in various forensic contexts (e.g. family law) Delivering group interventions/programs in forensic context Forensic mental health Illicit substances and offending Terrorism and violent extremism Psychopharmacology Developments in forensic psychology and criminology Working with stakeholders Ethical practice and boundaries/defensive practice/management of complaints Orientation to forensic practice in Qld Prepared by Diane Barber (Chair) and Dr Tim Lowry (Deputy Chair), Qld CFP Committee

4 Preferred formats for professional development activities While workshops and seminars were the preferred options for professional development (74%), respondents requested other formats including (in preferential order), video recordings (e.g. YouTube), webinars/live video conferences, and on-line content. In terms of social activities and linking with other College members, respondents indicated a preference for a social meeting with an attached professional development activity (71%), connecting via a LinkedIn Group (48%) or peer support network group (45%), and an annual CFP social dinner (45%). Requests were made for PD events to be held outside the Brisbane metropolitan area (for rural and regional members) and to be scheduled during the work day (for members with family commitments). Possible presenters A number of potential presenters/trainers were nominated by respondents, including: Dr Martine Powell Dr Douglas Boer Prof. Jim Ogloff Prof. Paul Mullen Prof. Mark Dadds Dr Chris Lennings and Dr Katie Seidler Dr Kate Barelle and Shandon Harris-Hogan (terrorism) Dr Ben Jones (working with separated families) Dr Joe Sullivan (Ireland)(child exploitation) Relationships Australia Dr Michele Pathe COMMITTEE ACTIVITIES Ranking of Committee s proposed strategic initiatives Professional development was prioritised as the most important strategy of interest to members (51%), followed (in order of priority) by strategies for connecting CFP members locally and national, policy law and reform submissions, public relations and stakeholder consultancy. Primary roles and deliverables of the Qld CFP Committee The primary roles of the committee were nominated by respondents as being: Advocacy for members and promotion of the field of forensic psychology, both within psychology and in the broader community Organising and providing access to CPD Facilitating opportunities to network and connect with other forensic psychologists Provision of information, updates and developments in forensic psychology to members Media input Reform submissions Career development opportunities Prepared by Diane Barber (Chair) and Dr Tim Lowry (Deputy Chair), Qld CFP Committee

5 Willingness of members to assist with the College initiatives Approximately two thirds of respondents indicated they would be willing to attend learning institutions to promote forensic psychology (61%), while others indicated they would be willing to deliver training to the membership (35%) and/or assist in organising CFP-hosted professional development activities (32%) or social events (19%); organising or participating in stakeholder consultancy or networking (35%); establishing solutions for rural/regional members to access PD (29%); providing relevant media comments (23%), participating in radio/tv interviews (23%) or writing media articles (16%); sharing professional literature (23%); and, preparing or reviewing policy submissions or discussion papers (19%). Nineteen percent of respondents indicated they would not be willing or available to assist with any of these activities. Over a third of respondents indicated they would attend Qld CFP committee meeting (39%). A number of respondents (68%) provided their contact details and agreed to be contacted by the committee. Prepared by Diane Barber (Chair) and Dr Tim Lowry (Deputy Chair), Qld CFP Committee

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