FAQs

Some of our more frequently asked questions (FAQs) are answered below. If your question isn’t answered, please consider contacting us; we’d love to hear from you.

General

Are you able to provide assessments or therapy online, or over the phone?

Usually the initial assessment will need to be carried out in person, but in some cases support thereafter maybe available online or over the phone. Please call us for more details on 01623 661 089.

Are your experts able to give evidence at a mental health tribunal?

Yes. Please call 01623 661 089 for more details.

Are your experts able to give evidence at a parole hearing?

Yes. Please call 01623 661 089 for more details.

Can you assess for autism?

Yes we can provide assessments and ongoing support. Please see our Individuals and Families section.

Can you check to see if someone has OCD?

Yes we can provide assessments, therapy and ongoing support. Please see our Individuals and Families section.

Can you diagnose depression or help with it?

Yes we are to provide assessments, therapy and ongoing support. Please see our Individuals and Families section.

Can you help with anxiety and/or phobias?

Yes we can provide assessments, therapy and ongoing support. Please see our Families and Individuals section.

Do you provide a second opinion?

Yes. However, we don’t provide results to order: our experts put high value in their professional ethics and maintain their independence at all times.

Do you provide independent social workers?

Yes. For more information about the types of experts we can provide please see our types of expert page.

Do you provide paediatricians?

Yes. For more information about the types of experts we can provide please see our types of expert page.

Do you provide psychiatrists?

Yes. For more information about the types of experts we can provide please see our types of expert page.

Do you provide psychologists?

Yes. For more information about the types of experts we can provide please see our types of expert page.

Do you provide therapy?

Yes. For more information about the types of experts we can provide please see our types of expert page.

How do I become a Carter Brown expert?

You need the relevant qualifications for your profession, a lot of experience including (preferably) a senior role, and dedication to your professional ethics. You will also need to be registered with your relevant professional body and possess professional indemnity insurance. For more details, please see Become an expert.

I’m concerned about my child’s academic achievements, can you help?

Yes, we can provide independent assessments and ongoing therapy and support. Please see our education section.

What is an expert witness?

An expert witness is someone who has knowledge not normally possessed by the average person concerning the topic that he is to testify about. Their duty is to assist the court in making their decisions.

What is the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist?

A psychiatrist is able to diagnose a mental disorder, and prescribe drugs and therapeutic measures to counter it. A psychologist may not make a formal diagnosis, but may offer an opinion and a pathway to better health. Please visit our types of expert page for further information.

What types of experts do you provide?

The main areas we cover are children, family and mental health. For that reason we offer psychologists, psychiatrists, paediatricians, independent social workers and therapists. For definitions of our experts, please visit: types of expert.

Where are you based?

Our head office is in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, but we are able to offer assessments and ongoing support throughout England and Wales through our national network of experts.

Who are Carter Brown?

Carter Brown was established in 2001 as a company to provide expert witnesses for family law cases. Since then we have expanded the range of experts we provide and the services we offer. For more information please see our about us page.

Who are Core Assets?

Core Assets is the leading children’s services provider who acquired Carter Brown in 2012. Primarily known for their work in fostering (under the name Foster Care Associates), they provide a range of services to vulnerable children and families. For more information please visit their website: www.coreassets.com

Who do you provide assessments and/or therapy for?

We provide assessments and reports for the courts, private individuals and families, local authorities, organisations and businesses. Although we started in 2001 providing expert witness reports for family law cases, we have now expanded in to criminal law, immigration law, prison law and other types of law that requires medico-legal opinion.

Why the rebrand?

There are two reasons we had a rebrand. Firstly, it is a way of aligning Core Assets’ businesses under the same umbrella, so that we can share in positive brand recognition. Secondly, since Carter Brown is expanding its range of interests to areas outside of pure expert witness work, we felt that it was time for a new look! Our business’s operation has changed very little: we are still staffed by the same people, who emulate the same high professional standards expected of our experts.

Referrals

Do you have any experts that speak languages other than English?

CBA has numerous experts who speak a variety of languages, ranging from French to Mandarin.

Do you work within the LAA rates?

Yes, all CBA experts work within the prescribed rates.

The judge will only allow the assessment if the expert can file within 4 weeks; is this possible?

Our experts are very flexible on timescales and the majority can accommodate very quick turnarounds from instruction to reporting.

What do the referrals team do?

Our referrals team are available between 9.00am – 5.00pm, Monday to Friday. They will require case information from you in order to provide you with the CVs, availability and cost estimates of our experts. We will always endeavour to provide you with a choice of 3 experts where applicable, and can provide this information within 30 minutes if necessary.

Quality Assurance

Can I have a hard copy of a report?

We always provide reports electronically for speed and efficiency. Each report will have an digitally-captured signature. However, if you do require a hard copy signature, this can be arranged, but we find that digitally-captured signatures are widely accepted by the Courts.

How are the team trained?

Our QA team have received extensive training on a variety of topics including what makes a good expert assessment, independent social work assessments (with particular emphasis on Form F assessments), giving constructive feedback, formatting and layout of reports and the family court process. All team members undergo an intensive induction process, whereby following a period of independent reading of anonymised reports their work is checked by a more experienced member of staff and case by case feedback offered. All of our ‘in house’ training for the team is delivered via interactive exercises, case vignettes and group discussion with a strong focus on making assessments as robust as they can possibly be.

All members of the team have also received training from the Society for Editors and Proofreaders regarding onscreen editing or proof reading.

I am a party to this case but not the lead solicitor; can you send me a copy of the report?

No, sorry, we will only submit the report to the lead solicitor. It is then their responsibility to distribute to the relevant parties.

What do the QA do and does this cost me extra?

Our dedicated and highly trained Quality Assurance team will ensure the quality of each report. They will read each assessment and provide comprehensive feedback to the assessor regarding spelling, grammar, formatting and content. This doesn’t cost the client anything extra – it’s all part of our service to you.

Case Handlers

Are medical records required on every psychiatric case?

Yes

Are there any cancellation charges for court attendances?

Yes. A cancellation charge of £250 plus VAT will apply if 3 working days notice are not given prior to the court hearing as per the Legal Aid Agency guidelines.

I had a cost estimate with my initial referral and now it has changed – why is this?

The estimate at referrals stage is a rough estimate based on the information given to us at the time. Once the letter of instruction is received our case handling team review all information and give a more detailed breakdown of time required. This may increase due to simple issues like the moving address since the original referral, or it could be due to more complex issues like an additional person being assessed or a capacity assessment or observations of contact being required on receipt of the Instructions

Who is my case handler and what do they do?

Your case handler will be assigned to you upon confirmation of the assessment – your case handler will be your single point of contact for the life of the assessment. A case handler will deal with all your queries during the assessment process including: court availability, cost agreements, report progress, receipt of letter of instruction and documents.

Will the report be on time?

We aim to achieve this and over 98% of all our reports are filed within the agreed date, however, we will always keep you informed of any changes or updates.

Accounts

How do we pay?

Payment can be made preferably via BACS. Our details are available upon request and are printed on all of our invoices. You may also pay via cheque or through Paypal.

How will you invoice us?

We submit all invoices via email. Invoices will be accompanied by a Schedule of Charges outlining the split of costs if applicable. All invoices will be for your share of the costs only. If other parties are responsible for a share of the costs, they will have been invoiced separately.

What are your payment terms?

For invoices made to publically funded clients, our payment terms are 56 days. Invoices to Local Authorities become payable 30 days from the date of the invoice and privately paying clients are required to pay up front, before any work commences.

Who do we make cheques payable to?

All cheques should be made out to “Carter Brown”.

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