Assessments and Evaluations

Leigh Anne Goldstine of Built to Bond has extensive experience working with sufferers of childhood trauma, abuse and neglect. She has testified many counties in East Tennessee, as well as Florida, Georgia and Missouri, being tendered as an expert witness in bonding and attachment.  

As a licensed, certified professional, Leigh Anne is often called upon to administer bonding assessments, attachment assessments, custody evaluations and parental fitness evaluations to address concerns for a child's welfare during divorce, foster care and adoption proceedings.

Bonding Assessments

Attached relationships are critical in child development, as the quality of a child’s early attachments is directly related to their ability to develop healthy relationships and to mature in a psychologically healthy manner over their lifetime.

When an attached relationship is threatened or severed, trauma will likely result. Interrupted bonding, whatever its origin, can take a huge toll on emotional health and well-being.

Bonding Assessments are often requested by social services agencies, courts and attorneys in situations where feedback is needed in deciding whether to work toward a return of custody versus exploring options such as termination of parental rights, guardianship, change of placement, continued foster placement or adoption.

Parental Fitness Evaluation

A parental fitness evaluation might be ordered by the court at the request of one parent to judge the fitness of the other.  Another circumstance is when the parent of a child who has been placed in foster care wants to regain custody.

A licensed professional performs a parental fitness evaluation to identify aspects of a parent's lifestyle, habits and psychological state that might cause harm to the child. In cases of custody disputes, a fitness evaluation determines if a parent is capable of meeting the emotional and physical needs of the child.

A fitness evaluation is not the same as a custody evaluation, as a custody evaluation results in a recommendation of which parent is best suited as the child's primary custodian while a fitness evaluation judges if a parent is qualified to care for a child.

Attachment Assessments

At times, assessment of a child's attachment style/pattern is needed for therapeutic planning and placement stabilization purposes.  At Built to Bond, Inc., this assessment is three-pronged to enable the assessor to gain as much information as possible regarding the child's functioning.

  • A full developmental history will be obtained.
  • Symptomatic and diagnostic information will be obtained.
  • Current and past caregivers’ attachment history will be obtained.

Information will be obtained about the family context and a determination of attachment patterns will be made, indicating appropriate modalities for therapeutic treatment.

To report suspected child abuse in Tennessee, call 877-237-0004