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(1) The licensee shall use generally accepted standards for the collection and use of data.

(2) In evaluating alternative hypotheses, licensees shall include data from several different sources and of several different types, such as interviews, testing, observations of interactions, questionnaires, and record reviews. The licensee shall be prepared to specify the reasons for collecting each kind of data and how it relates to the child's best interest.

(3) As data are collected, the licensee must keep comprehensive and detailed records. All raw data, including but not limited to test forms, handwritten notes, scribbles in margins, records of telephone conversations, observations of parent-child interaction, observations of parent-parent interaction, consultations with other professionals, or any audio or video tapes must be saved and made available for review, if necessary.

(4) Data that are not objective should not be treated as though they are. The licensee shall attempt to corroborate or rule out allegations that either parent has behaviors that affect the child detrimentally. If the licensee is not able to form a clear opinion based on objective data or data verified by multiple sources, the licensee should state this fact. If appropriate, the licensee may offer a method by which further data along any dimension might be gathered; for example, recommending that a child meet with a therapist over time, or that a parent undergo drug and alcohol assessment.

(5) If issues affecting what is in the child's best interest arise and cannot be investigated due to the limited scope of the evaluation as imposed by the court or an agency, the licensee shall report those issues to the parents, their attorneys, and the court. If issues arise that the licensee does not have the expertise to investigate or form an opinion on, another licensee or specialist who does have the required expertise should be brought in to address that issue.

History: 37-1-131, 37-22-201, MCA; IMP, 37-1-131, 37-22-102, 37-22-201, 37-23-102, MCA; NEW, 2011 MAR p. 2038, Eff. 9/23/11.

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