Hi, my boyfriend and his ex wife (wife at the time) were ordered by the judge to have a custody evaluation done by a LCSW, after my boyfriend’s mother recieved temporary custody when he and his wife were making abuse and psychological accusations against eachother.
The judge wanted the LCSW to not only interview he and his wife but the grandparents. Hopefully that is not the case for you, because my boyfriend’s mother told the LCSW so much bullsh*t that the woman ended up writing a bad report and said it was her recommendation that the minor child stay with the grandmother at that time.
Anyway, basically they ask you a series of questions, about what went on in the marriage, about how you raised your child and how you plan to do so, and yes they will delve into your past to see how it might possibly affect your child’s future. They will assess whether you understand the responsibilities of child rearing and whether you are appropriate with your child, whether you understand child development or not. If you have any mental illnesses or are jumpy in thought this will count against you (my bf is actually bipolar and also seems to be ADHD, and he will go from one subject to the other and that definitely counted against him, because the lady claimed he was not fluid in thought and inconsistent and supposedly didn’t understand childhood development.)
In their case, they had to be evaluated with their daughter as well, and you are scrutinized. They observe to see how your child reacts to you, reacts with you, and whether they respect you and seem to have a bond with you, and also observe your behavior with them and whether you steer them towards child appropriate activities or not.
They did not have any sort of home visit by the LCSW, they had to go to her office and be seen in an unnatural environment rather than their own, I guess because people feel way too comfortable in their own environments.
I would do these things, if you haven’t already had your evaluation: (I notice your post was written in March)
Arrive on time, be well dressed but not overly so, clean, not in a disarray. Sleep well the night before so you’re well rested and not jumbled in thought. Have some coffee, but not too much so you don’t seem overly wired.
Be polite and respectful to the person doing the evaluation the entire time. Make a good impression. Make clear to them without being forceful, just how much your child means to you, and explain to them your plans for raising them. Read up on a child care and child development book before going, if possible. Know your stuff, without sounding like a textbook (rehearsed, not a good thing. It comes off fake.)
Be honest and open about everything.
Good luck to you and hope this has helped.