1Vilnius University Medical Faculty Psychiatric Clinic, Vilnius 4, Lithuania
Forensic child and adolescent psychiatry is an important subspecialty of child and adolescent psychiatry. Child and Adolescent forensic assessment is the element of penal or civil court process, and play an important role in assisting the judiciary in many complicated cases, especially where expert child and adolescent psychiatry knowledge is needed. In Lithuania the main role of forensic psychiatrists is to carry out forensic psychiatry research, prepare expert conclusions and answer the questions raised in judiciary decision; in case of mental illness due to which court deems the person to be unsound or of diminished responsibility, expert forensic psychiatrist recommends the most suited compulsory inpatient and outpatient psychiatric treatment. Forensic patient treatment in Lithuania is separate from forensic evaluation and is carried out by psychiatrists working in the centres for psychological health located closest to the location of residence of the patient, or in the specialised Rokiskis Psychiatric Hospital. Lithuanian child and adolescent forensic psychiatry, as a subspecialty, can be traced to the establishment of a specialised department for child and adolescent forensic psychiatry under Governmental Forensic Psychiatry Centre in 2009. Until then all forensic psychiatry expert reports were delivered by forensic psychiatry experts (not specifically specialised in child forensic psychiatry). The present paper aims to briefly review the past (the creation of the law basis and the preparation of child psychiatrists and psychologists) and present situation (the review of the expert practice of forensic child and adolescent psychiatry), and to determine the main future directions.