MEDIATOR’S ASSESSMENT OF SAFETY ISSUES AND CONCERNS-SHORT
(MASIC-S) FOR PARTIES WHO ARE THE PARENTS OF THE CHILDREN IN THE CASE, OR WHO ARE CURRENTLY OR WERE PREVIOUSLY SPOUSES OR SIGNIFICANT OTHERS
Modified, shortened version (Rossi, Applegate, Beck, Timko & Holtzworth-Munroe, 2022; Rossi, Applegate, Tomlinson & Holtzworth-Munroe, 2023) of the original MASIC (Holtzworth-Munroe, Beck, & Applegate, 2010)
PARTY EVALUATION FORM
ADMINISTERED VERBALLY IN FAMILY LAW CASES
NOTES AND INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE SCREENER
- For more detailed instructions about each of these notes or instructions, and more detailed information about the MASIC-S (including citations and references to supporting research), review the Comprehensive Guidance for Using the MASIC-S (“Comprehensive Guidance”). We recommend that screeners review the Comprehensive Guidance before their first time using the MASIC-S. CLICK HERE FOR COMPREHENSIVE GUIDANCE
- For a short video introduction of the MASIC-S, click here.
WHAT IS THE MASIC-S?
- SCREEN FOR IPV/A: The MASIC-S screens for intimate partner violence and abuse (“IPV/A”, also known as domestic violence or “DV”) and related concerns between current or past intimate partners (spouses or significant others). The questions in the MASIC-S primarily address behaviors that are associated with severe or concerning levels of DV. After you complete a MASIC-S screen with each party, you will be prompted to consider:
Does the party need to be referred to a DV advocate?
Based on both parties’ reports, is this case appropriate for some form of mediation?
If this case is appropriate for mediation, are accommodations needed for either party or both parties to help ensure a safe, voluntary, and appropriate mediation process?
- May the parties mediate together in joint session, or
- May the parties mediate directly for some or all of the mediation, remotely (online), or
- Should the case be conducted entirely in shuttle format, either in person or remote (online)?
- What additional accommodations are needed for each party to help ensure a safe, voluntary, and appropriate mediation process?
WHEN CONDUCTING THE INTERVIEWS:
- ORDER OF SCREENING: For male/female couples, we recommend screening the female party first unless there is information to suggest that the female party is perpetuating IPV on the male party. See Comprehensive Guidance for what to do if you conclude that mediation is not appropriate for the case after screening the first party.
- CLINICAL JUDGMENT: The term “clinical judgment” in this tool means the application of one’s knowledge, skills, abilities, and experiences in making decisions about the appropriate process and/or services to be offered to the parties.
- DO NOT EDIT THE MASIC-S QUESTIONS: Ask each question exactly as it is written, except to 1) substitute the other party’s name for [the other party], and 2) use pronouns (e.g., he/she/they).
- QUESTIONS MARKED AS RECOMMENDED BUT OPTIONAL: The decision whether to ask these questions is discretionary with the mediator or mediation program.
- QUESTIONS MARKED AS REQUIRED: These questions must be asked.
- DO NOT OFFER “DON’T KNOW” AS AN OPTION: Only mark “don’t know” as a response if the party truly is unable to respond to a question. (Note that these will be scored as “Yes” answers.)
- HOW TO RESPOND TO PARTY QUESTIONS ABOUT THE MASIC-S QUESTIONS ASKED OF AND ANSWERED BY THE OTHER PARTY: See the Comprehensive Guidance for suggested responses to these questions.
IDENTIFYING AND REFERRING TO THE PARTIES AND OTHERS:
- “OTHER PARTY”: This refers to “the other parent, other spouse, or significant other in the case. We recommend using the other party’s name verbally (rather than saying “the other party”) during the screening, if this is possible.
- DO NOT RECORD ANY IDENTIFYING INFORMATION ON THE FORMS: When typing in details to questions, do not type in any names or initials. We suggest these abbreviations:
- Use “Mo” for “Mother,” and “StepMo” for “Stepmother”
- Use “Fa” for “Father,” and “StepFa” for “Stepfather”
- With same sex couples, use Male/Female/Nonbinary “Party 1” and “Party 2” and comparable derivatives listed above.
- When referring to child/ren: If one child, use “child.” Otherwise “younger” or “youngest,” “older” or “oldest,” “middle,” or another appropriate adjective before “child.”
- USE “SURVIVOR” RATHER THAN “VICTIM”: Do not describe the interviewee as a “victim.” If a label is necessary, use the term “survivor.”
DISCLAIMER OF LIABILITY:
- DISCLAIMER: The MASIC-S (including the current version and any and all prior, future, and derivative versions) is intended for screening purposes only and does not provide any formal diagnosis of anyone screened or discussed in screening. The MASIC-S authors have no legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy and/or completeness of information obtained though screening done with the MASIC-S, or for evaluations and/or recommendations made based upon information obtained through MASIC-S screening. Users of the MASIC-S, or information obtained through MASIC-S screening, are deemed to have accepted the conditions set forth in this disclaimer.