The inquiry into a Better Family Law system has recommended to remove all private family consultants and the consultants employed by the court and to have a new accreditation and monitoring regime to ensure professional standards are maintained.
What a great step further.
Our submission addressed your concerns, and all where highlighted by this report.
The downside of the report is that of the 33 recommendations of the committee, there is no guarantee they will be implemented, or a time frame for that to occur.
The report states: The Committee received evidence that family reports have contained significant factual errors and false information, or that were otherwise dismissive of physical assaults or downplayed violence as ‘conflict’.
The report also outlined the cost of the Family report: To address the exorbitant cost of family reports, Help Family Law recommended that the cost of family consultants be independently determined.
The committee has addressed some major concerns with family consultants, and the recommendation of the removal of all family consultants is certainly a win, but the fight is not over.
The committee has failed to address the psychiatrist and psychologist who conduct psychological assessments for the Court who are not held accountable. It also failed to address the reports that are created after people attended family therapy, with the same social workers and psychologist who are also private family consultants, who will continue doing this work and be used extensively by the Courts.
We thank everyone who responded to our questionnaire, or helped with the submission, without your support this would not have occurred.
If we do nothing then nothing will change. The committee’s report highlights that family consultants do not have the training, qualifications or experience to assess families, and that their reports are inaccurate.
Let’s use this class action as a way of placing pressure on the government so that meaningful change will occur. This is one step – a positive step forward, lets take this further.
You can view the full submission here. VIEW SUBMISSION