For legal aid to be granted for an supplementary/updated social assessment report in a child protection matter the following tests must be satisfied:
- The applicant is the separate representative who has been provided aid for the substantive matter, and
- The applicant meets the merits test, and
- Inspection of all available material has been undertaken, and
- The matter would be significantly prejudiced without the report being obtained, and
- The separate representative is able to certify that a social assessment report/other expert report is necessary to assist the court in its determination of the issues, and
- A substantial time has elapsed since the writing of the report that impacts on the probative value of the report (usually at least six months), and
- There are significant changes in the circumstances of the child/ren or the parties e.g. a change that, if it had occurred prior to the writing of the report, may have resulted in a significantly different conclusion in the report, and
- Any existing reports held by the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women are not sufficient to assist the court in its determination of the matter
Requests for an interstate report writer are determined by the Assistant Director Grants.
When seeking a grant of aid for a social assessment report the practitioner must lodge an extension of aid request through Grants Online along with the appropriate checklist.
Grant(s) of aid
The grant of aid for a social worker to prepare an updated social and family assessment report is SW9.
The grant of aid for a psychologist to prepare an updated social and family assessment report is PY14.
Review of decisions
A decision to refuse legal aid for this type of matter may be appealed to the external review officer (refer to review of decisions).