For legal aid to be granted for a social worker or psychologist to prepare an initial family report the following tests must be satisfied:
- The applicant for aid is the independent children’s lawyer (ICL), and
- There is a need for the ICL to continue their involvement in the matter, and
- Legal Aid Queensland has not previously provided funding for a family report to be prepared for these proceedings, and
- There is a current parenting application about a substantive parenting issue before the court, and
- An initial family report is required in the matter to assist the court to be able to determine a current parenting application, and
- The matter
- is listed for an interim hearing or a hearing where an interim parenting order is likely to be made, or
- trial directions have been made, or
- is listed for trial, and
- There is no court order for preparation of a report by a single expert witness, court appointed expert or family consultant under section 62G of the Family Law Act 1975 (as amended), and
- The request meets the merits test.
If a social worker or psychologist requests fees that exceed the scale of fees the request will be referred to a Grants Manager for consideration.
Requests for an interstate report writer are determined by the Assistant Director Grants.
Extension of aid requests received from preferred suppliers or in-house practitioners
When applying for an extension of aid for a family report the practitioner must lodge an extension of aid request through the Grants Online system with the appropriate information request.
Substantive parenting issue
Funding for a family report will not be available where the only issue to be determined is contravention.
Need for the ICL to continue their involvement
If at any time during the proceedings the ICL considers that the issues in dispute no longer warrant the involvement of an ICL aid should be requested to make an application to the court to be discharged.
Grant(s) of aid
The grant of aid for a social worker or psychologist to prepare an initial family report is FR1.
Extension(s) of aid
An extension of aid may be available for an updated family report if the funding guidelines are met.
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).