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Everything you need to know about a family report.
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The court or an independent children’s lawyer (if one has been appointed) may organise a family report during family law proceedings. A family report provides information about you, your children and your family to help the court identify what is in your children’s best interests. A family report is one of many documents the court will consider when making decisions about your children.
An accredited professional, such as a social worker or psychologist, will write the family report. This report writer usually has a lot of experience working with children and families. The court considers report writers to be independent experts in child and family matters.
The report writer will use the information they collect during this process to write the family report. The information you provide to the report writer cannot be kept confidential. The court can access any information collected by the report writer, even if it is not used in the final family report. If the matter goes to a hearing, the report writer may be required to give evidence at your hearing.
Once the report writer has finished writing the family report, a copy will be given to:
No one else will be given or shown a copy of the report.
Usually the parents explain the court’s decision to the children. In some instances, the report writer and the independent children’s lawyer may explain the outcome to your children when the court has made its final decision.
If you have concerns about the report, the process used, or the report writer you can talk to your lawyer (if you have one). If an independent children’s lawyer arranged the family report, you can call Legal Aid Queensland’s call centre on 1300 65 11 88. If the court arranged the family report, please contact the court registry.
Sometimes people have concerns about their safety, or their children’s safety, around other people who will be involved in the family report. It is important for the report writer to know if you are concerned about your safety or if there are protection orders in place, so steps can be taken to ensure the safety of everyone involved in the report process.
If you would like this factsheet explained in your language, please phone the Translating and Interpreting Service on 13 14 50 to speak to an interpreter. Ask them to connect you to Legal Aid Queensland. If you are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment you can contact us using the National Relay Service. To make a call, go to the National Relay Service Website and ask for 1300 65 11 88 (Legal Aid Queensland’s legal information line). These are free services.
How do I make a complaint?
Your feedback — complaints, compliments and suggestions — is welcome and we take it seriously. To make a comment about the service you received from Legal Aid Queensland, you can complete our client feedback form. This form is available at your local Legal Aid office or on our website.
writing to us at GPO Box 2449, Brisbane Qld 4001calling 1300 65 11 88 and talking to our staff emailing firstname.lastname@example.org