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A separate representative may ask for a social assessment report to help them represent your child before the Childrens Court or the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
A social assessment report includes information about your child’s history, living situation, views and wishes. It also provides an independent opinion on the best way to protect your child’s best interests.
The court will consider the report’s recommendations when deciding whether a child protection order should be put in place for your child. The tribunal will consider the report’s recommendations when making a decision.
An accredited social worker, psychologist or another professional person will write the social assessment report. They are considered by the court or tribunal to be an independent expert in child protection.
Interviews may be held with:
Interviews may be held at our office, over the phone or at the offices of other professionals involved in the case. Please contact us if you have any concerns about the report writer or how they are collecting information about your child.
The report writer will gather information about:
The report writer will also include information the Director of Child Protection Litigation (DCPL) and/or the Department of Children, Youth Justice and Multicultural Affairs (Child Safety) have presented in the case about your child, and other information provided by the separate representative.
The report writer will use their notes and interview recordings to write the social assessment report. As they have limited time to collect information and prepare the report, they will decide what is the most important information to be included in the report. All information collected by the report writer is reportable to the court or tribunal. The court, tribunal or separate representative may also ask the report writer to give evidence at your child’s hearing.
The report will contain recommendations about whether a child protection order should be made, and other matters.
A copy of your child’s social assessment report will be given to:
For confidentiality reasons, if you are not involved in the proceedings, you will not be given a copy of your child’s social assessment report.
Get legal advice. If you disagree with the report’s recommendations, please speak to a lawyer. They can let you know how you can raise these issues with the court or tribunal before decisions are made about your child.
The report writer may ask you to take part in an interview with your children’s other family and friends. If you have a lawyer, please tell them if you have a domestic violence order in place against someone who could attend these interviews or if you have any other safety concerns. Your lawyer will make arrangements to protect you and your family during this process. If you don’t have a lawyer, please speak to your child’s separate representative or the report writer.
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.
Last updated 26 November 2021