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Improving the competency and accountability of family report writers

Family law
Publication date

In late October 2021 we released a consultation paper on 'Improving the competency and accountability of family report writers' following recommendations from the Australian Law Reform Commission and the Joint Select Committee's review into the family law system. We received 96 submissions from stakeholders and have summarised the responses to the questions in the Consultation Paper in a summary report.

We asked stakeholders 17 core questions about the following key issues:

  • Family report requirements – including whether 'family report' or 'family report writer' should be defined in legislation, and the content requirements of a family report.
  • Family report writer competency – including skills, training, registration, and suitability screening.
  • Quality assurance and oversight mechanisms – including audits and reviews, and whether there is sufficient information available to the public about family report writers.
  • Complaints avenues – including the entities best placed to investigate complaints, potential use of existing regulatory mechanisms, and approaches to managing issues and risks such as vexatious complaints
  • Potential implementation approaches – including the entities best placed to improve the competency and quality of family report writers and family reports.