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Corrupt Dishonest Social Workers and Family Reports

Family Law

Does anyone know what to do when the social worker that does the family report takes in the truth and turns it out in the form of a report that has no resemblance to the truth, what to do when they twist the truth, lie and when thats not enough just fabricate.

Last edit: by kenmich

People who do this are known as "hired guns" It is essential that you report them to the relevant Registration Board. I did this with the Family Report writer in my case who did practically the same and is now under investigation by the NSW Psychologists Registration Board, and the Health Care Complaints Commission.

Professionals have a "duty of care" as well as a code of conduct they should abide by.

I am sure that Social Workers are now registered, so there must be a board that hears complaints about them.

You can also make a complaint to the Court, although you may not get far, but worth a try.

There is a move to get rid of them, "Family Reports" they are useless and unnecessary in family law matters but this is going to take some time. They serve only to inflame the situation as you like I have experienced.

Last edit: by Calista


First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.  M K Gandhi
Hi Calista
I spent an entire afternoon rigning ombusmen and government departments trying to find out where to lodge a complaint about this man. In SA the rule is if its a Family Law Court ordered report the social worker can lie all they want and there is NO avenue for complaint. He lies and fabricates all he wants and then puts it in front of the magistrate, we then must prove the report wrong which is all but impossible we've been told. The Family Report my brother has is completely the opposite to the 2 supervised centre reports, if the social worker were telling the truth how could that be? My mother and myself are furious at the utter rubbish he has written. Would be great if you could post the message above onto the The Border Watch newspaperforum, I have written a letter to the editor and it is being commented on, the web address keeps getting deleted on here.

Moderator Note
"In SA the rule is if its a Family Law Court ordered report the social worker can lie all they want and there is NO avenue for complaint".
This is an absurd statement
Calista said
There is a move to get rid of them, "Family Reports" they are useless and unnecessary in family law matters but this is going to take some time. They serve only to inflame the situation as you like I have experienced.
 
I would not say that Family Reports are useless and unnecessary, they do have an important role. They provide an opportunity for the judicial officer to have insight into the facts in issue and the family dynamics, it is an independent source of information for the courts. While the report writers themselves will have various ideologies, the facts in issue of a particular case will still be explored in the report. Not everyone is going to be happy with the recommendations of the report (although sometimes both parties will be), that is the nature of the beast, but one of the most important things that you can take away from the family report is looking at the issues from other perspectives. We have all been guilty of wearing blinkers when it comes to family law matters at some time or another.

The family report is only one part of the jigsaw puzzle for judicial officers.  

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on the site (Look for the Avatars).   Be mindful what you post in the public areas
Family Reports are only useful when written in a professional and unbiased manner, my brothers was not. It is not a matter of not liking the outcome it is a matter of being disgusted with the amount of utter rubbish and fabrication a so called professional can put into one document.

Let me give you some examples:

The truth: My brother was asked if he ever took drugs. My brother, wanting to be honest, told him he had tried dope when he was a teenager, and hasn't taken drugs since (hes 35yo now). Translation in Family Report: He had a serious drug problem when he was younger.

The truth: My family has driven 550km to be there at every court and mediation hearing for the last year; we phone him everyday to keep his spirits up. Translation in Family Report: He has no family support.

The truth: His daughter jumps up down and yells "there's my daddy". Translation in Family Report: No real relationship with daughter
It is a critical state of affairs one being taken up further, as you read in my posting above, there is now a drive to get rid of them.  Family Reports in a lot of cases are harmful, and in some cases serve no purpose but to seriously harm a party causing psychological injury, not to mention damage to the children!

I let the Attorney General Robert McClelland know about the conduct of the Family Report writer in my case (and the Independent Children's Lawyer).  His reply was "Where a party has concerns about the actions or conduct of the independent children's lawyer or family counsellor, these should be addressed to the court registry that appointed them to the case."   (It was not a court counsellor in my case, but a psychologist appointed by the court in private practice to write the Family Report. I only saw this person once, and then again in court).

"If the independent children's lawyer was funded through legal aid, your concerns could be addressed to the relevant Legal Aid Commission."

I let the person know who appointed the Family Report writer in my case, and their reply was that as you appealing it should be dealt with then.

However, it was NOT at appeal level.  It was totally ignored, despite the evidence and transcript demonstrating this person's unprofessionalism, and lack of credibility.   (This is alarming!  But has provided evidence about our judicial system and this information will be fed back to the Attorney General and the media and personally followed up by myself).

This is of great concern because this Family Report writer has enormous capacity to harm many generations of families and this needs to be stopped. This is unethical and malpractice and is occuring throughout our courts across Australia.

The media is the best way to go.  I will definitely make a post on that site.  Did you check this person's credentials?  I believe they are now registering Social Workers as they can set themselves up for medicare rebates, so they must have some registration board or body somewhere.  Make a complaint to the Health Care Complaints Commission, this person needs investigation and exposure.  It's defamation.

I'm investigating suing the Family Report writer in my case.

I know how you feel. Take care.  Hang in there.

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.  M K Gandhi
Hi - You could try the Australian Association of Social Workers.

http://www.aasw.asn.au/whatwedo/complaints-management

They say social workers take their jobs pretty seriously and have a strict code of conduct to follow.
I've tried the Australian Assoc of Social Workers he is registered but they will not accept a complaint on a family law court report, I've tried the Health Care Commision, I don't know how many departments I tried and was told the same thing, can't complain, have to address it in court, for us that is just not good enough.

I have not tried Legal Aid or the Attorney General though, thanks for those ideas I will def follow up those tomorrow. On the Border Watch site there is a woman who has given her address who I'm going to contact she is hoping to get a group together I think to start changing these things for both men and women, you sound like a great person to talk to her. If your interested the contact address is on there. We have also contacted the social worker involved and told him we will be investigating legal action against him, if he thinks he can lie like that and get away with it hes very wrong, we will not stop until he is discredited as if hes doing it to us hes doing it to others as well.

IMPLICATIONS FOR AUSTRALIAN EXPERT WITNESSES

Alert - United Kingdom Supreme Court Abolishes Expert Witness Immunity
04 May 2011
Expert Witnesses Open To Claims For Negligent Expert Reports.

Jones v Kaney [2011] UKSC 13; [2011] 2WLR 823

On 30 March 2011, the United Kingdom Supreme Court abolished the immunity previously enjoyed by experts for testimony given in court proceedings. Although the case involved a claim for negligence by the party who retained the expert in question, and was a personal injuries matter, the court said expert witness immunity could no longer be justified on public policy grounds.

Some members of the court indicated that in future cases in both the criminal and matrimonial jurisdictions, the court would take the opportunity to confirm the immunity no longer existed in those jurisdictions.

The court did not abolish the immunity witnesses (expert or non-expert) generally enjoy for making defamatory comments in the course of giving evidence.

Although the court acknowledged that in some other common law jurisdictions, including Australia, there had been recent decisions upholding immunity for expert witnesses, these decisions had not generally been the subject of full discussion of the issue at high appellate levels. It also noted the trend in some jurisdictions away from upholding the immunity.

In concluding that the immunity should no longer exist, the court indicated the mere fact it had existed in one form or another for some 400 years was not a sufficient justification for its retention. Neither were arguments its abolition might discourage witnesses from testifying or cause them conflict with their duties to their clients and the court, or that its abolition would lead to trials within trials and lack of certainty about outcomes of decisions.

Rather, the court found the absence of any immunity would encourage experts to be more cautious and professional about how they provided reports and testimony, and to be more measured and realistic in the advice that they provided to clients. The court also considered the experts were well-placed through insurance or qualifying their retainers to achieve reasonable protection from suit.

This is a landmark decision which, if applied in Australia, would have enormous significance to the conduct of expert witnesses in proceedings generally.

It requires the experts to revisit their practices in respect of retainers, the provision of expert reports - both written and oral - and a presentation of their evidence.








Minter Ellison proposes to conduct interactive seminars in our Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane offices in relation to this decision.

Please register your interest in attending by emailing

melissa.adam@minterellison.com

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http://www.minterellison.com.au/public/connect/Internet/Home/Legal%2BInsights/Alerts/NA-United%2BKingdom%2BSupreme%2BCourt/pagedesign=printfriendly.html

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.  M K Gandhi
It seems to be a real mixed bag when it comes to family consultants.

I had to attend a family conference late last year, and given some of the comments about report writers on these forums, I approached this interview with much anxiety.  I was prepared for anything, but not sure what to expect.

Contrary to what has been written above, I found our consultant to be polite and professional.  Ex had her session prior to me, and fired off the usual allegations of neglect, stating that I was solely responsible for everything from climate change down i.e. she went on the attack immediately.  This obviously got the report writer offside, so when I entered the room and rebutted her allegations one-by-one, the writer was empathetic - if not almost sympathetic to my position.

This was reflected in the report, and during her written evaluation and final recommendations, it was strongly recommend that I should have what I was asking for.

My case was a relocation matter, which are notoriously difficult to successfully oppose.  Walking into the interview, I felt like I was standing on the middle of a seesaw, and it could have teetered either way.  But it was obvious that because Ex went straight into attack mode, her goose was cooked in the first 5 minutes of the interview.  Diametrical to this, after her 'stories' were dealt with, I refused to be drawn into any form of questioning that could lead me down the path of being seen to attack Ex.  My discussions never diverged from what I thought was in the best interest of the kids.  Because of this approach, I believe won a stack of credibility.

I think it has a lot to do with they way you both prepare for and behave in the interview.  The moment you let the topic of conversation wander away for what is in the best interest of the children, you are leaving yourself open for a sound thrashing when the report is published.  Never ever bag out the other side, even if drawn into that line of questioning by the report writer.

If the matter proceeds to trial, then a good magistrate will simply use the report as another piece of the puzzle, as has already been mentioned.  Once at trial, a whole range of other evidence needs to be taken into consideration.  From what I have seen ( and I have seen lots ), those who were not child focused whilst under cross-examination, usually had heavy-handed treatment by their report writer and the tide went against them when judgement was handed down.

But I have no doubt that there's some jaded report writers out there who will take an instant dislike to some people and they will be shafted accordingly, so attending an interview with a family consultant can be like playing Russian Roulette.
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