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It is very normal to have queries about what a family assessment involves, or what ‘therapy’ or counselling involves. We hope that some of your questions will be answered below. Please feel free to contact us should you have additional queries

What are Federal Magistrates (Regulation 7) and Family Law Assessments ?

Following separation or divorce many families seek assistance of the courts in settling child access and custody issues. You may have been directed by the court (Federal Magistrates or Children’s Court) to attend for assessment or advised by your lawyer to obtain a Family assessment report.

What is our role and why does the Family Consultant prepare a report ?

The role of the family consultant is to conduct an assessment and provide a report to the Courts about your family, to advise the Courts about recommendations for access and or custody, and to provide the court with information about the services provided to families by government, community services and other agencies.

The judicial officer can direct family consultants to provide a report about the care, welfare and development of your child.

Most times, the family consultant will try to work out the views and experiences of your child and to include those views in the report. Sometimes it is not appropriate to report on a child’s views because of their age, maturity or some special circumstances.

For more information about Family Consultants we encourage you to read the following information: http://www.familycourt.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/fcoaweb/reports-and-publications/publications/child+dispute+services/family-consultants

What happens at assessment ?

We will conduct an interview with both parties separately. This interview will provide an opportunity to discuss the issues you face with your former partner, why you have been unable to reach agreement without court assistance and what you want to happen. This assessment is generally conducted with each partner individually and will take approximately two hours.

We will also spend time with the child or children and depending on their age, will assess the child’s wishes.

We are also required to conduct observations of each parent with the children to assess the relationship between the parent and child/children.

You must let us know in advance if there are any safety concerns or existing Intervention Orders so that we can make necessary arrangements prior to your arrival to ensure your safety. In order for us to best understand your case and provide you with the best possible outcome we ask that you or your legal counsel send to us all of your affidavit material and relevant court documents prior to your scheduled appointment.

Do I have to see the family consultant ?

Yes, if a family consultant has been assigned to your case. If you fail to attend any appointment with a family consultant or to follow instructions made by the family consultant, the family consultant must report this to the Courts.

Assessment Report Fees

The cost of an assessment and report depends on the issues involved in the individual case. Please contact our team for more information and to discuss the details of the particular assessment you require.

For Family Assessments please contact Artemicia Nisyrios on 0402 482 212.

For Forensic Assessments and other Psychological Assessments (ie Intellectual Assessment) please contact Steve Wright on 0422 410 400.

Confidentiality

As health practitioners we are required to abide by a strict Code of Ethics that is set by the relevant regulatory authorities. These codes protects your interests and ensures confidentiality with the exception of very particular circumstances. From December 21st, 2001, the National Privacy Principles of the Privacy Amendment (Private Sector) Act came into effect.

This Act guarantees that all personal information held by our team will remain confidential and secure except when:

  • It is subpoenaed by a court of law;
  • Failure to disclose it would place you or another person at risk;
  • You give written consent for written information to be released.
  • If we are required by legislation to release information

The information is part of the legal requirement to document what happens during sessions, and enables our team to provide relevant and informed services.

At any stage you may request to see the information kept on file. Should you wish a copy of your confidential case notes a request may be lodged in writing.

You may obtain a copy of the National Privacy Principles from the Office of the Federal Privacy Commissioner. Any complaints should be lodged with the Commissioner on 1300 363 992 or GPO Box 5218, Sydney, NSW 1042.