Improving the competency and accountability of family report writers

Closed 17 Dec 2021

Opened 22 Oct 2021


Family report writers play an essential role in family law parenting matters before the family law courts.

Family report writers are from the professions of social work, psychology or psychiatry. They prepare reports that provide information and recommendations about parenting arrangements following separation that are in the best interests of the child or children.

They also play an important role in obtaining and representing children's views to the court. The parties involved, their legal representatives, and judges consider family reports when resolving parenting disputes.

Reports and public inquiries have raised concerns about the quality of family reports and some of the professionals involved in preparing the reports. This includes:

The Australian Government agreed in principle with ALRC recommendation 53, that the Attorney-General's Department should develop a mandatory national accreditation scheme for private family report writers on the basis that it supports ensuring professionals in the family law system are appropriately qualified, trained and accountable.

The government has published a consultation paper as part of its commitment to explore options to improve the competency, quality and overall number of professionals involved in writing family reports.

Download our consultation paper

The consultation paper - Improving the competency and accountability of family report writers has been prepared to provide information and identify matters that are important for Government’s consideration of this issue. We strongly encourage you to download, read and refer to this paper as you share your views in response to the questions raised.

Why your views matter

This paper seeks views from stakeholders and interested members of the public to help us consider how the competency and accountability of professionals who prepare family reports could be improved.

Have your say

To make a submission, you can either:

Make a submission online,
Upload your submission as an attachment. Do this by navigating to the end of the online submission questions.

The closing date for submissions has been extended to 17 December 2021.

Contact us

Family Report Writers
Attorney-General's Department
3-5 National Circuit


  • Government
  • Family