What is a Child Impact Report?
A Child Impact Report is often ordered by the Court during proceedings and is prepared by a Court Child Expert. A Court Child Expert is a qualified psychologist or social worker who specialises in children and family issues after separation.
The purpose of the report is to establish the needs, experiences and feelings of children in relation to the matter before the Court. The Report is provided by the court and there is no cost for either party.
A number of issues are considered by the Expert, which include:
- The developmental stage of the child;
- The relationship of the child with each parent or other carer involved in the proceedings;
- Risk factors (i.e., family violence or child abuse); and
- The capacity of all parties to be interviewed.
The Report will focus on how these issues impact the children involved in disputes, as well as how the issues might affect parenting. The assessment is completed in two parts.
Part 1: Parent Meeting
Each parent meets with the Court Child Expert separately. In this meeting, the Court Child Expert will identify risks which may impact the children, as well as discussing parenting.
Part 2: Child Meeting
The Court Child Expert will the meet with the child or children. This is conducted on a different day and if there is more than one child, they may meet with them separately or together.
The children will then be given the opportunity to discuss their feelings and experiences in relation to their current family situation.
After the Child Impact Report is completed, it is then provided to the court for release to the parties.