Lord Justice Ryder’s call for Social Workers to be present in family law court cases to provide witness evidence has been attacked by a leading family expert.
Doctor Judith Freedman, Head of Consortium of Expert Witnesses stated;
‘I have nothing against the role of social worked, I wish that social workers were able to the work better.’
Dr Judith Freedman went onto claim that social workers are trained to deal with family situations but are not trained in mental health assessments and disagreed with Sir James Munby, president of the family division who claimed that social workers are the new experts in family law situations.
‘I just hope that when the president, Lord Justice Ryder and Mr Douglas go to hospital to have an operation, they can look forward to being operated on by social workers.’
She said that her 600 members have been confused by the mixed messages given by Lord Justice Ryder regarding the reforms announced last year.
Last year government plans were to weed out incompetent psychologists and other family experts in order to save time and money after 65% of expert reports were deemed as poor quality.
Lib Dem MP John Hemming, who campaigns for family law reform, last year said that he “welcomed” the move after explaining that some experts are responsible for life-changing decisions without the back up of social witnesses.
He told MPs that “The idea that psychologists can come to conclusions about people and their merits as parents without even seeing them is an absurdity.”
Experts can play a serious role in family law court cases regarding whether parents are fit to care for their children of whether their psychological problems are treatable. However 20% of psychologists used as experts in family court cases are not deemed as qualified.
Family solicitors in Kent and solicitors Maidstone are qualified to provide professional advice and information on all types of Family Law cases and news. Solicitors specialising in Family Law need to stay alert for the latest Family Law News in order to keep clients up to date.