To assist the Family Court in situations related to care and custody of minors and access issues in cases of separation, by providing professional assessments and recommendations through the expertise of a team of professionals who are appointed by Aġenzija Appoġġ.
In situations deemed appropriate by the Judge of the Family Court, a social worker is appointed to prepare a court report. Following an assessment the social worker prepares a social report giving recommendations relating to care and custody of minors or on other issues as the Family Court may deem appropriate.
In cases of separation and co-habitation, Court Services may be appointed by the Family Court to investigate allegations of abuse on minors. As part of the investigation, Court Experts (at times also with the involvement of the Child Protection Services) interview the parents and children as well as other professionals who are or have been in contact with the family. The Court Expert will draw up recommendations, taking into consideration the feedback from all the parties involved. The Court Expert acts independently from other professionals and the final recommendation reflects entirely his/her professional judgement as an expert of the Court. These recommendations are presented to the Judge/Magistrate who ultimately issues the final decision.
Through the Court Monitoring Service, a social work professional appointed by the Court, continues to follow the family through home visits, office visits, school visits, access visits and other sessions which may be deemed necessary to continue providing a follow-up on the case.
The service is carried out by contracted professionals and supervised by professionals within the Court Services of Aġenzija Appoġġ personnel.
Aims & Objectives
This service assists the Family Court Judges/Magistrates in decisions relating to the Care & Custody, and/or access of children, in an impartial and objective way. In doing so, the service aims at:
- ensuring that the children's views are made known to the Court through representations made by the appointed Court Expert;
- ensuring that the children's interests are given paramount importance above all other interests;
- ensuring that children's rights are safeguarded and promoted during Court proceedings.