Who died and made Family Consultants God?
At the Family Court of Australia in Melbourne there is one Senior Female Social Worker who is employed as Senior Family Consultant, who believes she runs the Family Court. Aptly known and nicknamed (by legal profession and Victims of Violence) to most as Ms. Kunt.
What a position of power when you are shielded by legislation in the Family Law Act (Section 121) that has no recourse for your behaviour. I do not know of any profession that does not have some sort of professional Liability attached to their employment.
Ironically, if you see a Family Consultant outside of the Family Court of Melbourne, although they still can hide partially behind Section 121 of the Family Law Act, most are psychologists and have the Australian Psychology Board as a possible recourse.
Her background is Social Work in Human Services in the 1970’s Child Protection era.
Those were the days referred to as “smash and grab”. Social workers could write whatever they liked in files (no accountability until late 1980’s), and could attend family homes anytime of the day and night and remove children for simple things like beds not being made. My have things changed. But you now know where her feeling of power first came from.
Dont worry she still has close ties with previous associates, including her favorite referring psychiatrist Dr Entwistle with whom she worked with at Human Services in the 1980’s.
Personally she reminds me of the wicked witch from Oz. Not in looks or demeanor, but her ability to manipulate and produce reports that only are based on an hour or two that will affect children for the rest of their lives. Now that is a big stick.
Her claim to fame is thinking she has been crowned Queen at the Family Court of Australia. Judges rely on her reports, and basically what she says goes. I have been privy to eight victims of family Violence lose their children or end up as being supervised by this woman for up to two years. (I know it is like parole, and to these women it feels like it as well. Being answerable to the Queen herself, watching them). I have never known a system with such recourse.
Then there is the fact that she uses other court staff to spy on proceedings. I have been privy to this on a number of occasions. Another reason I have recommended cameras in all court rooms to the Family Violence Royal Commission.
Then there is her mannerism in general. At least two victims taped their interviews with Queen Kunt. When I heard the recordings and read their Family Reports the discrepancies were overwhelming.
One example was one Family Violence Victim who had 12 years of recorded injuries and police involvement in her family home. The children had been subjected to watching Family Violence throughout their childhood. (I know I have given Victoria Police a bad wrap, but the task force Alexis is the most brilliant initiative Victoria Police have commenced regarding Family Violence. I will discuss this in another blog.)
In an eight page report, Ms Kunt refers to the family violence and all the interventions in two lines. Thats it. The report has more details about how the Victim was “fashionably dressed” and “well-groomed” than reference to family Violence.
I find her reports to be bias, not in touch with the Family Court Family Violence Practice and Principles, and furthermore all the work that Victoria Police and the Salvation Army Family Violence Unit has done to assist this victim and her children in an 18 month period gets mentioned in two lines. It is deplorable.
One victim was accused of being in State Care as a child. She was not. Ms Kunt wasnt having this, she put it in her report anyway. Another victim who suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, diagnosed from Family Violence, was informed that her traumatic childhood did it and not 8 or so years of family violence. It is nice to see a social worker override an experienced Psychiatrist and Psychologist who both specialise in Family Violence and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Oh in one of the recordings, Ms Kunt when Family Violence was bought up by the victim she stated “don’t worry about that, as it is not what we are here about”. Oh really, fashion tips perhaps instead Ms Kunt? Any child or person who sees or is around family violence is a victim. Psychological Harm that can scar children all their life, and teach them to become the next generation of victims and or prepetrators is an important issue.
Then in another part of the recording she suggested Victim was “perceiving things possibly larger than they really are” regarding family violence. This victim had lost nine teeth, 36 fractures, and ongoing police interaction over several years. Ms Kunt you need to get off your thrown and go and volunteer in a Womens Family Violence Shelter for a few weeks and see the real world. You may live in St Kilda but you must be oblivious to the world actually around you.
But my favorite is, Ms Kunt when she wants the result she wants, suggests that the Judge (or anyone else for that matter) cannot take the word of the children as to their wishes (even though it is part of the Family Law Act) because basically they do not suit her agenda. (Ms Kunt suggests the child may have been influenced, how convenient).
My recommendation to the Family Violence Royal Commission is to remove the family consultants from the family court. No child should be subjected to going into a court arena ever. Furthermore, and as I have discussed previously, Ms Kunt and her incestuous relationship with a Senior Registrar who basically plays tag team, needs to stop. Spying on court cases and sending down court staff (like Michelle Smith) to watch proceedings is uncouth.
The victims have provided manuscripts and recordings to the Family Violence Royal Commission regarding Ms Kunts behaviour. I will be publishing more comments regarding her conduct once the Royal Commission publishes the said recordings in their findings.
Accountability, education and independence is the key
Family Consultants should be held accountable, like every other profession, to their conduct. Family consultants need to be removed from the Family Court Building and act independently. Not all family Consultants work at the family court building. You can see them in private practise.
Also all family Consultants should have at least a psychology degree, a social worker with all their Hack experience is like putting a first year Law student on the bench at the High Court. (But they may come out with better clarity than Ms Kunt and her hidden agendas).
Chief Justice Diana Bryant of the Family Court of Australia has implemented some positive strategic principles and guidelines surrounding Family Violence. I believe that she is steering the Family Court Ship so to speak in the right direction. It is a pity that some of the crew behave like pirates and renegades against these Policies.
For your information
Complaints relating to Social Workers and the Family Court of Australia & Federal Circuit Court of Australia
Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW)
The Family Court of Australia and Federal Circuit Court employ social workers directly and also contract self-employed social workers to act as Family Consultants. Family Consultants are social workers and/ or psychologists who specialise in child and family issues after separation. Family Consultants work with families and children to provide preliminary advice to court about children’s experiences of separation and provide options for the management of the matter. They also undertake family assessments, report to the court and provide expert evidence about the best arrangements for children after separation.
The AASW is generally prohibited by virtue of section 121 of the Family Law Act 1975 from receiving and responding to complaints about social workers (whether a Family Consultant or not) that relate to proceedings of the Family Court of Australia and Federal Circuit Court including anything relating to the content of a report prepared for the purposes of the court proceedings.
This includes complaints relating to a court-ordered activityIn what circumstances might the AASW or the Family Court of Australia or Federal Circuit Court be able to investigate a complaint about a social worker undertaking work in relation to a Family Court process? If a social worker working in the above capacity, engaged in professional ethical misconduct incidental to the contents of a report, but not directly related to the content of a report (e.g. report writer requesting a sexual act in exchange for a favourable report), this is something that may be addressed, either by the Family Court of Australia or the Federal Circuit Court or the AASW, as appropriate, following the conclusion of the matter before the court. On the other hand, an allegation for example, of bias on the part of the report writer, should be addressed through the court process and the AASW would be unable to respond to a complaint relating to an allegation such as this, as it would require the AASW to consider prohibited material, such as the content of a report. The AASW would usually consult the Court to determine the most appropriate and legally sound way to respond to a complaint made to the AASW involving Family Court work. What is the AASW’s position on complaints about Family Consultants? It would be the AASW’s preference that its ECMP could apply equally to all its members, including member social workers who undertake work for the Family Court of Australia and Federal Circuit Court. However, the AASW is legally required to work within the bounds of the Family Law Act 1975. The AASW has obtained independent legal advice regarding the AASW receiving and responding to complaints against members who undertake work for the Family Court of Australia and Federal Circuit Court. The AASW’s legal advice is that the publication or dissemination to the AASW of any part of Family Court proceedings which might identify parties and witnesses, or persons related to the proceedings would be an offence. Irrespective of that position, section 121 of the Family Law Act also prohibits the AASW from disseminating the same information to members of the public or to a section of the public. This means that the AASW is unable to disseminate the information (e.g. to witnesses or investigators) for the purpose of investigating and determining the complaint. Further, section 121(9) sets out the exemptions to section 121. The AASW’s legal advice is that the exemption in section 121(9)(f) would not apply to a professional body, such as the AASW. In addition to the prohibition under section 121, a complaint against a Family Consultant (or the complaints process) has the potential to be in contempt of the Family Court of Australia or Federal Circuit Court. What if I want to make a complaint about a Family Consultant in relation to work under taken for a Family Court of Australia or Federal Circuit Court process? Complaints about social workers who are Family Consultants are proper matters for the attention of the Family Court of Australia or Federal Circuit Court. There is accord between the professional standards 3 Insert Title of Document here to which the AASW holds its members accountable, and the standards to which the Family Court of Australia and Federal Circuit Court holds its Family Consultants accountable. Issues arising in a Court through the judicial process ought first and foremost to be resolved through that process. Neither the administration of the Court nor the AASW can interfere with the conduct of proceedings by a Judge.