6. If a party does not agree with the social welfare report, can he/she ask the court to reject it and call for another report?
At the hearing of an application in children matters, the social welfare officer’s report will be adduced as evidence in court. If a party disagrees with the content of the report, the social welfare officer will be called to court to give oral evidence. The parties can cross-examine the social welfare officer and/or adduce evidence to challenge any matters contained in the report. A party can put forward their case to the court that the social welfare report should be rejected and provide evidence for this, but the court would not call for another report. As the court has discretion to make orders in children matters, the court is not obliged to accept matters recorded in the social welfare report or follow recommendations that the report makes.