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Family Court Review Consumer Survey “31 years too late”

NZAC Family Court Review Consumer Survey “31 years too late”, says Counsellor and Outcomes Researcher

The desperate and methodologically chaotic attempt by the New Zealand Association of Counsellors (NZAC) to gather Outcome Research via a Consumer Survey hosted by Relationship Services, for the purpose of informing the Ministry of Justice Family Court Review is 31 years too late to be of any meaningful benefit to consumers of the Family Court” says Steve Taylor, Counselling Director of 24-7 Ltd, and a Social Service Outcome Researcher.

The survey http://www.relate.org.nz/relationships/facts_theories_about_relationships/_family_court_counselling_survey is saturated in methodological error and bias, and in the absence of the survey prescribing to fundamental research questionnaire best practice, the validity and reliability of the results of the survey will be meaningless. Back-end online questionnaires incorporating snowball sampling cannot assist clients to clarify questions if the question is not understood by the respondent; cannot identify the specific sample group being questioned; prevents the collection of additional data that may be relevant to the consumers experience; may not be useful to those with literacy problems; can eliminate those respondents that do not have access to a computer, which biases the sample group being questioned; and invoke lower response rates (60%-70% response of a nominated sample group is considered a minimum for meaningful data to be collected).

The type of Consumer Outcome data that is actually required to properly inform the Family Court Review is the data that Consumers provide “in vivo” or at the time of the actual experience of the Family Court process. Sadly, as confirmed by the Ministry of Justice, there has been no attempt to collect this data in the 31 years of the Family Court’s existence. What we have now is New Zealand’s largest Counselling industry representative group, in a last desperate attempt to “sell” their members’ credibility regarding outcomes to the Family Court Review, scrambling to come up with some “evidence” that the work their members have completed within the Family Court system has actually been effective. This attempt is affirmed in NZAC’s own documentation to their members, authorised by the NZAC President, Jonathan Loan:
http://familycourtstories.wordpress.com/2011/10/26/battle-plan-of-the-new-zealand-association-of-counsellors-regarding-the-family-court-review-not-one-mention-of-representing-the-interest-of-clients/

“There is a host of Outcome Research that clearly determines “what works” in the provision of Counselling services to Consumers,
http://stevetaylor247.wordpress.com/2010/07/10/counsellor-guidelines-for-best-practice-when-working-with-counselling-clients/

and fundamental to what works is securing service outcome data from the Consumers as an ongoing process of service provision. The Counselling industry in New Zealand has NEVER done this as a whole, especially in the area of Family Court work, so for the NZAC to now make the attempt to do so recognises the attempt for what it is – a professionalised industry panic” says Mr Taylor.

Kind Regards,

Steve Taylor | B. Couns., B. Alc. D.S. | Cert. Clinical Supervision | Cert. Supervisory Management
Director 24-7 Ltd

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