Where the Department of Children, Youth Justice and Multicultural Affairs (Child Safety) forms a suspicion that a child is in need of protection, it must investigate and assess the harm and/or risk of harm and the child’s needs. The Department is able to apply for different types of orders that allows them to conduct their investigation if a child is assessed to be at immediate risk of harm and a parent does not consent to the actions required for the department to carry out their assessment. It is important that you seek the advice of one of our experienced lawyers in this jurisdiction as early as possible, especially if your children have been made subject to a Temporary Assessment Order or a Court Assessment Order.
If the department considers that a child is in need of protection and the child’s parents are assessed as not able or willing to protect the child/ children, it may refer the matter to the Director of Child Protection Litigation (DCPL) to apply for a Child Protection Order.
When an application for a protection order is made, it must be served on the child’s parents. Each parent can then file a response, indicating whether they agree to the order being sought by the Department, or whether they oppose it.
The court may appoint a Separate Representative to represent your child’s interests to the court if you oppose the application made by the DCPL. This is a lawyer whose job it is to talk to your child and to other persons involved with your child and form an assessment of what is in the child’s best interests and represent your children’s best interests to be able to inform the Court during the proceeding. If a short-term order is made, the department will have the care and responsibility for your child/children for the period of the order, after which these revert to the child’s parents. If a long-term guardianship order is made, the department will be responsible for the care of the child until the child turns 18. It is important to speak to a lawyer as soon as possible about the type of order that is applied for by the DCPL as applications can be made for custody or guardianship. If a guardianship order is applied for, the department will be able to make more decisions about your child or children.
If you have been served with an application for a Court Assessment Order or any type of Child Protection Order , it is important to get fast, informed legal advice as to your rights and obligations regarding the care of your children. Our solicitors are experienced in the conduct of Child Protection matters and can help you achieve the best possible outcome for your family.
No matter the issue we understand losing your children as result of state intvention is distressing and we are on your side.