Attending the Children's Court
What happens when you go to Children's Court, how to request special assistance or a support person to go with you and how to behave in court.
What happens when you go to Children's Court
If you are going to the Children's Court, you can expect to see:
- the magistrate
- someone from Family and Community Services (FACS)
The person up front is called a magistrate (or judge). The magistrate wears ordinary clothes and doesn’t wear a wig. Magistrates get the final say and make the decisions in the Children's Court.
The magistrate will hear from FACS staff first. FACS will provide the court with an initial report explaining the reasons they are concerned about your child's safety and wellbeing. You will be provided with a copy of the initial report.
When do I get to have my say?
After the FACS workers finishes, the court will give you time to respond to the things that have been said about you and your family.
You will have a chance to tell the magistrate what you think should happen to your child. This is usually done through your solicitor.
Care proceedings in the Children’s Court are conducted with as little formality and legal technicality as possible and the magistrate can obtain information by asking questions rather than just hearing the arguments and evidence provided by the parties.