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.
Special assistance and support persons
It is important to recognise that all children and young people may require general assistance when involved in a Children’s Court process. The court operates under a legal structure which may be confusing for children and young people.
In addition, a child or young person may require special assistance:
- with language, via the services of an interpreter
- if the child or young person is Aboriginal or from a culturally or linguistically diverse background
- because of a physical, intellectual or learning disability or cognitive impairment.
A support person can attend the Children’s Court to assist, but does not typically appear on behalf of people appearing in court. A support person’s attendance will generally not be allowed if:
- the proposed support person is a witness
- the child or young person opposes the support person’s presence
- there is another reason to deny permission, such as where the support person’s presence is considered against the best interests of the child or young person.
A support person must comply with any direction given by the magistrate during the hearing or other court attendance. A support person is not allowed to give instructions to a solicitor at the hearing, but may act as an interpreter if the court agrees. It is important that the support person or agency maintains a focus on the best interests of the child or young person who is the subject of the proceedings.