Children’s Court and case management
The need to engage with the Children’s Court is an important aspect of case management of children and young people in out-of-home care (OOHC).
As part of case management, an agency may be required to provide information or evidence in Children’s Court proceedings or to seek a change to care orders.
DCJ is currently formalising procedures for agencies in performing these roles. In the meantime, here is some general information about the interim procedures in place and some ways agencies can be involved.
Section 76 reports (supervision orders)
Where a care application is made in respect of a child or young person, the Court may place the child under the supervision of the Secretary (section 76(1) of the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998). Organisations may be responsible for the restoration of a child to their parent.
The court may order that a report be prepared and filed ("section 76 report") that states the outcomes of supervision and whether there is a need for further supervision or further orders to protect the child or young person.
The maximum period of supervision is 12 months. It is important that reports are filed as directed by the court, as a late filing precludes the court from extending the period of supervision.
Section 82 reports (suitability of arrangements)
Where the Children’s Court makes an order allocating parental responsibility to a person who is not the parent of the child or young person (eg Minister for Communities and Justice), the court will often order that a report be prepared and filed detailing the suitability of the arrangements made for the child or young person (“section 82 report”).
Section 90 (applications)
Agencies with case management responsibility for a child or young person will, in some cases over time, consider it appropriate to seek to vary or rescind a care order of the Children’s Court.
Care proceedings for agencies
When case management for a child or young person is assigned to a non-government out-of-home care agency, the agency will be involved in care proceedings and be required to supply information to FACS to inform decision making by the court.