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Other legislation relating to children and young people

NSW legislation relating to children and young people

Adoption Act 2000 and Adoption Regulation 2015 – form the legislative framework for the adoption of children in NSW and (in conjunction with other legislation) those from overseas.

Carers (Recognition) Act 2010 - enacts a Carers Charter to recognise the role and contribution of carers to our community and to the people they care for.

Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Regulation 2012 - supports the Care Act including provisions relating to care plans, guardianship orders and medical examinations and treatments.

Children’s Court Act 1987 - establishes the roles and responsibilities of the Children’s Court.

Children (Detention Centres) Act 1987 - includes provisions in relation to the establishment of detention centres, treatment of detainees, parole of detainees and hearing procedures.

Community Services (Complaints, Reviews and Monitoring) Act 1993 - provides the NSW Ombudsman with the power to review certain administrative decisions made by government agencies, conducts a review of the situation of a child in care, systemic reviews of the deaths of children and young people at risk of harm or those in care, and establishes the Child Death Review Team.

Community Welfare Act 1987- aims to ensure the provision of services and assistance to disadvantaged people due to lack of food, shelter or other basic necessities, natural disasters, disability, age, and ethnic group.

Coroners Act 2009- provides a senior coroner with jurisdiction to hold an inquest concerning the death of suspected death of a child in care, a child in respect of whom a report was made under Part 2 of Chapter 3 of the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 within three years preceding their death or the death of their sibling or a child whose death is or maybe due to abuse or neglect or occurs in suspicious circumstances.

Disability Inclusion Act 2014The Act commits the NSW Government to promoting inclusion of people with disability, to enrich community life for everyone. It is recognised that children with disability are likely to experience discrimination, be disempowered by others or feel invisible. Children with disability have equal rights as all children. These rights are set out in Article Seven of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The principles of the Disability Inclusion Act 2014 reflect the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Education Act 1990 relates to the education of school children in NSW. The principles of the Act provide that every child has the right to receive an education, the education of a child is primarily the responsibility of the child’s parents. It is the duty of the State to ensure that every child receives an education of the highest quality and the primary responsibility of the State in the education of children is the provision of public education.

Ombudsman Act 1974 - sets out the role of the NSW Ombudsman in monitoring and reviewing the provision of community services including investigating complaints about a public authority and providing special reports to Parliament.

Victims’ Rights and Support Act 2013 - recognises and promotes the rights of victims of a crime and establishes the Victims Support Scheme to provide financial and practical support to victims of violent crime. A child or young person who has experienced abuse may be eligible for victims support and assistance including counselling, support and information.

Young Offenders Act 1997 - establishes an alternate regime of dealing with young persons who commit certain offences by diverting them from the Children’s Court by offering a warning, caution or referring the matter to a youth justice conference.

Commonwealth legislation relating to children and young people

The Family Law Act 1975 (Family Law Act)gives the Family Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia the power to make decisions about children and young people as part of family law proceedings.

The Family Law Act covers disputes between persons with an interest in the child or young person’s care (usually parents) about decisions where the child or young person is not necessarily ‘at risk’.

For more information see Courts involving children and young people

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Last updated: 03 May 2021