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Changes to court processes as a result of Keep Them Safe

Keep Them Safe included a commitment to simplifying processes in the Children’s Court to make it easier for children and families to participate effectively in care proceedings. The Children and Young Person’s (Care and Protection) Act 1998 (the Act) has been amended to achieve this in the following ways:

  • the time for filing an application with the Children’s Court has been extended to no later than 3 working days or 5 days whichever is the lesser after removal or assumption of care
  • the initial care application no longer needs to be accompanied by a formal affidavit – instead a report summarising why the child or young person is in need of care and protection is to be filed with the initial care application
  • clear details are required in a permanency plan detailing how a child or young person’s needs will be met in the foreseeable future – so that everyone involved in the future care of the child or young person will know what needs to be done once the plan has been approved
  • appointment of a President of the Children’s Court to provide leadership to the Court in regards to the complexity of the work carried out by the Court for the care and protection of children and young people
  • introduction of new Alternative Dispute Resolution measures that will provide more opportunities to resolve matters through processes where an impartial person assists the family, Community Services, the child’s legal representative and other relevant parties to resolve the issues between them in a way that involves children, young people and their families in the decision-making process
  • when making a final care order, the Court must give consideration to the permanency plan prepared by Community Services and determine its appropriateness – implementation of the plan is the role of the designated agency supervising the placement.
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Last updated: 24 Sep 2019