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Care applications and the Children's Court

From January 2010, changes to using a report instead of an affidavit will occur in a staged manner over six months.

Care applications under section 61 are made by filing a report in the Children’s  Court in support of the application. The report provides factual information to support a determination that a child or young person is in need of care and protection as well as any interim orders being sought.

Community Services is not required to file all its evidence at the commencement of proceedings.

The relevant documents on the child protection file which support the statements made in the report will be made available to the parties.

Applications to the Children’s Court must be made no later than 72 hours after removal or  assumption of care. Section 45(1) provides the timeframe within which to lodge applications that follow a removal or an assumption of care responsibility.

The Court should receive the best information possible about making a decision in relation to a child or young person’s long term needs for care and protection.

Sections 78A and 83 of the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 make it clear that  the exact long term placement details in a permanency plan need not be provided. However, the permanency plan must be sufficiently clear and particularised so as to provide the Court with a  reasonably clear picture as to the way in which the child or young person’s  needs, welfare and wellbeing will be met in the foreseeable future.

The Court’s role is to expressly find whether permanency planning for the child or young person has been adequately addressed.

The permanency plan also sets out for everybody involved in the future care of the  child, what needs to be done once the plan has been approved by the Court. The designated agency supervising the placement is responsible for decisions relating to the implementation of the plan.

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Last updated: 24 Sep 2019