Child Protection & Children's Court Matters

We prioritise the wellbeing of children in family law and child protection matters

Children may become involved with the court system during divorce or separation proceedings, family violence matters and also when the Victorian Child Protection Service has initiated child protection protocols. Our dedicated team recognizes the profound impact that court proceedings and child protection interventions can have on families, and in particular the children and young people involved in family law matters.

We are committed to working collaboratively with families, Child Protection and the Legal system, placing the highest priority on children's wellbeing and ongoing safety. Our ultimate goal is to alleviate the emotional distress that a young person may experience during court cases or other legal interventions, whilst ensuring that their safety and individual needs are met.

Compassionate Guidance

Our team offers vast expertise in interpreting intricate family law legislation, ensuring that children and young people are supported throughout their court experience.

Supportive Advice

Navigating legal issues can be highly distressing for children, so we ensure their wellbeing is paramount. Their best interests are protected during any court matters or legal proceedings.

Skilled Negotiations

Our family lawyers are skilled at negotiating for best-interest outcomes, and we safeguard the needs of the children we work with to ensure minimal impact during Children's Court or other family law matters.

How can we help with child protection & Children's Court matters?

There are many reasons why children and young people may be involved in, or are the subject of legal proceedings, an experience which can be highly distressing without the right support.

We have extensive experience resolving matters with children at risk of harm, abuse or neglect and helping families involved in such disputes reach a child-focused outcome in their best interests and that ensures that their emotional, psychological and physical needs are met. We can also assist in responding to and appealing child protection issues and initiating Family Violence Intervention Orders (FVIO) when a child is at risk of significant harm due to a family violence matter involving a child's parents or immediate family members.

What legal services do you offer for children's matters?

Our team can help you with a variety of legal issues, including:

  • Child custody and parenting arrangements
  • Child protection matters
  • Out-of-home care and kinship orders
  • Protection orders, whether state-initiated or to protect a child from family violence
  • Relocation matters
  • All other family court matters that children are involved in

What cases are heard in the Children's Court of Victoria?

The Children's Court of Victoria is a specialist Court that hears cases involving child protection, safety, and care, as well as criminal offences committed by young people under the age of 18. The Children’s Court is focused on safeguarding children's welfare and best interests, in the context of their Family Division.

What is child protection in Victoria?

Child protection refers to the legal and social measures taken to safeguard children's safety, wellbeing, and rights, particularly from abuse, neglect, or harm.

In Australia, child protection involves laws, policies, and services aimed at ensuring the safety and welfare of children, addressing issues of abuse, neglect, and family violence.

What is a family violence intervention order?

A Family Violence Intervention Order is a legal order issued by the either the Magistrates Court, or the Children’s Court when the matters only deal with the protection of a child. The intent and purpose of a Family Violence Intervention Order is to protect individuals from family violence by setting restrictions and conditions on the perpetrator to ensure the victim's safety. If a parent is seeking an Intervention Order seeking both their protection and the protection of their children then this is obtained through the Magistrates Court.

What is child protection in Victoria?

Child Protection refers to the legal and social measures taken to safeguard children's safety, wellbeing, and rights, particularly from abuse, neglect, or harm. In Victoria, child safety is overseen by the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing, specifically through the Child Protection division.

In Australia, child protection involves laws, policies, and services aimed at ensuring the safety and welfare of children, addressing issues of abuse, neglect, and family violence. This may involve interventions, safety plans, and other testing requirements to assist in determining risk.

What should I do if Child Protection has become involved with my family?

If Child Protection has become involved with your child or children, seeking legal advice to understand your rights and navigate legal processes as soon as possible is a very important step.

Some other practical advice is to:

  • Cooperate with Child Protection workers, providing information and participating in assessments, where fair and reasonable.
  • Seek Legal Advice: Consult a family law solicitor to understand your rights and navigate legal processes.
  • Attend Meetings: Attend meetings with Child Protection and actively engage in discussions about your children's welfare.
  • Address Concerns: Address any concerns Child Protection raises and work towards implementing necessary changes.
  • Participate in Plans: Be involved in developing and implementing any plans for your children's wellbeing.
  • Access Support Services: Seek support services, such as counselling or parenting programs, to demonstrate your commitment to your children's welfare.
  • Stay Informed: Stay informed about the legal processes and procedures involved, seeking clarification when needed.
  • Document Interactions: Keep records of communications, meetings, and interactions with Child Protection for future reference.
  • Follow Court Orders: If court orders are issued, adhere to them promptly and thoroughly to demonstrate compliance and commitment.
  • Maintain Stability: Ensure a stable and supportive environment for your children, addressing any issues that may impact their wellbeing.
  • Always consult with legal professionals to ensure you understand your rights and responsibilities throughout the Child Protection process.

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Our Children's Court & Child Protection Services

Navigating family law matters involving children requires a delicate and specialised approach. Our team has extensive experience in resolving cases involving at-risk children, ensuring their safety, and fostering positive outcomes for families.

Family violence matters impacting children

Family violence situations can have severe and lasting impacts on children. Our team is dedicated to assisting with Family Violence Intervention Orders (FVIO) when a child is at risk of significant harm due to family violence involving their parent or immediate family members.

Child protection & child safety matters

Our team adopts a holistic approach in cases involving child protection and broader child safety matters. We work diligently to ensure the child's safety and wellbeing are at the forefront of any legal proceedings. 

Children's Court of Victoria representation

If your child is required to attend the Children's Court of Victoria (ChCV) for a Family Law, Child Protection or out-of-home care matter, our team will compassionately and skillfully advocate for the best outcome, prioritising a child's safety and wellbeing.

Parental disputes & relocation matters

If you and your ex-partner are involved in a parental dispute concerning parenting arrangements, co-parenting or relocating, our team can efficiently and sensitively assist your family to reach an agreement that is in the best interests of your child, or children.

Drug & alcohol issues

If one or both parents have drug or alcohol dependencies, it can have a significant impact on a child's upbringing and safety. Our team can assist your family in working out parenting arrangements, visitation, or other care options that ensure your children are not exposed to harm or emotional distress during contact with a parent with substances abuse issues.

Child abuse investigations & child protection matters

Instances of child abuse, or allegations of child abuse, whether neglect, mental, emotional, physical or sexual abuse - are extremely serious and can be particularly distressing for the families and children involved whether they are directly or indirectly affected. Instances of child abuse may result in a child, or children, being removed from the family unit due to involvement with Victorian Child Protective Services (Department of Families, Fairness & Housing). Our Family Lawyers are well equipped to promptly respond to these matters, prioritizing the wellbeing of the children involved.

Adoption, out-of-home care & kinship orders

There are times when children and young people are unable to live with their birth parents for a wide array of reasons. If you are navigating adoption, out-of-home care or kinship orders, our team will work with you to ensure the best possible outcome for the children involved. We can also provide advocacy for families and children to ensure cultural needs are met, including their connection to family, community, culture, country and language.

How do you choose the right family lawyer for your matter?

Choosing the right lawyer for children's matters is crucial. Look for a lawyer with expertise in the specific area you need help with, and someone who uses an approach that makes you feel at ease.

Take the time to explore, ask for recommendations from others, and read reviews to understand who you'll be working with. When dealing with intricate or high-conflict situations, opting for a lawyer who is an Accredited Specialist with experience in children's matters is a good place to start.

Need a skilled and compassionate team to achieve the best possible outcome for a child or young person?

We bring specialised expertise, compassionate advocacy, and a focus on the unique needs of each child to ensure their safety, wellbeing, and overall growth. Please book an appointment with one of our experienced team members today or call us at (03) 9435 9044.

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