Child Protection Legal Services
The primary child protection laws in Victoria are under the Children Youth and Families Act 2005 (Vic) and the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth).
The Children Youth and Families Act 2005 (Vic) enables the Victorian Department of Families, Fairness and Housing ('DFFH') formerly known as the Department of Health and Human Services ('DHHS') also known as 'child protection' to engage with parents and children where a child's welfare may be at risk.
There are many reasons why DFFH may believe a child is at risk including:
If a child or family member has been injured.
If the police have charged a family member with assault or other crimes that may indicate a child is at risk.
If the police or a parent has taken out an intervention order.
If emergency services have been called out to the family residence.
If someone has made a report or raised a concern.
Many professionals are mandatorily required to report suspected child abuse or family violence including police, teachers, childcare workers and health care workers.
Parents who are involved with DFFH often find the process confusing, confronting, distressing and anxiety-provoking. While child protection laws are designed to protect children and help parents meet any parental issues, at times parents can feel like the opposite is occurring and that the process is unfair.
Our child protection lawyers have child protection expertise and provide advocacy and court representation. Our lawyers explain the process, explain your options, ensure you are being treated fairly and that each parent is given the best chance of resolving child protection issues so they can move forward.
Childrens Court of Victoria
A DFFH investigation may result in proceedings being brought before the Childrens Court of Victoria and court orders being made. The court orders may require parents to take certain actions, allow DFFH to monitor a situation, or for a child to be taken out of a parent's care either on a temporary or in some cases a permanent basis.
Our child protection lawyers regularly attend Childrens Court of Victoria proceedings and advocate for parents and their rights and to ensure that parents who know a child better than the child protection authority does, can fully put their case before the Childrens Court.
Contact our lawyers today to discuss your child protection legal needs.