Child Protection Legal Services
The primary child protection laws in Victoria are under the Children Youth and Families Act 2005. Child protection laws enable the Department of Health and Human Services ('DHHS') to engage with parents and children where a child's welfare may be at risk.
There are many reasons why DHHS 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 an assault.
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, child care workers and health care workers.
Parents who are involved with DHHS often find the process confusing, confronting 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.
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.
Children's Court of Victoria
A DHHS investigation may result in proceedings being brought before the Children's Court of Victoria and court orders being made. The court orders may require parents to take certain actions, allow DHHS 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 children's court proceedings and advocate for parents and their rights and to ensure that parents who know a child much better than DHHS does, can fully put their case before the children's court.
Contact our lawyers today for child protection legal services.