Families have the primary responsibility for the upbringing of protection and development of their children. For the most part, the law allows parents to raise their children without interference unless there is an allegation made that a parent’s action or inaction causes harm or places their child in significant risk or harm.
Child protection (DoHHS) provides child centred family focused services to protect children and young people from significant form of abuse or neglect from within the family.
The department may apply to the Children’s Court for a child protection order if they have assessed a child is in need of protection.
A child may be in need of protection if any of the following has occurred, or is likely to occur:
- the child has been abandoned by his or her parents
- the parents are dead or incapacitated
- the child has suffered physical abuse
- the child has suffered sexual abuse
- the child has suffered emotional or psychological abuse
- the child has been neglected.
A child may also be in need of protection if the court finds that there is at the time a substantial irreconcilable difference between the child and his or her parent/s (or person who has custody) which is likely to seriously disrupt the care and control of the child.
Going to court for a child protection case?
TP Legal and Associates can help you if you are a parent/carer or child (young person aged 10 or more) and are going to the Children’s Court. Parents and children (who are mature enough) have separate lawyers.
If you are a parent or carer you don’t have to be represented by a lawyer. However, preparing and presenting your own case can be complicated, especially if the court is being asked to remove your child from your care. We can offer advice about your choices, and speak for you. We will also assess whether you are eligible for a grant of legal assistance under Victoria Legal Aid. What you tell us is strictly confidential.