Child Protection

At Nicholes Family Lawyers we possess experienced advocates who are capable of providing guidance and representation in relation to:

  • Initial investigations and contact with Child Protection workers
  • Protection applications including the removal of children
  • Your rights in relation to case plan appeals
  • Family court proceedings
  • Child Protection matter involving Koori families
  • Variations, extensions, and revocations of Children’s Court Orders
  • IVO’s and
  • Appeals

Reports to Child Protection

Child Protection staff within the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) operate under a different jurisdiction to the Family Court and are guided by the Children, Youth and Families Act. Being notified that your child is subject to a report or investigation by DHHS can be a difficult and confronting experience for any family.

Many professionals are legally compelled to make a report to Child Protection if they form a belief on reasonable grounds that a child is in need of protection from physical injury or sexual abuse.  Reports are undisclosed and are made to their Intake Hotline. Once a report is made, it does not necessarily mean that the case will progress to court. Removal of a child should always be the last resort- Child Protection should work with families to avoid this as much as possible.


Children’s Court Matters

The following orders can be made by the Children’s Court for the protection and permanent care of children: temporary assessment orders, interim accommodation orders, protection orders and permanent care orders.

It can often be difficult for a family to know their rights in these situations or to navigate the Children’s Court process. We understand the Urgency of Children’s Court matters and seek to resolve child protection issues as quickly and efficiently as possible and to help make decisions in the best interests of the child and the family. It is important to seek legal representation as soon as possible, as Protection Applications by Emergency Care are able to be heard within 24 hours.

At Nicholes Family Lawyers we have numerous lawyers ready to assist in child protection matters, including former Child Protection Practitioner at the Department of Health and Human services, Alastair Noakes.


Podcast

Associate Alastair Noakes along with Senior Associate Rebecca Dahl discuss the low report rate to Child Protection from within the LGBTIQ community and the process undertaken if a child is in need of protection due to an unacceptable and immediate risk of harm.

Click here to listen!


Support Services

If you or someone you know needs support or counselling we recommend the following services:  

Child Wise National Child Abuse Hotline: 1800 99 10 99

Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800

The Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention and Legal Service Victoria: 1800 105 303

Salvos Care Line: 1300 36 36 22

Opening Doors: 1800 825 955

If you believe that a child is in immediate danger call police on 000