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Child Protection & The Children’s Court

Nicholes Family Lawyers has specialised knowledge in Child Protection proceedings before the Children’s Court. 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.

Alastair Noakes is our resident Child Protection expert who, before joining Nicholes, gained valuable experience in family and children’s law through employment with the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services for 8 years within the Child Protection program. Through this Alastair has an extensive history of working with children and families at risk of harm, as well as victims of family and sexual violence. He is experienced in working with clients of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds including Aboriginal families and those newly arrived to Australia.

During his time at Nicholes Family Lawyers Alastair has continued to gain experience advocating for clients in both the Victorian Children’s Courts and appeals to the County Court. Alastair now leads a team of the lawyers at Nicholes Family Lawyers who have experience in the Children’s Court both instructing Counsel for more complex matters and advocating on the client’s behalf.

Being notified that a child is subject to a report or investigation by DHHS can be a difficult and confronting experience for any family. Children’s Court matters often intersect with Family Law proceedings and Nicholes Family Lawyers 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;
  • Assisting family members to be joined as parties to the proceedings;
  • Your rights in relation to case plan appeals;
  • Child Protection matters involving Koori families;
  • Variations, extensions, and revocations of Children’s Court Orders; and
  • Appeals

Child Protection matters can be daunting and Nicholes is here to assist you and your clients in navigating the process.


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