Child Protection

At Nicholes Family Lawyers we have experienced lawyers who provide guidance and representation in relation to:

  • Initial investigations and contact with Child Protection workers
  • Protection applications
  • Your rights in relation to case plan appeals
  • Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia proceedings
  • Child Protection matters involving Koori families
  • Variations, extensions, and revocations of Children’s Court Orders
  • IVO’s
  • Appeals

The Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (DFFH) is the Victorian Government Department responsible for the portfolios of Child Protection, Prevention of Family Violence, Housing and Disability. The DFFH is also responsible for the key policy areas of Multicultural Affairs, LGBTQI+ Equality, Veterans, and the offices for Women and Youth.

Reports to Child Protection

Being notified that your child is subject to a report or investigation 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.

Children’s Court Matters

The Children’s Court can make various orders for the protection and care of children including 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 assist clients 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.

Grandparents and non-parents

We understand that grandparents, other relatives and third parties are often involved in disputes over the primary care and placement of children removed from their parent’s care. We can provide advice to grandparents and non-parents involved in Children’s Court proceedings or who may be uncertain of their rights when dealing with the DFFH. This can include representation in Children’s Court proceedings or an explanation of the relevant orders and Court process.

Community Organisations

For those involved in community organisations it can be different to navigate the competing responsibilities owed to child or adult members, against the obligations or requests from the DFFH. We can assist Community Organisations in understanding their obligations regarding children who may be at risk, or involved in Children’s Court proceedings.

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

The Orange Door

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