Care and Protection matters

In cases where children are considered at significant risk of emotional abuse, harm or neglect then the Department for Child Protection and Family Support (DCPFS or the Department) intervenes by removing children from the care of their parents or caregivers.

In those circumstances the Department is required to make an application to the Children’s Court (which is separate from the Family Court of Western Australia) seeking Orders that protect that child. The Department only ever applies for protection orders in cases where it is worried about the child’s safety and wellbeing.

The Department in making an application to the Children’s Court can seek four different types of finial protection orders:

  • Supervision Order;
  • Time Limited Order, most commonly these are 2 year orders;
  • Protection Order until the child is 18 years of age; or
  • Special Guardianship Order.

The experience and highly qualified team at Ferrier, Athanasiou & Kakulas can give you advice in circumstances where your child has been made subject to an application by the Department of Child Protection and Family Support. We can explain to you the type of application that has been applied for in relation to your child and what it means for you and them.  It is extremely important that you get the right legal advice from the outset and have a clear understanding as to what is required for your children to return to your care as soon as possible after being removed.

To have your child returned to you sometimes means working with the Department to address the concerns they have. The Department is required, as part of proceedings, to put in place a proposal for the care arrangements for your child and/or what you need to do to have the child returned to you.  This written proposal is called a “Section 143 Written Proposal.”  We can help you with negotiating the terms of this document as it is important that it accurately reflects the exact steps you need to take to have your child retuned to your care.

However, some of these cases are better dealt with by taking the matter to a final hearing to have a Magistrate make the decision as to whether a child is in need of care and protection and if so, for how long.

Making the decision to challenge an order sought by the Department or working with the Department is a difficult decision to make.  However, it is made easier with the extensive experience that we at Ferrier, Athanasiou & Kakulas have in this area.

The Law Society of Western Australia Family Law Practitioners Association of Western Australia Law Council of Australia Family Law Section