Child protection

Protection in Victoria is administered by the Department of Human Services (DHS) (http://www.dhs.vic.gov.au/for-individuals/children,-families-and-young-people/child-protection).

DHS investigates allegations that a child is at risk of harm and in need of protection. This can include mental harm, and any behaviour that has a bad effect on children’s development such as abandonment, death or incapacity of the child’s parents, physical, sexual and psychological abuse, and neglect.

DHS must be informed by certain people such as doctors, nurses and teachers. However any person can report to DHS if they believe a child is at risk. A support program called Child FIRST (Child and Family Information, Referral and Support Team) operates to refer a child and a child’s family to a Family Service agency for support.

DHS may decide to apply to the Children’s Court for a Magistrate to decide if a child is at risk of harm and in need of court protection.

A child who is genuinely at risk of homelessness or an applicant in matters involving ‘obsessed stranger stalking’ will receive representation in court by a duty lawyer and be referred to the Children’s Court. In this instance, a Personal Safety Intervention Order (PSIO) may be applied for.

Casey Cardinia Community Legal Service Inc can assist you in giving  further advice to make an application for an intervention order for you and/or your child.

Victoria Legal Aid will conduct some child protection cases. They can be contacted on Tel (03) 9269 0234 (Melbourne Office) or Tel (03) 9767 7111 (Dandenong Office).

Many private solicitors specialise in Child Protection work. You can get their details through the Law Institute of Victoria referral service on Tel (03) 9607 9550

Please note that this information  does not amount to legal advice. It is for your information only.

Casey Cardinia Community Legal Service Inc does not take responsibility for the accuracy or currency  of the information on this page or any other page on this website.

To discuss your problem, please make an appointment to see a lawyer.