Actions from the Child Protection Legal Aid Services Review – Quality and support

Actions from the Child Protection Legal Aid Services Review – Quality and support

We want to better support lawyers who work in child protection with more training, new and improved processes, and ongoing opportunities for engagement. 

Action 13

As part of an overall approach to professional education and training, we will play a more active role in supporting lawyers working in the child protection system. This may include coordinating the provision of more professional education, research and the preparation of materials and tools that assist lawyers to perform their work, and may include an annual Child Protection Forum.

Status: Implementation expected by 2021.

Action 14

Child protection panel lawyers will be required to participate in training in the following areas every three years:

  • trauma-informed practice
  • capacity assessments for children, young people and parents
  • cultural awareness training.

Status – implementation expected by 2019.

Action 15

Child protection panel lawyers will be required to complete a minimum of four hours of child protection related hours of professional legal education each year.

Status – implementation expected by 2019.

Action 16

We will develop better internal intake and referral protocols to identify and address child protection needs of clients.

Status – implementation expected by 2019.

Action 17

We will develop training to ensure that all duty lawyers are able to identify child protection problems and have an understanding of the child protection system.   

Status – implementation expected by 2019.

Action 18

We will increase the proportion of child protection grants of assistance conducted by staff lawyers to 20 per cent within five years, with a focus on regional needs.

Status – implementation expected by 2020.

Action 19

We will work with Child Protection Panel lawyers and other agencies to develop regional child protection networks to support lawyers and address local issues.

Status – implementation expected by 2019.

Action 20

We will work with the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria and the Children’s Court of Victoria to establish regular Children’s Court (Family Division) court-user meetings, designed to improve service delivery, at all headquarter courts. 

Status – implementation expected by 2019.

Action 21

With our partners, we will develop a case preparation checklist to assist in the preparation of matters.

Status – implementation expected by 2019.

Action 22

The case preparation fee will be split, with half to be payable for each of the following:

  • the development and maintenance of a case strategy
  • work performed away from Court, including taking instructions and providing advice and engaging in negotiations.

The practice standards will be amended to make the expectations for claiming these fees clearer.

Status – implementation expected by 2020.

Action 23

We will work with the Department of Health and Human Services, the Children’s Court of Victoria, the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria and others to improve the timeliness of the provision of reports by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Status – implementation expected by 2018.

Action 24

Practitioners will be required to seek costs where the Department of Health and Human Services fails to provide a report within the legal timeframes.

Status – implementation expected by 2019.

Action 25

The appearance fee for the post Conciliation Conference Directions Hearing will be removed.

Status – implementation expected by 2018.

Action 26

The conciliation conference preparation fee will be split, with half to be payable for each of the following:

  • the development and maintenance of a case strategy
  • work performed away from Court, including taking instructions and providing advice and engaging in negotiations.

The practice standards will be amended to make the expectations for claiming these fees clearer.

Status – implementation expected by 2020.

Action 27

We will work with its partners to develop guidelines on the process of engaging other lawyers to appear as the agent of a lawyer acting pursuant to a grant of assistance.

Status – implementation expected by 2020.

Action 28

We will work with its partners including the Victorian Bar to strengthen briefing practices and advocacy in child protection.

Status – implementation expected by 2020. 

More information​

Read the Child Protection Legal Aid Services Review final report (docx, 7.95 MB) for more information about these actions.

The report should be read jointly with the Child Protection Legal Aid Services Review – Consultation and options paper (docx, 6.2 MB) and the Child Protection Legal Aid Services Review – Environmental scan (docx, 738.01 KB).

Also see the summary of other actions of this review: