Feedback on new child protection guidelines

Feedback on new child protection guidelines

Tuesday, 23 November 2021

We are considering changes to our funding guidelines covering child protection matters and are seeking feedback from the public, private practitioners and others who work with families involved in the child protection system.

The proposed changes are intended to ensure funding for children and parents involved in child protection legal proceedings aligns with new court processes around readiness hearings, and to ensure that funding for these hearings is financially sustainable.

We are also proposing other changes to support early resolution and high-quality legal representation and to better define client eligibility and clarify entitlement to particular fees.

Why guideline changes are needed

In 2020, our organisation introduced interim fees for readiness hearings, a case management hearing in the Children’s Court in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

‘Readiness hearings and processes to support them are now an ongoing feature of child protection proceedings. It’s important our funding aligns with these new court processes, and we want to simplify the process for practitioners to apply for readiness hearing funding,’ Executive Director Family, Youth and Children’s Law, Joanna Fletcher, said.

We are also taking the opportunity to implement outstanding actions from the Child Protection Legal Aid Services Review, which were previously approved by our Board following extensive public consultation. Other proposed changes respond to feedback from practitioners about where our guidelines create an unfairness for parties.

The importance of your feedback

Stakeholder feedback is very important to help us understand the impact of proposed changes on clients and our stakeholders. Valuable feedback from practitioners in response to interim fees for readiness hearings in 2020 resulted in the introduction of the preparation fee.

How to provide feedback

The proposals are outlined in a factsheet. A template is available, but feedback is also welcome by email to Program Manager, Child Protection, Elicia Savvas by email, or by calling (03) 9269 0118.

Please send all feedback by COB Wednesday 8 December 2021.

More information

Read the Proposed child protection guideline fact sheet (docx, 180.35 KB).

Download and complete the Proposed child protection guideline feedback template (docx, 180.37 KB).

Refer to the current state family guidelines.

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