Less Adversarial Child Protection System

Amendments to the Children, Young Person's and Their Families Act Bill 2013 were tabled in State Parliament this week to improve services for young people and their families involved in the child protection system.

The changes strengthen the principle that a child's family is the preferred environment for care and upbringing.

The proposed new laws promote a less adversarial approach including reliance on family meetings and making decisions that take into account individual circumstances.

Other provisions include:

  • Greater flexibility within Voluntary Care Agreements
  • Improve stability provisions to limit unnecessary departmental intrusion following a transfer of guardianship.
  • Increase safeguards for assessment orders, including the matters the court must be satisfied of when considering an extension.
  • Adopt rules of evidence provisions in line with the majority of other jurisdictions so that court proceedings are informally.

14 November 2013