Child Protection – The Importance of Having a Great Lawyer

As a parent, there would be nothing more distressing than having the Department of Child Safety removing or threatening to remove your children from your care. In such circumstances, child protection lawyers can help you understand the process that you are involved in, the reasoning why Child Safety have taken action and attempt to assist you in finding the quickest way to getting your children back in your care. At Robert Wood and Associates, we are experienced child protection lawyers in Melbourne. We understand the extreme sensitivity of child protection matters and we are well versed in the complexities and complications that can arise. Read on for our guide to child protection and how professional legal representation can help keep families together.

Why Might the Department of Child Safety Remove Children from the Care of their Parents?

Under Australian law, a child or young person at risk of harm or neglect, as a result of a single incident or a number of ongoing child abuse incidents, must be protected.

Child abuse may include:

  • directly hurting or threatening to hurt a young person physically, sexually or emotionally
  • exposing a child to the risk of significant physical, sexual or emotional harm, such as:
  • being caught in the middle of family violence
  • allowing people with a history of child sex offences to be in the home
  • having care of a child while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs
  • having care of a child whilst living with an untreated mental health issue
  • neglecting a child, for example:
  • not giving a child enough food, clothing, shelter or necessary medical care
  • failing to provide proper supervision

Will I Still Get to See My Child if They Are Removed Under Court Order?

If the Court makes an order granting either interim or final care and protection orders, it will be at their discretion whether you are given access to the child and if so, when, where and for how long. It should also be noted that any access is usually supervised unless you have begun the process of reunification with your child/children.

Who Are the Parties Involved in Child Protection Proceedings?

The applicant – The Chief Executive of the Department for Child Protection

The respondents – all parents of the child/children named in the application as well as the child/children themselves. The child/children, will be represented by a separate lawyer and if old enough, are able to express their concerns and wishes. However, the children’s lawyer will do what they regard is in the best interests of the child despite any wish expressed by them.

How Can a Child Protection Lawyer Help?

If you have had a child removed from your care, or if you have been threatened with removal of your children, child protection lawyers can:

  • Give you advice with respect to your legal obligations, responsibilities and rights in the Court process
  • Attend mentions on your behalf
  • Attend Family Group Meetings with you and speak on your behalf
  • Attend any Court Ordered Conferences and speak on your behalf
  • Provide you with legal advice as to the progress of your matter
  • Request that the Department do all things necessary to commence an assessment of you as a parent ‘willing and able’ to care for the child/children
  • Request the Department to ensure regular personal contact to occur between you and your child/children until this matter is resolved

If department is seeking any type of Order from the Court, then you have the option to oppose their application. Child protection lawyers can assist you in preparing the paperwork for that process.

Care and Protection is the area of law that focuses on the safety of children and their protection from abuse and neglect. At Robert Wood and Associates, we are experienced in representing parents who have had their children removed from their care, and grandparents who wish to care for children that have been removed from their parents. We also have experience acting as independent children’s lawyers, for children who have been removed from their families. For child protection lawyers Melbourne families trust, contact our team today on (03) 9762 3877.

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Your Choice for Melbourne Solicitors

If you need professional, high quality legal advice from a law firm that puts your interests first, then Robert Wood and Associates is the right choice for you.