Childrens Care and Protection Law typically involves the Department of Family and Community Services taking action for the protection of a child or children.
This does not necessarily mean that Children are removed from families as often Family and Community Services will attempt to work with a family prior to the removal of any children. This can include assisting the family attend courses or programs or requiring the parents to undergo certain education, rehabilitation or treatment and testing.
On some occasions Family and Community Services will take action to remove a child or children from their parents or carers. They will do this when they view the child is a risk of serious harm. Proceedings can also be commenced in the Childrens Court of NSW and the Childrens Court has jurisdiction of the Court is satisfied that a child is at risk of harm. The legislation specifies numerous grounds that the Court can be satisfied on that a child is at risk of harm.
Whilst Care Proceedings before the Childrens Court often involve the parents as parties, it is possible that other interested persons can seek the Court’s permission to join into the proceedings. This may include grandparents, carers or other relatives or persons with sufficient interest in the safety, care and welfare of the child. It is however a discretion of the Magistrate whether to permit that person to be joined.
At D M S Lawyers, David and Samantha Schier have extensive experience in the Childrens Court of NSW. Both are on the legal aid panel to represent children and adults in this jurisdiction. David has been practicing in this area for close to eighteen years and has represented all parties throughout the years and has appeared in both the Childrens Court and District Court jurisdiction.
Changes to the legislation in 2014 has also led to an opportunity to explore mediation with respect to contact disputes.
Whether you are a parent, carer, aunt or uncle, grandparent or older sibling who may be interested in participating in these proceedings then contact either David or Samantha Schier to arrange a mutually convenient time. In some cases, you may be eligible for Legal Aid and David or Samantha can advise you on what is required to obtain a grant of legal aid including assisting in completing the application form.