Tabled in Parliament Date:
At the time of this report, hundreds of children each year were involved in new child protection proceedings in Victoria. In some cases, neither the law nor the procedure seemed to focus on the child’s best interest.
In November 2009, following a review by the Ombudsman, the Attorney-General asked the Commission to provide the government with a range of reform options for the handling of child protection cases in the Children’s Court of Victoria.
In February 2010, the Commission published an information paper for public comment containing draft options for reform. From this, we received 51 submissions and engaged in 28 consultations. We also met the two major institutions in child protection proceedings—the Children’s Court and the Department of Human Services—as well as practitioners in the field of child protection.
Tabled in Parliament on 5 October 2010, the Commission’s report, Protection Applications in the Children’s Court, contained five options for reform. The options drew upon innovative aspects of the Victorian legal system—for example, the growing emphasis upon appropriate dispute resolution (ADR)—and important developments in child protection procedures elsewhere, such as family group conferences in New Zealand.
- Terms of reference received
- Submissions and consultations
- Submissions closed
- Final Report
- Tabled in parliament