CHILD SAFETY ARE INVOLVED WITH MY FAMILY – WHAT SHOULD I DO? (fact sheet 3)
Child Safety are involved with my family – what should I do?
- Get legal advice
If a Child Safety worker ask you to sign an agreement or another document, check with a lawyer before you sign. A lawyer can also give you advice about what information that agreement should include, such as an end date or arrangements for seeing your children if they are not living with you.
- Get support
If you or your kid are having troubles, it is important you get the help you need. Think about what support might be useful to you and your kid and ask for help to contact these services if you need to. Child Safety workers may also ask you to speak with a support service such as parenting support, counselling, or alcohol or other drug support services.
- Ask for information
You can ask Child Safety workers for information about why they are involved with your family and what their concerns are. You can ask for this information in writing. You can also ask to see any related documents, such as case plans developed by Child Safety for your kids.
- Acknowledge the report
Get all the information in relation to the report even if you agree or disagree with what has been reported.
The way you communicate with Child Safety and other services can affect what decisions they make. Try to stay calm when speaking with them. You have the right to ask for support to help you communicate with Child Safety.
- Address concerns
Address the concerns that Child Safety tell you about. If they ask you to talk to a service or attend a course, show Child Safety that you have done this by keeping letters or notes from these services. You can also ask services that you are working with or have worked with to write support letters for you to provide to Child Safety. If you don’t agree with Child Safety, get legal advice.
- Work together
You do not have to agree with Child Safety, but it is important to work with them so you are involved in the process.
Any tips for meeting with Child Safety workers?
8. Make a plan
Make a list of the things you want to say and questions you want to ask.
9. Ask questions
Sometimes you need information on Child Safety’s concerns, the options available to you, and/or your rights and responsibilities to help you make decisions about what to do next. Write down your questions before you meet with Child Safety. Child Safety workers should answer your questions, but they cannot tell you who made the report.
10. Bring a support person
You may want to bring a family member, friend, support worker or advocate to support you at the meeting.
11. Participate in meetings
Stay calm when meeting and talking with Child Safety workers. You are in control of the way that you express yourself. You can ask for a break in the meeting at any time. This can allow you to think about what you want to say before returning to the meeting and may help you to focus on what is being talked about when you are feeling stressed. If you do not understand what people are saying it is okay to ask them to explain this to you.
12. Record of meetings
You can ask for a copy of the notes from your meetings with Child Safety and/or other services. It is important that you understand what was discussed at the meeting, what plans were made and what was agreed to. You and/or your support person can take your own notes in the meeting. You should not record the meeting on your phone or other device unless you have permission from everyone in the meeting.
13. Keep a diary
Record in a diary your meetings and phone calls and who was there and what was said.