We welcome your feedback on the information below

What decisions can Child Safety make? 

The law says that Child Safety can ask a court for permission to remove a kid from their home if Child Safety thinks that the kid is not safe. Child Safety can only remove a kid from their home when a court decides that they can.  

When will I be told that my child is going to be removed? 

A court can decide to let Child Safety remove a kid either for up to 5 days (under a ‘Warrant for Custody’) or up to 4 weeks (under an ‘Initial Assessment Order’). 

If Child Safety remove a kid for up to 5 days, the court has decided that they can do that without talking to the parents or carers of the kid. Police sometimes are involved in this. 

If Child Safety think they need to remove a kid for up to 4 weeks, they will need to let the parents or carers of the kid know that they are going to go to court to ask a magistrate to give them permission to do this. They will do this by serving documents to the parents. These documents will include an application and an affidavit. Often parents or carers have only a very short time to get to court. 

If I know there is a court date what can I do? 

You need to get a lawyer ASAP. 

When Child Safety workers go to court to talk with a magistrate about a kid the court room is private – this is called a “closed courtroom”. The only people who are allowed into a closed courtroom are people who are listed in the matter – this is usually just Child Safety workers and parents/guardians and their lawyers.  

Who makes decisions for my child if they have been removed from my care? 

When a kid is living with a carer, the carer decides about everyday thinks like: 

  • The food your kid eats 
  • The clothes your kid wears 
  • The time that your kid goes to bed at night. 

If it is safe and you get on well with the carer you may have a say in everyday decisions about your kid. 

When a kid is living with a carer, Child Safety decides on big things like: 

  • Changing the place where your kid lives 
  • Changing the school your kid goes to 
  • Sending your kid to hospital for an operation if they need it 
  • Sending your kid to talk to a counsellor. 

The law says that you can have a say in big decisions about your kid but that Child Safety will have the final say. If the case is at court the magistrate can also make some of the big decisions. 

You can speak with the Child Safety worker if you believe that some everyday should be changed – such as if you know your kid does not like to eat certain food. 

What if I don’t agree with the decisions that Child Safety make about my child? 

When you and Child Safety do not agree on things like where your kid lives or goes to school you can ask the magistrate to decide if your case is still at court. 

If your case is finished at court but you are still working with Child Safety to get your kids back you must tell Child Safety what you think is good for your kid and what you want to change. 

In certain circumstances care and protection orders can be revoked. 

Last updated: 09/02/2023