Communities and Justice

List: Legislation informing practice

NSW Legislation



The Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998
(the Care Act)

Establishes the legislative framework providing child protection and out-of-home care services in NSW. Certain provisions of the Act are consistent with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Regulation 2012 (the Regulations)

Forms part of the framework for child protection and OOHC services, including regarding the accreditation of as designated agencies by the NSW Children’s Guardian.

Childrens Court Act 1987

Establishes the Children’s Court and its roles and responsibilities.

The Adoption Act 2000

The legal framework for the adoption of children in NSW and (in conjunction with other legislation) those from overseas.

Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998

Sets out requirements for the collection, storage, access, accuracy, use and disclosure of personal information.

Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002

Sets out requirements of collection, storage, access, accuracy, use and disclosure of health information.

Community Services (Complaints, Reviews and Monitoring) Act 1993

Provides the Ombudsman with the power to investigate complaints about organisations (government and NGOs) that provide child protection services and other community services, conduct reviews of children in care, and conduct systemic reviews of the deaths of children at risk of harm or those in OOHC.

Ombudsman Act 1974

Sets out the role of the Ombudsman in monitoring and reviewing the provision of community services, investigating complaints, and oversighting allegations of reportable conduct and complaint handling.

Guardianship Act 1987

Sets out responsibilities, functions, orders and principles applied by the Guardianship Division of NCAT to appointing guardians for people with disabilities, including young people aged 16–17 years and authorise special medical treatment.

Crimes Act 1900

Sets out criminal offences and penalties for those offences.

Coroners Act 2009

Requires that certain deaths be reported to the Coroner including the death of a child or young person in OOHC or who has been subject to a ROSH report and provides for the Coroner to conduct inquests and inquiries into deaths.

Victims Rights and Support Act 2013

A child who has experienced abuse or was the victim of a crime may be eligible for compensation. Victims Services New South Wales runs the scheme, which also helps victims in other ways, such as with counselling, support and information.

Child Protection (Working With Children) Act 2012

Sets out the functions of the Children’s Guardian and provides for conducting the Working with Children Checks/.  The Children’s Guardian also administers the Child Sex Offender Counsellor Accreditation Scheme.

Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007

The main legislation dealing with domestic and family violence in New South Wales. It provides power for a court to make an apprehended domestic or personal violence order (ADVO or APVO);  includes objectives that relate to ensuring the safety of all persons, including children, who experience domestic violence; and enacts provisions that are consistent with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Adoption Regulation 2015

Regulates adoption law and practice

Commonwealth legislation

Title Description

Privacy Act 1998

Sets out the requirements for the collection, use and disclosure of personal information. Applies to Commonwealth government agencies, corporations  and NGOs.

Family Law Act 1975

Provides for the resolution of private family disputes over property and children (parenting proceedings).

There is a significant overlap in the jurisdiction of Family Law Courts and DCJ. The Family Law Courts have power to request that DCJ intervene in parenting proceedings where there are child protection concerns.  Section 69ZK gives the Family Court of Australia and Federal Circuit Court power to make orders in respect of children who are in care only with the written consent of DCJ. The courts have broad powers to make orders in proceedings relating to children beyond those that can be made by the Children’s Court.

DCJ has an MOU with the Family Court and Federal Circuit Court that provides for cooperation between DCJ and the courts including information exchange, Magellan Reports and interventions.

Last updated:

08 Feb 2023