Communities and Justice

Court proceedings

Collaborating in court proceedings

The Department and a PSP provider have complementary roles before or during court proceedings.

The Department is a model litigant in the proceedings, whether or not initiated by itself.

The Department’s role includes:

  • obtaining, collating and filing evidence required by the court
  • developing the child’s care plan (with support from the PSP provider)
  • responding to administrative directions by the court
  • responding to interim orders that effect care arrangements
  • making decisions about arrangements for the child to have family time with their parents, siblings and family/kin.

The Department liaises with the PSP provider, and where needed, seeks direct contact with a child, their carers, parents and family/kin, to continually assess risk, and coordinate and file evidence in proceedings. The Department informs the PSP provider when contact is planned, or if that is not possible, immediately after it occurs.

The Department provides PSP providers with clear advance timeframes of what evidence will be required by the Children’s Court, and by when. The Department also provides the PSP provider with notice of when it can be reasonably anticipated that their affidavit/report authors will be required to give evidence in court.

PSP providers support the Department in Children’s Court proceedings by:

  • facilitating direct contact by Departmental practitioners with a child, their carers, parents and family/kin
  • sharing all relevant information, including in response to the Departmental requests for information, to enable timely assessment, and the filing of all relevant evidence in court proceedings, which may include carer assessments, reports about the child, and reportable conduct  
  • preparing and providing evidence including affidavits and reports on the placement, casework including assessments and family time (contact), and other information on the child or young person as required, within timeframes stipulated by the Children’s Court
  • arranging for affidavit and other report authors to be available to give evidence in the Children’s Court as required
  • arranging for the child’s independent legal representative to meet with the child
  • carefully managing communication between the child, their carers, parents and family/kin and referring parties to their legal representatives as appropriate
  • implementing decisions regarding drug and alcohol or DNA testing of birth parents
  • contributing and collaborating in developing a care plan with the Department
  • complying with Children’s Court orders that may be in place, including timely preparation of section 76 or section 82 reports for supervision orders by the timeframes stipulated by the Children’s Court
  • organising contact, respite or other action in accordance with court orders
  • implementing the permanency plan approved by the Children’s Court
  • complying with all other requirements for designated agencies as outlined in the Children and Young Person’s (Care and Protection) Act 1998 and the model litigant policy.

PSP providers prepare court evidence and other court documents, to the standard required by the Children’s Court. PSP providers assure the quality of documentation prior to submitting to the Department. PSP providers meet the timeframes provided by the Department, to allow the Department to file documentation within the timeframes set by the Children’s Court.

For further information about PSP Providers’ involvement in court proceedings and the provision of court documents to providers see Practice Note 17: designated agencies in Children’s Court care proceedings. 

Also see collaborating in case planning during court proceedings and expenditure retained by the Department.

Last updated:

19 Feb 2023