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Child Protection Hearings during COVID-19

Protection application hearings

One of the ways that the Children’s Court of Victoria (the Court) is responding to the COVID-19 emergency is by hearing cases remotely.

If the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (DFFH, formerly DHHS) has served you with a protection application there will be a remote video hearing for your case. You should participate in the hearing, but you should not attend Court in person. The Court’s registry staff will help you join the online hearing.

If you do not participate in your case, the Magistrate or Judge might make decisions without you.

You should only come to court if you cannot contact the Court or a lawyer by telephone and you need the face to face services of the Registry.

See Court Registry contact details.

Legal help

If you do not have a lawyer, DFFH can provide your contact details to Victoria Legal Aid who will arrange for a free lawyer. The lawyer will call you so please keep your phone on.

You can also call Victoria Legal Aid directly on 1300 792 387.

If you already have a child protection lawyer, try to call them first for help.

If you do not have a lawyer or you want to represent yourself, call the Court Registry for help to join the remote hearing.

Remote Hearings

The Court is using an online video program called ‘Webex’ for the remote video hearings. You can access the hearing on a landline or mobile phone, or a tablet, laptop or computer. You can join by voice only, or by video.

If you are joining the hearing, tell your legal representative or, if you are self-represented, contact the Court Registry before your hearing to arrange to receive an email link or a call. Receiving a call to join the hearing will not use up mobile credit.

The Court has published a Fact Sheet for Online Hearings on its website that will help you join the hearing if you have access to a computer or tablet.

Courtroom Etiquette

By participating in a remote video hearing you will be seen and heard by the court. Be aware of the location you are connecting from and the people around you.

If you are appearing by video, the camera will be active and visible within the courtroom and to anyone who is also joining the hearing. Ensure appropriate dress standards for the remote hearing and be mindful of your behaviour while you are connected.

Getting help

We have dedicated staff to help you understand court processes. Our Court Support Coordinators are available by phone on:

  • Melbourne Children’s Court: 0428 133 321
  • Broadmeadows Children’s Court: 0456 718 527
  • Moorabbin Children’s Court: 0447 236 286

Text or call any of those numbers and we will call you back if you do not have credit on your phone.

Contact the Children’s Court

Melbourne Children's Court

Tel: 8638 3300 Fax: 8601 6720
Email: melbourneregistry@courts.vic.gov.au
Email: melbournecoordinator@courts.vic.gov.au

Broadmeadows Children’s Court

Tel: 9007 7600 Fax: 9007 7640
Email: broadmeadowsregistry@courts.vic.gov.au

Moorabbin Justice Centre

Tel: 7024 2900 Fax: 7024 2980
Email: moorabbinregistry@courts.vic.gov.au

Find Legal Help

Victoria Legal Aid (legal advice)

Tel: 1300 792 387

You can speak to Victoria Legal Aid in these languages:

Language

Phone number

عربي / Arabic

(03) 9269 0127

Bahasa (Malay)

1300 792 387

Bosanski/Bosnian

(03) 9269 0164

普通話 / Mandarin

(03) 9269 0212

廣東話 / Cantonese

(03) 9269 0161

Hrvatski / Croatian

(03) 9269 0164

huoeñjäñ / Dinka

1300 792 387

Ελληvικά / Greek

(03) 9269 0167

हिंदी / Hindi

(03) 9269 0487

Hokkien

1300 792 387

فار س / Persian (Farsi)

(03) 9269 0123

Polski / Polish

(03) 9269 0228

Samoan

1300 792 387

Српски / Serbian

(03) 9269 0332

Turkçe / Turkish

(03) 9269 0386

Українська Moba / Ukrainian

(03) 9269 0390

Việt-ngữ / Vietnamese

(03) 9269 0391

If your language is not listed here, phone the Translating and Interpreting Service on 131 450 and ask to be put through to Victoria Legal Aid’s Legal Help on 1300 792 387.

Information about COVID-19

More information about the government rules in place to stop the spread of COVID-19

Translated resources on COVID-19

If you think you or your child may have the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) call the hotline on 1800 675 398. It is open 24 hours, 7 days.

COVID-19