The Family Division of the Children's Court of Victoria has jurisdiction to make orders in relation to the care and protection of any child under the age of 17 years.
When is a child in need of protection?
Under the Children Youth and Families Act 2005 (CYFA), a child is in need of protection if any one of the following grounds is made out:
- child abandonment
- death or incapacity of the child’s parents
- physical injury
- sexual abuse
- emotional or psychological harm
Which venues of the Children's Court hear Family Division cases?
In the metropolitan area, Family Division (Child Protection) cases are heard at Melbourne Children's Court, Moorabbin Children’s Court and the Broadmeadows Children's Court. In regional areas, cases are heard at most venues of the Magistrates’ Court.
How do I become a party to the proceedings?
Parents are automatically parties to Family Division (Child Protection) court proceedings.
If you want to be apply to be joined as a party, contact the registry staff at the court where the case is being heard. You should also notify the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (DFFH) of your application. The Magistrate will decide if you can be joined as a party after hearing from you in court or in an online video hearing.