What does the Children’s Court Clinic do?
The Children’s Court Clinic is an independent organisation which conducts psychological and psychiatric assessments of children and families for the Children’s Court of Victoria. In some cases, limited treatment is also provided. The Clinic also conducts assessments relating to the impact of drug use on a young person and may make recommendations about appropriate treatment. The reports provided by the Clinic are used to assist magistrates in making decisions in both Family Division and Criminal Division cases.
Who can request an assessment by the Children’s Court Clinic?
Only a judge/magistrate can request an assessment by the Children’s Court Clinic. However, Department of Health & Human Services staff, lawyers and parents can all request the judge/magistrate to order a Clinic report.
Who conducts the assessments?
Clinic assessments are conducted by clinical psychologists and psychiatrists who are engaged as needed by the Director. The professionals used are all highly experienced in their field and include specialists in dealing with small children, adolescents and adults.
Where are assessments conducted?
Most Children’s Court Clinic assessments are conducted at the Clinic’s premises within the Melbourne Children’s Court complex at 477 Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne 3000 - see map. However, Clinic professionals also conduct home assessments where there is a special need and travel to remand and secure welfare centres.
How long does an assessment take?
Depending on the nature of the case, assessments may include interviews and psychological tests which can take up to a day to complete.
If you need more information or have a question about attending a Children’s Court Clinic assessment, telephone the Clinic on (03) 8638 3300.