Care Proceedings: Achieving the Best Outcomes for Children Forum

ACWA, in collaboration with the Children’s Court of NSW, hosted a forum, ‘Care Proceedings: Achieving the best outcomes for children’, on March 2.

The event brought Children’s Court personnel together with legal practitioners from the Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ), Legal Aid NSW, the Aboriginal Legal Service NSW/ACT and representatives of non-government service providers, to discuss a range of important topics relating to care matters and Children's Court processes, including:

  • The role of specialist Children's Court personnel
  • The obligations of the model litigant
  • The role of service providers in care proceedings
  • Obtaining the best evidence - ensuring input from service providers
  • Document exchange before and during care proceedings
  • Delegated decision-making responsibilities during and after court proceedings
  • Key challenges facing service providers

The full-day program, which featured a series of presentations and a panel discussion, drew a face to face audience of around 170 people, while a further 100 or so participants streamed in via video link.

Below are copies of the presentations from the day:

The Children's Court and The Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998: A snapshot
Katie Kelso
Acting Solicitor in Charge of Care & Protection
Legal Aid NSW

A copy of a related paper prepared by Katie is also available.

Achieving permanency for children through the Permanency Support Program
Michelle Smith
Director, Implementation and Performance
Child and Family, Strategy. Policy and Commissioning
Department of Communities and Justice

Michelle's presentation was delivered on the day by Daniel Barakate (Director, Design and Stewardship, Child and Family Directorate, Strategy, Policy and Commissioning, Department of Communities and Justice).

Collaboration and decision-making in Care Proceedings
Catherine Samuels
Director Child Protection
Accredited Specialist Children’s Law
Department of Communities and Justice – Legal

The Model Litigant Policy
Ananda Hall
Principal Solicitor for Crown Solicitor
NSW Crown Solicitor's Office

Understanding the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle as a framework for best practice
Zoe De Re
Senior Care and Protection Solicitor
Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT)

A copy of a related paper prepared by Zoe is also available.

Dispute Resolution Conferences in Care Proceedings
Rebecca Kang
Senior Children’s Registrar
Children's Court of NSW

ACWA is working closely with DCJ to progress a number of systems and practice issues that were identified at this forum, and will be providing updates accordingly.