Have Your Say: Shaping a Better Child Protection System Discussion Paper

ACWA is responding to the Shaping a Better Child Protection System Discussion Paper and is seeking input from our membership, other key stakeholders and researchers with a view to coordinating an informed and useful submission.

How To Provide Input 

  • Face-to-face consultation
    ACWA will be holding a consultation on Wednesday, November 22, from 12:00 noon  to 4:00pm at our Haymarket office. Please RSVP to veronica@acwa.asn.au
  • Written input
    We invite member responses to some or all of the areas listed below and any other comments regarding the Discussion Paper via email to padraig@acwa.asn.au. You can also phone on 02 9281 8822 and ask to speak to a member of our Policy and Membership Team. Please send your responses by Friday, November 17.

ACWA will acknowledge the input provided by all contributing agencies but cannot guarantee specific points will be included in ACWA’s submission. Case studies will be de-identified and agencies can request their input remain confidential.

Key Questions

Family preservation and restoration

  • What are the range of family systems and structures that your agency works with? (pp. 12-13)
  • If there were response timeframes for assessment and case plan development following a ROSH report, how would this impact on the work of your agency? (pp. 13-14)
  • What is your experience of using ADR, and FGC in particular? (pp. 15-17)
  • What would be the impact of strengthening obligations
on NGOs to provide services that children and families need, e.g. through requesting priority access to a service by a parent? (pp. 17-18)
  • Should the definition of ‘children’s services’ be broadened for mandatory reporting purposes? (pp. 18-19)
  • What would be the impact of exempting mandatory reporters from reporting to the Child Protection Helpline where supports are in place with families? What training and support may be needed if there is an exemption? (p. 20)

Court processes and orders

  • What safeguards may be needed if the Care Act contains a specific provision enabling the Children’s Court to make guardianship orders by consent? (p. 21)
  • Should all parties to care proceedings be able to apply for interim orders to be varied without making an application under section 90 of the Care Act? (p. 22)
  • What impact may shorter term court orders (STCO) have on the likelihood of successful restoration or other permanency outcomes for child? What factors would need to be taken into account when making a STCO? Are there any further practice changes that could encourage work towards meeting the permanency needs for children and young people? (pp. 22-24)
  • What would be the impact of the Children’s Court having the power to relist a matter if they are not reasonably satisfied with the care arrangements with an NGO following a s82 report? What are the alternatives to relisting the matter? (pp. 24-26)
  • If contact orders could to be made for the life of a guardianship order, how might this impact on current/potential guardianship arrangements? What other changes could be made to support contact in relation to guardianship orders? (pp. 26-27)
  • Are there any circumstances where it would be in the interests of the child to limit section 90 applications? (pp. 27-28)
  • What may be the impact of NGOs being able to bring an application for a guardianship order without the written consent of FACS? (pp. 28-29)
  • What may be the impact of transferring adoption from the Supreme Court to the Children’s Court? (pp. 29-31)
  • Are there any circumstances where it would be in the interests of the child to provide additional grounds for dispensing with parental consent for adoption and/or limiting a parent’s right to be advised of an adoption? (pp. 31-33)
  • Are there circumstances when a child could be placed back with parents earlier than six months prior to a planned restoration? Should the legislation be changed to reflect this? (pp. 35-36)
  • What legal arrangement might be in the best interests of a child whose guardian or carer has passed away? (pp. 37-38)

In addition to these questions, ACWA is seeking specific information about:

  • The potential impact of the proposals for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people;
  • The potential impact of the proposals for children and young people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds; and
  • The potential impact of the proposals for families in regional or remote areas of NSW.


Note: page numbers refer to the Discussion Paper.