Child protection legal information
Child protection is a critical aspect of ensuring the safety and well-being of children under 18 in Queensland. The Department of Child Safety, Seniors and Disability Services plays a central role in investigating reports of alleged harm or risk of harm to children and providing necessary support to families.
If there are concerns about a child's safety, the following actions may be taken:
  • Voluntary Agreement:

    the authorities may request families to enter into a voluntary agreement aimed at ensuring the child's safety.
  • Child Removal:

    In cases where a child is at immediate risk of harm, the department has the power to remove the child from their current care.
  • Assessment Order:

    Child Safety can apply for an assessment order to evaluate the situation and determine if further intervention is necessary.
  • Child Protection Order:

    If deemed necessary, they also may refer the matter to the Director of Child Protection Litigation, who can decide whether to apply for a child protection order
  • If the Court agrees there's been a big change, they'll change the orders to suit what's best for the kids.

It is crucial to seek legal advice immediately if you or your family are being investigated. Additionally, if you suspect a child is being harmed or is at risk of harm, you can report it to the police, Child Safety, or call emergency services at 000.

The department defines harm to a child as any detrimental effect on their physical, psychological, or emotional well-being, caused by abuse, neglect, or exploitation. This harm can result from a single incident or a series of circumstances.
Anyone can report concerns about child abuse. Certain professionals, such as doctors, nurses, teachers, and police officers, are mandatory reporters and must notify the authorities if they suspect a child is at risk of significant harm.
During investigations, the officers may contact your child without your knowledge if they believe it's in the child's best interest and disclosing the investigation beforehand might hinder it.
If your child is taken into custody during an investigation, Child Safety must apply for a temporary assessment or custody order within 8 hours. You have the right to legal representation during these proceedings.

It is essential to understand your rights and responsibilities if your child is subject to a child protection order. These orders may involve directives related to your child's care, supervision by Child Protection, or temporary custody arrangements.
In cases involving Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander children, special consideration is given to their cultural identity and family connections. Child Safety is required to actively engage with Indigenous families and uphold the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle.
If you disagree with decisions made regarding your child, you have the right to appeal or seek review through the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT).
Additionally, community organizations and legal services are available to provide support and assistance to individuals involved in child protection matters. These organizations can offer legal advice, representation, and advocacy to ensure the best interests of the child are upheld.
Understanding child protection laws and procedures is crucial for safeguarding the well-being of children and navigating complex legal processes. If you require legal advice or assistance regarding child protection matters, do not hesitate to seek help from our experienced family lawyers.
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What is a child protection order?
Child protection orders are distinct from family violence orders and are issued by state children's courts when a child is believed to be in need of protection. However, children can sometimes be included in family violence orders made for a parent.