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Child protection guidelines

Information about grants of legal assistance for child protection matters.

From 1 July 2020, changes apply to the guideline 2.1 of the VLA handbook for lawyers. This guideline deals with assistance for parents, guardians or other interested persons involved in a case of the Family Division of the Children's Court.

To be eligible for a grant of funding under this guideline, the applicant must either be:

  • a parent involved in a Children's Court (Family Division) case, or
  • a third party to such a proceeding where VLA is satisfied that the circumstances of the case are 'exceptional'.

Where parental status rests on relationship with a parent

Applicants who are parents because they are the spouse or partner of a parent of the child must also:

  • be a primary carer of the child
  • ordinarily live with the child (and DHHS is seeking an order to restrict contact or communication between the applicant and the child), and
  • the conditions sought by DHHS, restricting communication or contact, differ from conditions sought for the child's parent, that is their partner.

Examples given in the notes to the guidelines include where a protection application notice has been issued, recommending a family preservation order with:

  • the child residing with the mother, with conditions excluding her partner from the home (may qualify), or
  • the child residing with the father, with conditions excluding the child coming into contact with the father's boyfriend. (would not qualify).

More information