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Children and personal safety

Information about personal safety orders and children.

If a child needs protection

A personal safety intervention order can be made for the protection of a child but it will be unusual for the child to apply directly for the order.

The aim of the legislation is for a responsible adult to be involved in applying on behalf of the child. Typically this will be one of the child’s parents or another adult with the consent of at least one parent. The police may also apply on behalf of a child.

A child aged from 14 years can apply for an intervention without the involvement of a responsible adult but only with the leave of the court. The court will grant leave for the child to proceed only if is considered to be in the child’s best interests.

Applications for an intervention order involving a child, whether as applicant or respondent, are expected to be made to the Children’s Court. The Children’s Court is considered the most appropriate venue due its specialist knowledge and experience in handling children’s cases.

Assessment reports

The Children’s court may ask the Department of Justice and Regulation to prepare a clinical assessment report on any one of the parties to an application. These reports provide useful psychological or psychiatric information to help the court to decide whether an intervention order is appropriate, and if so, then what conditions to attach to the intervention order.

Child respondents

It is not possible to have a personal safety intervention order against a child respondent who is younger than 10 years old.

When a respondent to an intervention order is a child, then special considerations can apply when imposing conditions to that order, particularly when it affects a child attending school or living at home.

See Conditions in personal safety orders and the 'Practice resources—youth law resources' (link below).

More information

Legislation

Personal Safety Intervention Order Act 2010 (Vic)

  • s. 17—application for a child may be included in an application by a child's parent
  • Part 3 Division 5—Assessment reports in proceedings in the children's court
  • Part 3 Division 7 sub Div 2—conditions excluding a child respondent from residence
  • Part 3 Division 7 sub Div 3—conditions preventing a respondent from attending school

See Personal Safety Intervention Orders Act 2010 (Vic).

Practice resources—Youth law resources

The Practice resources content on the VLA intranet has information about the personal safety intervention orders that relate to children.

See Practice Resources—Youth law resources—Personal Safety Intervention Orders (PSIOs).

Updated