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Questions to ask third parties (non-parents)

Information to help legal help staff when they are dealing with third parties in a child protection matter.

This list of questions is designed to Legal Help officers who are assisting callers who are third parties to a child protection matter.

Interest of the caller

  • Who is the adult caller?
  • Make sure the adult is not a parent. For an expanded legal definition of a parent see Parties to proceedings

Court and pending appointments

  • Is there an upcoming appointment with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)?
  • When was the matter last at court?
  • Did the adult make themselves a party to proceedings?
  • Upcoming Court Date:
  • Court Location:

Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Status

  • Is the child and/or the adult of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander decent?

Living Arrangements of child

  • Has the child lived with the adult before?
  • Was the child living with the adult before DHHS involvement?
  • Is the child living with the adult now?
  • Is the child living with the adult pursuant to a Child protection order, and if so which order?

Working out which order the child is on

It is not always possible to find out what order the child is on, if any. First try to prompt the caller by using the names of the child protection orders

These questions may help to work out what order is in place:

  • Who is the child living with if not with the caller?
  • If the child has not been living with the parents, how long have they been living elsewhere?
  • How long has the child not lived with their parents under a child protection order?
  • How long is the order for?
  • If the child does not live with their parents, are DHHS saying the child will return some time?
  • Is the child living with a foster

DHHS position

  • What do the DHHS want?
  • Does the adult agree with the DHHS?

Referral Options

  • Does the person meet the WLS service guidelines for a referral? If not and the person is a priority client you can refer this matter for advice.
  • For matters where the client is not a priority client, they will need to apply to be joined as a party. [Note during the COVID-19 pandemic the process for applying to become a party to proceedings has changed. Applications must be made by email]. For details see Parties to proceedings.
  • If this application is granted, they can then apply for the grant of aid with a lawyer from the Child protection panel.

See Parties to proceedings

More information

Updated