Best Interests Of Children To Be Protected In Law
The power of the Children’s Court relating to restrictions on the making of protection orders for vulnerable children has been retained in legislation, fulfilling an election promise of the Andrews Labor Government.
Today, important amendments have been introduced to the Children, Youth and Families Amendment (Permanent Care and Other Matters) Act 2014.
When the Act was passed last year, it had the effect of removing the power of the Children’s Court to restrict the making of a protection order unless satisfied that all reasonable steps had been taken by the Department of Health and Human Services to provide the services necessary to promote the best interests of children.
The amendment that was to come in to force on 1 March 2016 will no longer be implemented. The Court will retain the power to refuse to make a protection order when necessary services have not been provided.
Minister for Families and Children, Jenny Mikakos, has committed to reviewing the new arrangements that were introduced via the Children, Youth and Families Amendment (Permanent Care and Other Matters) Act 2014, six months after they take effect on 1 March 2016.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children, Jenny Mikakos
“Labor promised to retain the Children’s Court’s authority to properly scrutinise the Department and safeguard the interests of children, and today we’ve delivered on that promise.”
“These changes will help to ensure that the Department is working to protect the best interests of children and families.”