The Children's Court of Victoria is implementing an online CMS in response to recommendations from the Royal Commission into Family Violence to improve information sharing across key government organisations such as the Courts, Child Protection, Victoria Police and Corrections. This is to help keep victim survivors safe, to reduce the risk of further harm and to keep perpetrators ‘in view’ and accountable. The CMS will be accompanied by an e-portal for exchanging documents and information between Child Protection and the Children's Court of Victoria. It will replace all current methods by which the Court receives information.
The new CMS Portal will provide a secure, self-service online portal and modernise how Child Protection engages with the Children's Court. It will provide users with the ability to:
- File applications, reports, and documents
- Access case information, including hearing details
- Draft and submit proposed minutes of consent orders
- Schedule hearing dates
- Obtain authorised court orders
See CMS Portal - procedure for tasks that must be undertaken when using the CMS Portal.
- Applications can be filed 24/7 through the CMS portal without attending court
- Files and documents can be lodged anywhere, anytime, while adhering to usual listing rule
- Instead of filing applications and documents by email, fax or over the counter, all will be done securely through the CMS portal
- Court dates can be selected in the portal through a live calendar
- A digital copy of orders will be available in the portal on the day of the court hearing
- Parents can have court orders either emailed to them or hand delivered at the court
- Practitioners can notify the registry of additional requests such as an interpreter, security needs and video links through a simple check box process within the portal.
Please note the CMS portal does not replace the need for practitioners to serve applications, reports and other documents to the parties as per legislative requirements, see Service of Documents for more information.
The following authorised Professionals can have access to the CMS Portal:
- Child Protection Practitioner (CPP 3 and above),
- Aboriginal Children in Aboriginal Care (ACAC) providers,
- Child Protection Litigation Office (CPLO) and
- Private legal practitioners.
Self-represented parties do not have access to the CMS Portal and will continue to access and lodge court paperwork via the court registry. Additional departmental professional users such as the Child Protection Subpoena Unit will have access to the cases on CMS Portal.
Any requests for additional departmental roles (job titles and classification) to access the CMS Portal can be submitted in writing to the “Manager CMS Organisation Administration” or “Director Child Protection Service Improvement & Business Continuity” with a rationale as to why this is required. Authorisation for additional positions must then be tabled and endorsed by the DFFH CMS Project Control Group”.
A Centrally managed Organisation Administration team has been recruited to support the onboarding and offboarding of Child Protection Practitioners to the CMS Portal. There are two types of CMS Portal access for Child Protection staff; user access and case access.
- User access allows child protection practitioners to log in to the CMS Portal and enact limited functions such as filing a brand new protection application.
- New child protection practitioners who join the department will be granted 'user access' to the CMS Portal by an Organisation Administration Officer when their line manager has approved their CRIS access. The Organisation Administration Officers will be automatically notified through the Organisation Administration workspace within CRIS when this occurs.
- User access to the CMS Portal MUST be removed by an Organisation Administration Officer when a Child Protection user changes to an out-of-scope role or leaves the department. Organisation Administration Officer will be automatically notified through the Organisation Administration workspace within CRIS when this occurs.
- Child Protection staff with user access to the CMS Portal can request access to any case (as required). The court case file number is required to request this access and is processed through CRIS.
- When the request is made through CRIS, this will alert the Organisation Administration team, who will action this request to grant case access. The requestor will receive an auto-generated email from the CMS portal notifying them that they have been granted case access.
- Child Protection staff can request to be offboarded to a case they have access to.
- Case access will be removed by an Organisation Administration Officer when a Child Protection user requests to be removed or changes to an out-of-scope role, or leaves the department. A request to be off-boarded to a case can be made by emailing the Organisation Administration Officer at CMSorgadmin@dffh.vic.gov.au
The CMS Portal does not negate the need to upload documents, update information and record court information in CRIS. The CRIS client file remains the primary source of truth for DFFH. See Case recording for more information.
- The CMS Portal does not change current policy or practice advice regarding the decision to issue an application before the Children's Court as documented in the Child Protection Manual.
- The CMS Portal does not negate the need to record court information in CRIS. The CRIS client file remains the primary source of truth for the department.
- The CMS Portal does not replace the need to serve documents, such as applications and court reports on the parties, as outlined in legislation and policy. In addition, Court listing rules do not change.
- CPLO do not receive notifications from the CMS Portal when applications are initiated, and documents uploaded. Therefore, timely communication between Child Protection and CPLO remains imperative.
- The CMS Portal is not intended to replace the need for ongoing communication and negotiation between the parties.
- Child protection Staff are required to participate in mandatory CMS Portal For Court Documents training, which can be accessed via OurPeople Learning