Use this procedure when applying to the Court to extend the following:
- family preservation order
- family reunification order
- care by Secretary order
- therapeutic treatment order
- therapeutic treatment (placement) order.
Case practitioner tasks
- If an extension is available, given legislative restrictions, and is in the best interests of the child, complete the relevant paperwork –
- Form 27 for extension of a protection order, or
- Form 9 for extension of therapeutic treatment order and/or therapeutic treatment (placement) order.
- If a condition on the order needs to be changed, issue an application to vary along with the extension – Form 28 for extension of a protection order or Form 8 for extension of therapeutic treatment order and/or therapeutic treatment (placement) order.
- Update the essential information categories with any new information and evidence that supports the risk assessment being current.
- Consider a review risk assessment to analyse changes in circumstances and inform the decision as to whether an application to extend the order is required and appropriate.
- Issue the extension paperwork with court before the expiry of the existing order (otherwise the order will lapse). Once the application is made, the order continues in force until the hearing.
- Forms and affidavits of service must be lodged with the Court before the hearing date or the application will not be listed with the court and may not proceed.
- Issuing and lodging court paperwork are separate processes.
- You must first have paperwork issued by the Court.
- Lodge paperwork with the Court once copies have been served (along with the affidavit of service).
- Serve copies of the issued application form as soon as possible on the child (12 years and older), the child’s parents and any party to the proceeding. See Service of documents and Dispensation of service.
- Make a reasonable effort (at a minimum a check of the person's last known address and make enquiries with family members) to contact and serve a party whose location is unknown.
- You may apply to the Court for an order dispensing with service if after reasonable efforts a party cannot be located or there are exceptional circumstances.
- Give the family information about their and their child’s right to legal representation and legal aid.
- Complete and file an affidavit of service (Form 21) providing evidence that the parties have been served.
- File the original extension application at the registry to have the matter listed.
- The original extension application and affidavits of service must be lodged with the Court at least 48 hours before the hearing date or the application will not be listed with the Court and may not proceed.
- Send a copy of the paperwork and affidavit of service to CPLO or divisional legal officer (rural area) at least 48 hours before the hearing date.
- Prepare a court report in support of the department’s application to extend the order for the hearing.
- Include the evidence and information informing your risk assessment as evidence to support the application to extend the order.
- Consult with a supervisor, the CPLO and/or divisional legal officer.
- Obtain supervisor or team manager endorsement for recommended disposition and order conditions.
- Refer to the CRIS alert screen and ensure the report does not include confidential information such as protected addresses or contact details.
- Seek comments from the child/young person and the parents.
- At least seven days before the court hearing:
- Submit all reports to the Court (note that non-court ordered reports written by other professionals cannot be distributed without the consent of the author and the approval of a supervisor).
- Electronically send all reports to the CPLO or divisional solicitor.
- Provide a copy of the report to the lawyers representing the child, the child if aged 12 years or older, the child’s parents and any other party to the proceeding.
- Provide a copy of the report to the child if aged 12 years or older, the child’s parents and a party to the proceeding.
- For an application for extension of a protection order where parents are consenting to the extension and do not wish to attend court, obtain parental consent for the extension in writing if the parents:
- have been served with the extension application and
- have a copy of the disposition report and
- after being encouraged to seek legal representation indicate they will not seek legal representation and
- are not attending court, and consent to the extension of the protection order.
- Arrange an appointment with Victoria Legal Aid for each child aged 10 years or older so the child can give instructions to their lawyer and avoid the need to attend court to give instructions, unless they wish to attend.
- Seek legal advice from the CPLO solicitor or divisional solicitor before the hearing date.
- Contact the Court to arrange security if there are worker safety issues.
- Complete CRIS requirements including court screens and record of activity, decisions and rationales.
- Provide ongoing supervision and consultation.
Team manager tasks
- Endorse the application for an extension of the order.
- Endorse the court report.
- Endorse review risk assessments.