Family Drug Treatment Court - procedure

Follow this procedure when working with a family who are participating in the Family Drug Treatment Court.

Document ID number 1227, version 3, 18 November 2019.


The Family Drug Treatment Court (FDTC) is currently only accepting children from the North Division of child protection (Preston office) and the East Division of child protection (Shepparton office). Therefore, child protection practitioners in these offices should follow this procedure when referring and working with a family participating in the FDTC.

See Family Drug Treatment Court – advice for further information on the FDTC.



A family reunification order should be sought for a child when their parent is a participant of the FDTC, or an interim accommodation order (IAO) at a minimum. It is not considered appropriate for no order to be in place for child when their parent is a participant of the FDTC.


Case practitioner tasks

  • Consult with the Child Protection Litigation Office (CPLO), or your rural legal representative immediately and seek ongoing legal advice as required.
  • Complete the Child Protection entry report to the FDTC for a parent being assessed for suitability to the program.
  • Once a parent is a participant, provide weekly updates via the FDTC child protection coordinator by completing the weekly update report, in respect of the child and any interaction they have had with the participating parent.
  • Liaise regularly with the FDTC child protection coordinator and provide any critical information in sufficient detail prior to FDTC hearings and meetings.
  • Engage with any non-participating parent and keep them informed of any issue or decisions for their child.
  • Accurately record information on CRIS in a timely manner, and store records in the paper file as required.
  • Seek permission from the presiding Magistrate of the Family Drug Treatment Court should information regarding the FDTC contained within the child protection file is to be used.
  • Conduct a thorough risk assessment if a clinician from the FDTC raises a concern about the result of a drug screen.

Should a drug screen result raise any concern that raises immediate risk, the clinician from the FDTC will alert the coordinator to this risk so that child protection can undertake a risk assessment and take any action required to ensure the safety of the child.

  • Attend and participate in the family recovery plan meetings (including reviews).
  • Liaise regularly with the clinical case managers of the FDTC to share information in a timely manner.

Supervisor tasks

  • Support the child protection practitioner in their assessment and case management.
  • Liaise with the FDTC child protection coordinator.

Team manager tasks

  •  Endorse case plan.
  •  Attend and participate in the Family Recovery Plan meetings (including reviews).
  •  Liaise with the FDTC child protection coordinator as required.
  • Seek legal advice from the Child Protection Litigation Office (CPLO) or rural legal representation as required.

FDTC child protection co-ordinator tasks

  • Attend the weekly clinical meeting as part of the FDTC team.
  • Ensure the child protection information for the entry report is provided for new referrals.
  • Ensure the weekly update from child protection is completed by the child protection practitioner and the child protection assessment has been articulated to the Magistrate.
  • Attend the FDTC (this includes the pre-court meeting) each week and ensure the child protection view has been represented.
  • Liaise with the allocated child protection practitioner and team manager as required.
  • Seek legal advice from the Child Protection Litigation Office (CPLO) or rural legal representation as required.