Child protection can apply to the Children’s Court for a family violence intervention order (FVIO) or personal safety intervention order (PSIO) to protect a child from violence.
These orders may be appropriate if the threat to the child is outside the custodial family and cannot be addressed by a protection application or an order under the CYFA.
Before and throughout applying to the Children’s Court, practitioners should refer to relevant legislation and obtain advice from a CPLO solicitor, divisional solicitor or legal officer when required to clarify requirements.
You can apply for a FVIO to protect a child:
- if the parents provide written consent; or
- if the Court grants leave; or
- if the department has sole parental responsibility for the child.
The Court must grant leave if it is satisfied that it is in the best interests of the child.
Applications for a FVIO or PSIO are usually adjourned for one to two weeks to enable the Court to arrange service of the application on the respondent.
The Melbourne Children’s Court hears intervention order matters on a Wednesday. Seek advice from a legal officer for arrangements in other courts.
An application for a FVIO or PSIO can be finalised through:
- ex-parte order made – if the respondent has been served with the application and fails to attend the court hearing, the final order may be made in their absence
- consent order made without admissions
- a final contested hearing
- court referred mediation
- withdrawal of the application.
Case practitioner tasks
- Consult with your supervisor in relation to applying for a FVIO or PSIO on behalf of a child.
- Consult with the child, parent and relevant professionals about the rationale for and likely impacts of a FVIO or a PSIO including the options for conditions.
- Seek advice from the CPLO solicitor or a divisional solicitor or legal officer before making the application.
- Download the ‘Application for a Family Violence Intervention Order’ or the ‘Application for a Personal Safety Intervention Order’ form which can be found on the Children’s Court of Victoria website, under the ‘Forms’ tab.
The child protection practitioner with the detailed knowledge of the case and direct evidence of the circumstances should be the applicant. It is not appropriate for a non-allocated practitioner or a child protection court officer to make the application, unless they have direct evidence. As the applicant, you must attend throughout the course of the proceedings and must give evidence at any contested hearing.
- Make the application for a FVIO or PSIO in your own name and attend the proceedings to give evidence when called upon.
- Make an appointment with the Court registry so the registry staff have time to prepare the application and list the matter unless the matter is urgent.
If the application is for an interim intervention order, it will be heard on the day of the application. Otherwise it will be listed for a hearing at a later date.
If you apply for an interim intervention order, the Court will require you give brief evidence in the witness box in relation to the facts of the case and why an interim order is required.
- Contact the CPLO solicitor immediately when you receive the listing date and speak with a CPLO solicitor if you need legal representation on the date that the matter is listed for first mention.
- Consult the CPLO or divisional solicitor or legal officer about the witness list and arrangements for legal representation if the matter proceeds to a contested hearing.
- Withdraw the application if circumstances change and an intervention order is no longer required or there is insufficient evidence to proceed.
Once an application for a FVIO or PSIO is made or after the hearing at the Court for an interim intervention order, the Court will arrange for service of the application and/or the interim intervention order of the respondent via the police.
- Provide ongoing supervision and consultation
Team manager tasks
- Endorse the decision for the application