The circumstances of children subject to permanent care orders may change, which may result in a permanent care order becoming unworkable.In some circumstances, it may be appropriate for Child Protection to apply to the Children’s Court to vary or revoke a permanent care order.
In the circumstance where the permanent carer(s) have died, the permanent care order can be taken to be a care by Secretary order under section 325A of the Act. This enables the department to resume exclusive parental responsibility for the child without bringing the matter before the Children’s Court.
Intake practitioner tasks
- Confirm there is no current application to the Children’s Court to vary or revoke the permanent care orders. If there is, follow Court report request procedure.
- Confirm the intake does not constitute a report of significant concern for wellbeing or need for protection of the child in relation to the permanent care parent. If it does, follow procedure for receiving and classifying reports.
- Register in CRIS as intake type – ‘manage permanent care order’.
- Select the grounds (the situation or the person wanting to vary or revoke the order) in CRIS:
- s. 325A – permanent care parents have died
- s. 326(1A) – sibling of child subject to the order
- s. 326(1)(a) – the child
- s. 326(1)(b) – the permanent care parents
- s. 326(1)(c) – the birth parents
- s. 326(1)(d) – the Secretary.
- Consult your supervisor in all cases, and with ACSASS if the child is Aboriginal.
- Record all relevant information regarding the circumstances of the intake on CRIS.
- Seek further information and consult as required.
- Progress from intake workspace and move phase to protection order phase.
- Transfer to the appropriate team.
Allocated case practitioner tasks
- Undertake an assessment of the child and family according to the SAFER children framework.
- Complete the essential information categories and undertake a risk assessment.
- Take appropriate Court action.
If each permanent care parent has died
- Make a notification to the Children’s Court that the permanent carers have died, and the permanent care order is taken to be a care by Secretary order as per s. 325A. In CRIS, this function is attached to the order within the court summary.
- Complete the required documentation and submit to your local Children’s Court.
- Record the notification on CRIS – CRIS will automatically create a care by Secretary order.
- Formulate a case plan and include a permanency objective. See Case plan preparation and review following the making of a protection order.
- Commence case management as per usual process to find a suitable new permanent carer.
If an application to vary or revoke the permanent care order is required
The department may be the applicant before the Children’s Court regarding permanent care order variations or revocations.
- Prepare the Court report addressing the specific circumstances of the application, including how the application reflects the best interests of the child. Consult the CPLO or the divisional legal officer in relation to the application. There will be no case plan and the Court report therefore need not include a case plan (consistent with s. 588(a)).
- Seek team manager endorsement and lodge the report with the Court and legal representatives seven days before the hearing.
- Consult your supervisor and the CPLO or divisional legal representative regarding next steps.
- Attend the Court hearing. See Court.
- Record the outcome of the hearing in CRIS.
- If the permanent care order remains, close the case as per usual process.
- If the permanent care order is varied, record the variation and close the case as per usual process.
- If the permanent care order is revoked
- complete the phase outcome in CRIS selecting the appropriate value
- move the case to closure phase. See Closure.
- Provide support and supervision.
- Endorse the case plan.
- Endorse the court report and recommendations.