04. Child Welfare Law
Child Welfare Law
The Director of Child and Family Services will intervene if it determines that your children are at risk for harm due to neglect or abuse by the parents, or if the parents are not prepared to protect the children from neglect or abuse.
The Director will intervene by apprehending the children from the parents' care and place them in foster care or with family members through kinship care. The Director would then make a court application for one of the following orders depending on whether there is possibility of the children being returned to the parents or not in the near future:
1. Supervision Order (SO) - the children are returned to the parents care under supervision and watchful eyes of the case workers on behalf of the Director of Child and Family Services. The parents must comply with the conditions in the Supervision Order until they have satisfied all the conditions. If they do, then the children will stay with them for good. If they do not, the children will be removed from their care.
2. Temporary Guardianship Order (TGO) - If there is a chance of the children being returned to the care of the parents, but it would take longer for the parents to comply with conditions that the Director of Child and Family Services want to impose upon them, then the Director will apply for a Temporary Guardianship Order. The children will remain in foster care or kinship care during the duration of this Order to allow the parents to work on their issues. The parents will be able to have visits with the children during this period supervised in the discretion of the Director of Child and Family Services. If the parents are successful in complying with the conditions, then the Director may return the children to the parents' care under the Supervision Order. If the parents need more time to work on their issues, then the Temporary Guardianship Order will be extended.
3. Permanent Guardianship Order (PGO) - In the event that the parents have not been successful in dealing with their issues or to comply with the conditions imposed upon them under the Temporary Guardianship Order, the Director of Child and Family Services will then apply for a Permanent Guardianship Order. This means that the children will not be returned to the parents. They will become the permanent ward of the government.
Therefore it is important that you retain and have legal representation as soon as possible to assist you in Court to deal with these matters as delays can work against you having the children back in your care.
Our lawyer can assist you with this matter and we accept clients who are on Legal Aid Certificates.