Dealing with Child Protection
Where can I find out my rights in the child protection process?
The rights of parents and families working with Child Protection under the law about keeping kids safe, the Children and Community Services Act 2004 (WA), are set out in the Charter of Rights for Parents and Families.
The Charter sets out the rights of parents and families across 6 areas:
- fair treatment
- participation and inclusion, and
- privacy and confidentiality.
What can I do if I disagree with a decision made by the Department and my case is currently at the Children's Court?
You should get legal advice. This includes if you disagree with a decision made about a provisional care plan.
For more information, see Going to court for a child protection case.
What can I do if I think my child has been abused in care?
You should contact the Department office you have dealt with before. It can then be referred to the Department’s Duty of Care Unit.
What can I do if I am a parent or other family member or foster carer who has a complaint about the Department that is not about a care plan or a court decision?
- Explain your concerns, for example, if calls are not returned, to the Department officer working with your family.
- Talk to the team leader who supervises the Department officer.
- Make a complaint to the Director of the District Office or work unit.
What can I do if I am a child, or young person who has a problem or complaint about the Department?
You can contact the Advocate for Children in Care
The Advocate can help you with problems or complaints which you can't sort out with your case worker, and can make sure you have a say in decisions that affect your life.
You can also talk about care plan decisions you are not happy about with your case worker. You can ask for a review of decisions as set out below.
What can I do if I am a parent or child or foster carer who does not agree with the Department’s care plan?
If you are a parent, or child, or foster carer who does not agree with a decision in a Department care plan you can ask for an internal review of the decision. You should get legal advice on how best to do this. Time limits apply however you can seek an extension of time. The Department’s Care Plan Review Panel (CPRP) does the review. The CPRP cannot do reviews of provisional care plans.
Before asking for an internal review it might help to talk to the person who chaired the care plan meeting about the decision you disagree with. You may be able to get some changes without needing to have a review.
The CPRP makes its recommendations to the Chief Executive Officer of the Department who will make a decision. A letter will be sent to you to tell you the decision.
What can I do if I do not agree with the outcome of the review to the Care Plan Review Panel?
You can then apply to the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) for a review of the decision. Time limits apply. You should get legal advice.
How do I make an FOI request?
Visit the Department of Communities' website to get information about procedures for getting access to documents informally or through an FOI request, and to download the form you need to complete.
Reviewed: 5 April 2018