Dealing with the Department

What can you do if you disagree with a decision made by the Department of Communities - Child Protection and Family Support ('the Department', 'Child Protection') or you want to make a complaint?

Find out what you can do if:

  • you disagree with a decision made by the Department and your case is currently at the Children's Court
  • you think your child has been abused in care
  • you are a parent (or other relative or foster carer) who has a complaint about the Department that is not about a care plan or a court decision
  • you are a child, or young person who has a complaint about the Department that is not about a care plan
  • you are a parent or child or foster carer who doesn’t agree with the Department’s care plan
  • you don’t agree with the outcome of the review to the Care Plan Review Panel
  • you want to make a freedom of information (FOI) request.

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 Abuse in Care Unit.

What can I do if I am a parent or other relative or foster carer who has a complaint about the Department that is not about a care plan or a court decision?

You can:

  • Explain your concerns, eg 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.

If you are still not satisfied, you can take your complaint to the Department’s  Complaints Management Unit  on (08) 9222 2594  or  1800 013 311  (free for STD Callers).

 

What can I do if I am a child, or young person who has a problem or complaint about the Department that is not about a care plan?

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.

The Advocate can be contacted on 1800 460 696 (freecall) or 0429 086 508 or (08) 9222 2518.

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. 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.

 

Reviewed: 5 April 2018

Disclaimer

The information displayed on this page is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have a legal problem, you should see a lawyer. Legal Aid Western Australia aims to provide information that is accurate, however does not accept responsibility for any errors or omissions in the information provided on this page or incorporated into it by reference.