Your rights as a birth parent

carer reading a book with a boy

The law on child protection gives parents the right to be involved in, and have a say about, what happens to their child when in care.

While your child's safety and welfare must come first, you still have the right to:

  • apply to the Children’s Court to appeal the order placing your child or children in care
  • be told where your child is unless Community Services believes that this information would harm the safety, welfare and wellbeing of your child or their carer
  • be given information about your child’s carer unless Community Services believes this would harm the safety, welfare and wellbeing of your child or the safety of the carer and their family
  • be informed of your child’s progress and development during their placement
  • ask Community Services for services which could help your child to return to your care.

Almost all major decisions about your child in care will be discussed at a case planning meeting, which you are invited to attend.

Types of decisions discussed at a case planning meeting can include:

  • change of your child’s school
  • your child going away on camp that is for one week’s duration or more
  • approval for enrolment in a private school
  • your child’s wish to marry before they are 18
  • consent for your child’s surgery
  • deciding to remove your child from a particular foster care placement
  • approval to change your child’s name
  • approval for your child to enlist in the armed forces
  • approval for your child to enter an apprenticeship
  • your child’s carer planning to travel or move interstate
  • your child’s carer applying for a passport and/or wanting to obtain a passport on behalf of your child in care
  • the carer is considering making application for sole parental responsibility of your child.
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To report suspected child abuse or neglect, call the Child Protection Helpline on 132 111 (24 hours/7 days)