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Children's Court of Western Australia
Children's Court of Western Australia

Details about the Protection Order

A protection order can be made if the court finds that the child is in need of protection. This has a particular meaning under the Children and Community Services Act 2004.

The act says that a child is in need of protection if:

  • The child does not have a parent or other suitable family member to care for them.
  • The child has suffered or is likely to suffer physical abuse or neglect. Either sexual abuse or emotional abuse which includes being exposed to family violence. The parents have not protected, or are unlikely or unable to protect, the child from harm. Or further harm of that kind.
  • The child has suffered or is likely to suffer harm. This is as a result of the parents being unable or unwilling to arrange for adequate care for the child. Or effective medical, therapeutic or other remedial treatment for the child.

The court must also find that making a protection order is better for the child than making no order at all.

For long term orders, the court has to also be happy that long­ term arrangements should be made for the child.

Protection Orders

The Children's Court can make four different kinds of protection orders.

Supervision Order

Under this type of order, the child stays with their parent/s. The Department of Communities supervises or keeps an eye on the situation. This is to make sure the child is safe and cared for.

The parents usually have to follow conditions. Like being drug tested often or not allowing certain people in the house.

This type of protection order can be for up to two years.

Time Limited Order

It is the Department of Communities' responsibility to care for the child while the order is in place. This can be up to two years.

They will make all the decisions for the care of the child instead of the parents. Including who they live with, who they see and when. Where they go to school. They take care of all their health needs.

It is usually the plan that the Department will work with the parent/s. So the child can go back to live with them at the end of the time of the order.

The Department of Communities has to do a care plan as soon as possible.

Until 18 Order

Until the child turns 18 years old, the Department of Communities makes all the decisions. This is instead of the parent/s. Long term arrangements can then be put in place.

The Department of Communities has to do a care plan as soon as possible.

Special Guardianship Order

Sometimes known as an SGO.

Another person is given parental responsibility of the child. They make all the decisions for the child until they turn 18 years old. This is instead of the parent/s or the Department of Communities.

This type of order usually appoints a family member. Or someone else who has been looking after the child to be their Special Guardian until they are 18.

This order is used if the court decides that long term arrangements for the care of the child are needed.

Last updated: 7 February 2023

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