Protection Proceedings

The Children's Court does not handle matters concerning children after divorce or separation of the parents (where the child lives, who they contact and financial responsibilities of the parents). These matters are dealt with by the Family Court of WA.

The Children and Community Services Act 2004 allows the Chief Executive Officer for the Department of Communities to apply for a protection order for a child.

Protection and care matters usually involve children who have suffered, or are likely to suffer harm as a result of neglect or abuse.

Protection proceedings forms are available from the Forms page.

The Protection and Care jurisdiction of the Children's Court is a civil jurisdiction. The action taken in this court is not called a 'charge' or 'complaint' but an application.

Under the Children and Community Services Act 2004 if an officer of the Department of Communities (DoC) believes your child is in need of protection, they can either:

  • make an application to the Court for the issue of a warrant
  • where there is an immediate and substantial risk to a child's well-being an officer will take the child into provisional protection and care.

Once the child is in provisional protection and care, DoC must apply for a Protection Order or return your child to you within two working days.

The Child Protection Proceedings brochure contains general information about the four types of protection orders and a glossary of common terms used in such proceedings.

If you have been served with an application in relation to Protection and Care of Children proceedings under the Children and Community Services Act 2004, you may wish to download the Response Form - PCRESP and the Response Instruction kit.

This form is used to respond to final and interim orders sought and lodge sworn affidavit evidence in response.

To assist lawyers and respondents who are not legally represented prepare a Response form in child protection proceedings, Legal Aid WA developed a short video explaining the background to the introduction of the Response form, when it should be filed and its purpose which can be viewed on the Legal Aid WA website.  

A sample Department of Communities CPFS initial affidavit and sample Response to this affidavit can be accessed below the video.

It is important to get legal advice as soon as possible. You can contact:

When attending court, it is important that you:

  • advise the court in advance if you require an interpreter service so that arrangements can be made
  • make any necessary childcare arrangements before going to court
  • arrive on time. The Protection General List commences at 9:00am each morning, so it is important you arrive at the Courthouse before 9:00am
  • dress neatly
  • address the magistrate as 'sir' 'ma'am' or 'your honour'
  • switch off your mobile phone while you’re in court
  • let the court and your lawyer know beforehand if you cannot attend a court appearance
  • always behave in a way that reflects the seriousness of the matter and the dignity of the court.

Last updated: 30-Mar-2022

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