Court processes

When a child or young person is assessed as being in need of protection, and neither parent is able and willing to protect them, an application can be made to the Childrens Court for a child protection order where it is the most appropriate option.

The Director of Child Protection Litigation prepares and applies for this application and conducts the litigation.

What is the role of the Director of Child Protection Litigation (DCPL)?

The DCPL is a statutory body responsible for applying for and representing the State in all child protection order applications.

The DCPL will also be the applicant in other related child protection order matters including the transfer of interstate child protection orders and proceedings to other participating states, and appeals from decisions about child protection orders.

The Director may also provide advice to, or appear for the Department of Children, Youth Justice and Multicultural Affairs on its instructions for the following matters: adoption; family law; Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) reviews; Hague Child Abduction Convention or other matters relating to the safety, wellbeing or protection of a child. This is on a fee-for-service basis.

For more information see Director Child Protection Litigation website.

The Office of the Child and Family Official Solicitor

The Office of the Child and Family Official Solicitor (OCFOS) provides child safety service centre staff with early legal advice and representation for child protection matters that are in, or likely to be in court, including:

  1. providing independent legal advice on current and arising cases
  2. advising on evidence needed for child protection applications
  3. preparing the referral and brief of evidence to the Director of Child Protection Litigation (DCPL)
  4. drafting initiating court documents
  5. drafting and appearing for CSSCs in applications for court assessment and temporary assessment orders
  6. drafting and appearing for CSSCs on temporary custody order applications
  7. providing advice on disclosure
  8. training on court and other legal topics.

Who appears in court?

The DCPL appears in all applications for child protection orders from filing to resolution. DCPL lawyers attends court ordered conferences with CSSC staff.

The OCFOS lawyer represents the CSSC in court assessment, temporary assessment and temporary custody order applications.

Neither OCFOS nor DCPL should attend Family Group Meetings.

Child safety officers may continue to attend court if agreed by the DCPL. If ordered by court, they must attend.

If CSSC staff do not attend court, they will need to be contactable to give instructions or information to the DCPL on the day of court.

Child safety officers must attend court where a child on a child protection order has been charged with an offence.

Download documents

What is the Office of the Child and Family Official Solicitor information sheet

(PDF, 294 KB)

Family group meetings - Information for legal representatives

(PDF, 771 KB)