The Department for Child Protection has the significant responsibility of ensuring the safety of children and young people.

Children and young people under the custody or guardianship of the Chief Executive are entrusted into the care of the State. The government and its staff have a responsibility to ensure that children and young people in the care of the State are in safe, stable and nurturing care environments.

Why children come into care

Children and young people come into care for a variety of reasons including:

  • neglect or physical, emotional or sexual harm
  • their families being unable to safely care for them at that point in time
  • illness or death of a parent or guardian.

In cases where serious harm has occurred or there are significant concerns about the risk of harm to a child or young person, it may not be possible for them to return to the care of their parent or guardian. The child or young person may come into long-term care until they turn 18 years of age.

Placing children and young people into care

To be placed in care, the department must have sufficient evidence to satisfy the Youth Court that it is in the best interests of the child or young person. The Youth Court always makes the final decision.