The Department for Child Protection is responsible for making sure all children are safe from harm and cared for in a safe and stable family environment.
In some instances a parent will choose for their child to be taken into care for a short period of time while issues in the home are addressed.
These placements do not require going to court.
A parental authority for placement is used in emergency situations when a child or young person requires placement in out-of-home care for a brief period of time.
Emergency situations could include:
- a family crisis
- illness of the parent.
The custody and guardianship of the child remains with the parent.
A voluntary custody agreement is used when:
- there are concerns for the safety of the child which cannot be resolved while the child remains at home
- parents and guardians are willing to be actively involved and work with the department.
While a child is under a VCA, the department, the family and the child work together to identify problems, establish goals and improve the circumstances.
Both guardians must provide their consent and if the young person is over 16, they must give their consent as well.
If the family issues are not resolved at the end of the agreement, the department will likely need to apply for a formal Youth Court order.
For more information, speak with your caseworker.