Important cases — Care plans

[3-1080] DCJ and Evie and Grace [2023] NSWChC 1

Last reviewed: June 2024

Twin infants had healing fractures at multiple sites — most probable cause was the application of excessive force by a parent — parents unable to explain injuries and children were assumed into care and placed with their maternal great aunt — non-exhaustive list of factors in assessing safety at [53] — parents are intelligent, educated and engaged with services as recommended by the Department — parents have made the children available for medical assessments and reviews and have personally undertaken medical tests in search of a medical explanation for the injuries — parents have both attended psychologists to address concerns about their capacity to support their children — exposure of the harm will cause both parents to reflect on the way they have handled the children and to closely observe the other when handling the children — children’s maternal uncle and grandparents will remain connected to the children and are alert to any signs of physical distress — children attend childcare three days each week and are supported by a nanny — risk of harm has been sufficiently mitigated such that the children are likely to be safe in the care of their parents — realistic possibility of restoration of children to their parents.

JE v Secretary, DFaCS [2019] NSWCA 162

Last reviewed: June 2024

Appeal — s 91 Care Act — parental responsibility for eldest daughter allocated to her father, responsibility for younger daughter allocated to maternal grandparents — mother sought damages arising out of circumstances her children were removed from her care — DFaCS sought orders that proceedings be struck out in relation to younger daughter — at first instance damage proceedings dismissed and s 91 appeal dismissed for both children — application for judicial review of decision in s 91 appeal and leave to appeal dismissal of damage proceedings — denial of procedural fairness due to jurisdictional error dismissing proceedings relating to eldest child — dismissal order varied and s 91 appeal remitted to District Court for determination as it relates to the care orders with respect to eldest child — damages proceedings by mother dismissed on grounds of unreasonable delay and statement of claim did not plead a reasonable cause of action — summary of argument did not identify any error — application for extension of time to seek leave to appeal refused — no principle or matter of public importance to warrant reconsideration on appeal — leave to appeal refused.

DFaCS and Nicole [2018] NSWChC 3

Care Act s 71 — whether there is a realistic possibility of restoration — child is in need of care and protection — Secretary to prepare, file and serve Care Plan — case relisted for response to Care Plan.

DFaCS and the Slade Children [2017] NSWChC 4

Application to transfer case management from NSW to Victoria — parental responsibility allocated to grandmother — grandmother and children moved to Victoria — children listed in AVO as persons in need of protection — orders sought by Secretary that care orders be rescinded, parental responsibility transferred to Minister and then to Victoria — court does not have jurisdiction to hear s 90 application where children not present in NSW or who are subject to a report — risk of harm reports not filed, so court unable to exercise function of the Care Act — appeal dismissed for want of jurisdiction.

C v S, FaCS [2016] NSWDC 103

Care and protection — child placed in out-of-home care — placement into maternal grandmother’s care refused — refusal by Children’s Court to place the child in grandmother’s care because of the Office of the Children’s Guardian refusal to issue grandmother with the relevant clearance to work with children — reports from FaCS supported restoration to the grandmother — renewal of AVOs against child’s mother and abusive former spouse — orders of Children’s Court set aside — interim order for parental responsibility for the child to be allocated to grandmother — final orders to be made after FaCS prepares permanency plan.