The things you need to know in Child Protection Law 2021

What is Child Protection Law?

Child Protection Law is a sphere of Australian law where authorities may step into family settings because of an assertion of detriment or significant threat of harm to a child.

The Child Protection Act is the legal structure guiding the Department of Children, Youth Justice and Multicultural Affairs in child protection. 

The Legislation regarding Child Protection in Australia differs in each state and territory across Australia based on the local needs, however, there are certain similar guiding principles in certain pivotal areas when it comes to Child Protection. They include:

  • In the best interest of a child
  • Early Intervention
  • Making young people and children participate in the decision-making process

Child Protection in Family Law Father-and-son-having-fun- with help of family lawyer

Under Australian family law, children have a right to enjoy a meaningful relationship with both their parents and to be defended from detriment by hiring a Child Protection Lawyer or Family Law Solicitor in Perth. A court is needed to give weight to the need to help children from harm or imminent threats.

The Family Law Act 1975 is gender-neutral and doesn’t make hypotheticals about parenthood places. When a family court with the help of a Family Lawyer, is making a decision about a child, the court will make an order that’s in the interests of the child.

When making opinions about children, what matters the most is that parents concentrate on what would be in the most favourable interests of their child. Utmost promised or separated parents successfully agree on their own arrangements for the care of their children after common discussions. However, a specialist family lawyer can help parents come to a mutually agreeable decision or concession if parents can’t agree on arrangements for children after separation. Otherwise, a judge in a family law court will make a decision, if parents still can’t agree. The judge’s decision will be grounded upon the best interests of the child in agreement with the Family Law Act. 

Fiscal responsibility for children 

Both parents also have a duty to support the child financially after separation, regardless of who the child lives with. Parents can manage this between themselves or apply for a child support assessment. The Department of Human Services administers the child support program, aiding parents to give support for their children with the help of a Child Support Lawyers in Perth.

Child Support during and after divorce what will family lawyers do child support during divorce process

Separating from a partner after a divorce or the end of a de facto relationship can be a delicate and emotional process, particularly when small children are involved. Commonwealth child support laws are designed to ensure the interests and the needs of the child are met while balancing the capacity of parents to support their child with the help of Child Support Lawyers in Perth. It’s important that the parent/(s) also consider all of their options precisely and get accurate legal advice which is also in their favour.

Child support payments are nearly linked to the Family Tax Benefits. However, the parent must notify DHS (Department of Health Care Services) of their intended child support arrangement within 13 weeks of separating, or else they risk a reduction in their payments if they’re entitled to further than the base rate of the benefit. Their Family Tax Benefit Part A payments may be acclimated depending on the quantum of child support they admit. 

They (parents)are not obliged to shoulder an assessment by DHS, but they should completely probe with them before they enter into a child support agreement, as their benefit payments may not rigorously be calculated on the quantum they have agreed to admit/ pay under the agreement. It is best to contact a Family Lawyer that can help make favourable decisions in the coming time, or one can contact Calverly Johnston because we offer free consultation from Child Support Lawyers.

Child Abuse and help

Under Australian law, a child or young person at threat of detriment or neglect, as a result of a single incident or a number of ongoing child abuse incidents, must be defended. 

Child abuse may include:

  • Directly hurting or trying to hurt a young person physically, sexually or emotionally
  • Exposing a child to the threat of significant physical, sexual or emotional detriment, similar to being caught in the middle of family violence
  • Allowing people with a history of child coitus offences to be in the home 
  • Having care of a child while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs
  • Having care of a child whilst living with internal health issues that have not been addressed
  • Neglecting a child
  • Not giving a child enough food, apparel or necessary medical care
  • Failing to give proper supervision

Persons experienced childhood abuse, by type of abuse

learn about child abuse type created by calverley johnston family lawyers

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics

Investigations, by the source of notification

Source of child abuse notification by calverley johnston child support lawyers

Source: AIHW Child Protection National Minimum Data Set

Child Abuse and Domestic Violence

Inquiries show that if child is exposed to domestic violence, it can beget physical and emotional detriment that point towards needing a Child Protection Lawyer on an urgent basis.

The effects of child abuse and domestic violence are as follows:

  • Ongoing anxiety and depression
  • Emotional torture
  • Eating and sleeping disturbances
  • Physical symptoms, similar as headaches and stomach pangs
  • Finding it hard to manage stress
  • Low tone-regard
  • Tone-detriment
  • Being aggressive towards their peers or siblings
  • Feeling guilt or condemning themselves to the violence
  • Have trouble forming positive connections
  • Developing phobias
  • Struggling with going to school and doing academy work
  • Being a bully or becoming a target of bullying
  • Difficulty in concentrating
  • Finding it hard to solve their problems
  • Having lower empathy towards others

Often, being exposed to domestic and family violence is not just a matter of witnessing it. Children and young people are frequently physically hurt during violent acts, either accidentally or intentionally. 

Children and young people need to grow up in a secure and nurturing terrain, where domestic or family violence does not exist, the home isn’t safe or secure and children are spooked about what might happen to them and the people they love.

Relationship to the perpetrator(s) in the first incident of abuse

Relationship to perpetrator(s) in the first incident of abuse by calverley johnston family lawyer

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics

How can child protection Lawyers help? child support lawyers in perth for all your child support needs

If you are under the constant worry of your children, child protection attorneys, Child Custody Lawyer, Family Law solicitors or Child Support Lawyers in Perth can help, if you have had a child removed from your care or you think they might be in danger.
The Child Support Lawyers in Perth can help you with:

  • Giving you advice with respect to your legal scores, liabilities and rights in the court process
  • Attend mentions on your behalf
  • Attend Family Group meetings with you and speak on your behalf
  • Attend any Court ordered conferences and speak on your behalf
  • Give you legal advice regarding your case 
  • Request that the Department do all effects necessary to commence an assessment of you as a parent willing and suitable to watch the child/children
  • Request the Department to ensure regular contact between you and your child/children until the matter is resolved.

Supposing that the department is seeking any type of order for the court, you have the legal right to oppose their decision. Child Custody lawyers at Calverly Johnston can help you in preparing the paperwork for the process. Care Protection is the area of law that focuses on the safety of children and their protection from abuse and neglect. At Calverly Johnston, we’re trained and experienced in representing parents who have had their children removed from their care and also grandparents who wish to watch their children that have been removed from their parents with the help of our skilled child custody lawyers. We also have experience acting as an independent children’s attorney for children who have been removed from their families. If you need a family law solicitor in Perth, you can have a conversation with our team right now. We give advice and also represent parents, children, young people and anyone in need who have a genuine concern for the safety of their children. 

Domestic Abuse and violence in family law during the COVID-19 lockdown- 2021

Domestic violence, unfortunately, is a common problem in Australia, with one study stating that about 23.9% of the total women in the country have been victims of domestic abuse in their lifetimes. Now let’s dive into some more information and ask the question of the hour – has domestic abuse increased during the COVID-19 lockdown?

According to ABC News, researchers from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and Centre for Justice surveyed 362 domestic family violence (DFV) agencies and individuals across the country about their personal experiences from June till the end of August last year.

And according to the data, during the pandemic, domestic violence rates have increased tremendously. This is a cause of concern in the context of COVID-19, which is a lengthened crisis, it is thus expected that domestic violence reports during and after COVID-19 may be even greater than those seen during previous such events. In this article, we will talk about violence in the context of Family Law during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Accounting public responses during COVID-19 is an important way to ensure the suitability and effectiveness of epidemic response efforts. An analysis of social media provides an estimate of public sentiment during an emergency like the current pandemic. The measures introduced across the globe to help control the spread of the coronavirus have led to the emergence of a situation also known as a perfect storm, resulting in a wave of domestic violence in Australia.

Most legal service providers saw a surge in demand, and nearly half said their clients reported an increase in controlling behaviours, most of them wanting to contact their Divorce Lawyers.

Almost one in 15 women in a relationship have experienced domestic violence during the coronavirus crisis, with two-thirds saying the attacks started or became worse during the pandemic and one third approaching their Family Lawyer.

Domestic violence is not just limited to one type of abuse. For abuse to be categorized under ‘domestic violence, it doesn’t have to take place just in a home or among family members or with someone the victim is in a relationship with. It also includes instances of abuse where someone close to the victim has power over them and is trying to control them.

Following are the types of abuse that fall under domestic violence:

Family Law related to Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse

Emotional abuse can and does often goes unrecognised because it is normalised in society and also, the signs can be very subtle which are not visible or recognizable upfront, but it can be very hurtful. Someone who is emotionally abusing the victim wants to slowly chip away at their feelings of self-worth and independence.

Sexual abuse

The term ‘sexual abuse’ covers a wide range of abusive sexual or predatory behaviour including rape, indecent assault and a range of other unwanted sexual behaviours used by offenders which they use to control their victims.

Understand sexual abuse law in family
Understand sexual abuse law in family

Sexual abuse

The term ‘sexual abuse’ covers a wide range of abusive sexual or predatory behaviour including rape, indecent assault and a range of other unwanted sexual behaviours used by offenders which they use to control their victims.

Understand what is Social Abuse and Family Law

Social abuse

Social domestic violence is also very hurtful and occurs when someone close to the victim humiliates them in front of other people as a method to shame them or make them feel unworthy, the abuser also intentionally keeps them away from family and friends or controls their behaviours and actions to restrain them from having any kind of social freedom or contact.

Financial abuse

If someone close to the victim tries to limit their financial independence by controlling their access

to finances, resulting in financial powerlessness in the victim, this is also counted as a form of domestic violence.

learn about financial abuse and laws related to family
learn about financial abuse and laws related to family

Financial abuse

If someone close to the victim tries to limit their financial independence by controlling their access

to finances, resulting in financial powerlessness in the victim, this is also counted as a form of domestic violence.

sometimes spiritual abuse happens in the family and there is law too

Spiritual abuse

Spiritual domestic violence is a form of abuse that prevents the victim from having their own opinions and beliefs on religion, cultural beliefs and values. It may also involve making the victim doubt their thoughts on spirituality in order to make them feel powerless. Abuse that causes shame is a big part of spiritual abuse, so it prevents them from practising their religious or cultural beliefs.

Physical abuse

Physical abuse is an extreme form of abuse wherein the victim is being physically hurt and traumatised, putting their lives in danger. This form of abuse is very obvious and does not go unnoticed, however, the fear and trauma that the victim goes through results in them not having the confidence or power to actually stand up to the abuser since it is someone close to them and someone they trust or used to trust.

Learn about physical abuse in family law
Learn about physical abuse in family law

Physical abuse

Physical abuse is an extreme form of abuse wherein the victim is being physically hurt and traumatised, putting their lives in danger. This form of abuse is very obvious and does not go unnoticed, however, the fear and trauma that the victim goes through results in them not having the confidence or power to actually stand up to the abuser since it is someone close to them and someone they trust or used to trust.

Why has Domestic Violence increased during Covid-19?

The coronavirus restrictions, coupled with rising unemployment rates and financial scarcity, have resulted in domestic violence cases spiking across the country.

Women have stated that the financial pressures trigger their partner into a fit of rage at minor things like their child leaving the light on while leaving the room. This kind of behaviour induces fear in women and makes them rethink the safety of their children as well. The women seeking the help of child support lawyers and divorce lawyers in Perth are scared for their lives and usually, in these cases, the partner is drinking steadily while limiting the partner’s access to finances and other safety protocols.

It is often believed that these violent outbursts in men are a result of poor anger management skills, but it is observed that these men are not violent in other situations that have the potential of making them angry. More often than not, these outbursts are calculated in a way that is only limited to them inflicting violence within their family where they think it is allowed. This shows that this is not an issue of men failing to control their anger, but is an issue of power since family matters are not discussed outside the four walls of the house. The point is that there is never an excuse for violence and this is where divorce mediator and family mediator come into play.

Violence against women, including family violence, happens because of three key reasons:

  • The distribution of power and resources between men and women are unequal in nature.
  • Rigidity in the nature of men and women’s roles in society is also a form of gender inequality.
  • Attitudes and cultures that excuse violence or inequality.

The survey revealed attitudes in our society that need to change, for example:

  • 17% of Australians think that domestic violence is a private matter, to be handled in the home and definitely not with the help of a family lawyer.
  • More than 20% of Australians believe domestic violence can be excused if the abuser is not able to control their anger or regrets their actions.
  • 16% of Australians believe women say “No” when they indeed mean “Yes”.
  • 1 in 5 people believes if a woman is raped while drunk or under the influence of any substance that causes her to lose consciousness partly, she is responsible.

This data reveals so much more than just numbers. It goes on to show us how inequality in attitudes and roles result in horrible acts of violence that are downright inexcusable.

(Data source Wiley Online Library)

How can we control the rising Domestic Violence?

In April 2020, domestic violence crisis support launched a webchat service for women who needed to ask for help and wanted to contact a family mediation service while their perpetrator was in the house.

If we want to control rising Domestic Violence in Australia during the Pandemic, the framework for inquiring and the following response is something we should start with.

Ask: Ensuring the survivor is alone to ask is the first step. Starting with closed yes/no questions on telehealth to ensure the survivor is safe to talk. For example – How are you?. This can be followed up with other general safety-related questions like – Is it safe to ask you how things are at home?

If the responder answers in the affirmatives, other questions like ‘Do you feel safe at home should be asked.

Listen: Respecting the survivor’s rights considering if they want to contact a Law solicitor in Perth and not rushing should be the next step.

Validate: Believing the survivor and making sure to remind them that it is not their fault.

Provide safety: Completing a safety assessment offering safety planning like contacting a Law Solicitor in Perth, family mediation or spousal maintenance.

If a plan is already in place, using safe words/safe colour clothing as a safe conversation

Support: Referring the survivor to appropriate services. For example, their Family Attorney or Spousal Maintenance. Organising a safe time for follow-up is a must.

Keeping the raging pandemic in mind, safety planning may also change. Survivors may find that their current plans are not able to be enacted because of changes in social support systems.

The support should enquire about a safe time to organise a follow-up call that includes safe words or the use of certain colours that signal concern for safety.

According to a study, in a national random survey of 650 divorced Australians, reports suggested that 12.1% of respondents had filed for divorce due to physical violence.

survey on seeking assistance for domestic and family violenceLegal advice and support are vital following the breakdown of a de facto relationship or marriage. The breakdown of a marriage or de-facto relationship with the help of a family lawyer is one of the most stressful and difficult times in a person’s life. There are a lot of difficult decisions that need to be made which can be hard to do at such a stressful time. Our expert lawyers at Calverley Johnston in Perth can guide you through the process and advise you of your best options.

Our Family Law section in the Calverley Johnston website has experienced solicitors who are able to offer legal support and advice in all areas of family law matters and disputes. At the initial stages of consultation in Perth, we will be able to advise the victim of their rights and entitlements as well as the Court processes going forward.

Collectively, we need to think about how we can direct the new frontiers like the Internet, social media to be the forces for good and the known forces like the Family lawyer, Divorce Lawyers in Perth, Divorce Mediators in Perth, Spousal Maintenance, Child Support Lawyers, law solicitor in Perth and Family Attorneys, for changes that we know that they will bring about in people’s lives and in the society.