Information Sharing Protocol between DHHS, Magistrates’ Court and Children’s Court of Victoria

A new information sharing protocol has been has been developed between the Department of Health and Human Services (the department) and the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria and the Children’s Court of Victoria (the Courts). The protocol was established to respond to recommendation 28 of the Royal Commission into Family Violence.

The protocol enables the Courts to request information from child protection, and for child protection to request information from the Courts, in certain circumstances. Its intent is to improve family violence risk assessment, risk management and decision making in cases involving family violence.

Requesting information from the Courts

The protocol enables child protection to request and receive information from the Courts relating to a family violence matter concerning a child on a child protection order or where there is a child protection report. For cases involving family violence, obtaining information from the Courts should be viewed as a critical component of the information gathering process. An information sheet has been developed detailing the type of information that can be requested from the Courts.

See the procedure Information sharing between the Magistrates’ Court and the Children’s Court for further information about how to make an information request.

Responding to information requests from the Courts

To assist decision making in matters involving family violence, including when an application is made for a new or amended family violence order, the Courts may request information held by child protection. Child protection may share information with the Courts in accordance with section 192 of the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005

The department’s central Information Sharing Unit will triage all information requests from the Courts and will respond to any urgent requests and requests related to cases that have been closed for more than one month. Child protection will be required to respond to non-urgent requests on open cases of cases that have been closed within the past month.

See the procedure Information sharing between the Magistrates’ Court and the Children’s Court for further information about what to do if you receive an information request from the Courts. An information sheet has been developed detailing the type of information can be shared with the Courts.

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