Hague Convention - Child Protection

Follow this procedure when managing requests under the Child Protection Hague Convention.

Introduction

Child protection can receive requests for investigations, reports or other requirements under the ‘Convention on jurisdiction, applicable law, recognition, enforcement and co-operation in respect of parental responsibility and measures for the protection of children’ (Child Protection Hague Convention). The Child Protection Hague Convention is an international agreement about parental responsibility and measures to protect children. It has been implemented in Australia by the Family Law (Child Protection Convention) Regulations 2003. 

Reports under the Child Protection Hague Convention may relate to:

  • overseas authorities making requests to transfer child protection measures for children immigrating to Australia
  • cases in which children subject to overseas protection measures are brought to Australia without informing Australian child protection authorities
  • cases in which child protection proceedings are on foot in Australia but the child is removed to another country prior to the conclusion of the proceedings
  • overseas authorities asking Australian authorities to check on the welfare of a child in Australia and provide a report.

In Victoria, Hague Convention requests are coordinated through Child Protection Operations and Practice within the Statutory and Forensic Services Branch. Requests under the convention are rare and will generally be communicated from Child Protection Operations and Practice to the child protection operations manager of the relevant division.

Requests relating to children not known to child protection or closed cases are managed from intake and are moved to closure after completion.

Procedure

Case practitioner tasks

All cases

  • Inform Child Protection Operations and Practice if a request covered by the Child Protection Hague Convention is made from a source other than Child Protection Operations and Practice.
  • Consult your supervisor about the request, assessment and next steps.
  • Undertake tasks required to complete the request, aligning your practice with other procedures as relevant to the request.
  • Complete CRIS requirements, including records of actions, decision and rationales.
  • Ask the team manager to review your actions and endorse the closure decision. 
  • Use appropriate CRIS closure outcome.

Child not known to child protection or a closed case

  • Register the request in CRIS as an Intake – ‘Hague Convention Request’ if the request relates to a child not known to child protection or a closed case.
  • Consult your supervisor about the assessment and whether to register a report where the Child Protection Hague Convention request suggests that a child may have suffered or be at risk of significant harm.

A report cannot be registered in CRIS while the Child Protection Hague Convention request remains open. If information received warrants registration of a report, registration and action on that report takes priority.

Current case

  • Consult your supervisor about a Child Protection Hague Convention request on an open case. If the request is consistent with the case plan, undertake the request and enter appropriate case notes to indicate that case tasks were undertaken in response to a Child Protection Hague Convention request.

Supervisor tasks

  • Provide support and supervision to the practitioner.
  • Ensure that tasks undertaken as part of the request are compliant with procedures and protocols.

Team manager tasks

  • Endorse key decisions.

Child protection operations manager tasks

  • Allocate Child Protection Hague Convention requests to appropriate case practitioners for action.

Additional information

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