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Interaction of parenting orders and child welfare orders

view that a significant reason for the Federal Magistrate concluding that there was no utility in him embarking on a hearing of the application on its merits and thus dismissing the application was because the existing child protection orders and authoris

In the case of Ford and Ford and Department of Child Safety (2007) FLC 93-337, the Full Court of the Family Court of Australia considered an appeal by the maternal aunt of twin children against an order of a Federal Magistrate dismissing, without a hearing, her application that the two children live with her upon the cessation of current child protection order of the Department of Child Safety Queensland.

Their Honours noted that the appeal raised for consideration the discretion conferred by s 69ZK of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) to make an order in relation to a child who is in care under a state or territory child welfare law on the basis that the order would only come into effect when the child ceased to be in care.

Their Honours found no substance in the aunt's assertion that the Federal Magistrate erred in considering an incorrect statutory provision.

They were also of the view that a significant reason for the Federal Magistrate concluding that there was no utility in him embarking on a hearing of the application on its merits and thus dismissing the application was because the existing child protection orders and authorised care arrangements were to be in place for a further nine months and there was a history of such orders and arrangements being extended.

As there was no guarantee the existing orders and arrangements would cease to be in force in the near future and it was possible that they might extend for many years into the future, their Honours dismissed the appeal.


Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
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