Child Protection

We assist children, young people and parents responding to child protection applications by the state by helping to ensure that any legal intervention is limited to that which is necessary to promote the child’s or young person's health, safety and wellbeing.

We provide legal information, advice and representation, as well as community legal education designed to help protect and promote the rights of children, young people and parents before, during and after child protection proceedings.

Family Dispute Resolution

We provide timely, legally assisted family dispute resolution services to vulnerable people. We assist separated families to meet the best interests of their children by providing case management, assessment, preparation and referral (including to our child-inclusive Kids Talk program where appropriate), and by holding conferences facilitated by experienced chairpersons.

Family Law Financial Support

We work to ensure that children of separated parents are financially supported in accordance with the law. In cases where a separated person is unable to adequately support themselves, and their former partner has capacity to pay, we work towards a solution of financial support and the fair distribution of assets and liabilities.

We also ensure that liable parents have access to independent legal advice and representation where appropriate.

Family Violence

We contribute to the safety of adults and children impacted by family violence and assist in reducing the incidence of family violence by providing legal information, advice and representation to affected adults and children. This includes acting for clients at the Family Law Courts, the Children’s Court and the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria.

We also contribute to public debate about policies and practices of Australian courts and governments in relation to family violence.

Independent Children's Lawyers

We provide assistance in Family Law Court proceedings to children at risk of harm due to the conduct of one or both parents. We aim to ensure that judicial officers make good decisions based on the best available evidence and that arrangements ordered by the court are in the children’s best interests.

Parenting Disputes

We provide information, advice and representation to separating or separated couples who are in dispute about their children’s living and care arrangements.

For high-conflict families who have been unable to resolve children’s issues through family dispute resolution services, we may assist with access to the Family Law Courts.

Our aim is to achieve safe, workable and child-focused parenting and care arrangements.

Operating expenditure

Sub-program Operating expenditure % of total expenditure
Child Protection $18.7 million 13.5%
Family Dispute Resolution $12.3 million 8.9%
Family Law Financial Support $1.7 million 1.2%
Family violence* $3.0 million 2.2%
Independent Children's Lawyers $8.6 million 6.2%
Parenting Disputes $8.5 million 6.2%
Family, Youth and Children’s Law program $52.9 million 38.2%

* This figure includes matters under the Family Violence Protection Act 2008 and a small number of matters under the Personal Safety Intervention Orders Act 2010. It does not include the many breach matters (which are generally handled by the Summary Crime subprogram), or other matters which may have a family violence component, but do not specifically fall under the Family Violence Protection Act.