Easy English fact sheets for parents dealing with the child protection system. Advice from parents with experience.

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Day 1 in Court

Court can make you
  • feel scared
  • sick in the tummy.
This is OK.
Take a support person to the Court.
They can help you
  • stay calm
  • talk to your lawyer.

When you get to Court

You have a letter from Community Services.
It tells you
  • what Court to go to
  • what time you need to be there.
Check you get to Court at the right time.
Before you go in to the Court room.
You need to talk to a lawyer.
The lawyer will cost no money.
It is a free service.
Go to the waiting room.
It can take some time to wait for the lawyer.
A lawyer will call your name.
You meet with the lawyer.
This is your time to tell your story.
Your lawyer will keep this private.
The lawyer will
  • ask you about your child
  • tell you why you need to come to Court.
You must tell your lawyer the truth.

In the Court room

The magistrate listen to
  • your lawyer
  • the lawyer for Community Services
  • the lawyer for your child.
The magistrate reads all the papers.
She must work out what to do. Like
  • who looks after your child now
  • who makes choices for your child now.
It is for the time you have to go through Court.
It is called interim parental responsibility.
The Court says your child is in the care of the Minister.
The Minister
  • decides things about your child
  • must make sure your child is safe.
Read more about parental responsibility in our fact sheet New words.
Your child will stay with a
  • different person in your family
  • a family you do not know.
Community Services check your child will be safe there.
Your child will not be at Court.
You will get a new date to come back to Court.

Other things your lawyer can do

Your lawyer can
  • tell you who will talk in the Court room
  • tell you your choices
  • what each choice means
  • help you know what the words mean
  • find a quiet place to have a break
  • find a safe place to wait.
Your support person can help you too.

More information

IDRS have a fact sheet about first day in Court.
It is on the website www.idrs.org.au
It is called Your first day at court.
This fact sheet is general information.
It may not be the same for you.
Talk to a lawyer about
  • your own child
  • your family.
This fact sheet was made by
  • The WASH House
  • The Ability Rights Centre. A service of IDRS
  • a Parent Advisory Group, 2020.
We have used images from
  • ChangePeople
  • Mayer-Johnson
  • Participics
  • Picto-Selector
  • Social Buzz
  • TheNounProject.
Access Easy English helped The WASH House write the Easy English.
February 2020.


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