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Policy change in care and protection

Bulletin No.2-12 (care and protection policy)

At the February Board meeting the Legal Aid NSW Board approved amendments to the family law policy in relation to care and protection matters.

The policy has been amended to remove the Merit Test for care and protection proceedings in the Children's Court where the legal aid applicant is a person who has parental responsibility for a child or young person or has had an aspect of parental responsibility removed by a court order.   
However, before funding the grant for a final hearing, Legal Aid NSW must be satisfied that the legally assisted person has reasonable prospects of achieving a better outcome than that which is in the Care Plan.
The Merit Test will continue to apply in relation to post final order proceedings in the Children's Court as set out in 5.16.9.
See Family Law Policy at 5.16.7 for relevant changes to the care and protection policies. See Family Law Guideline 2.13.2 on how the policy will be applied.
The changes are effective for determinations of applications made on or after 26 March 2012.
For any policy enquiries, please contact the Legal Policy Branch 9219 5034.

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