1. Going to Children’s Court
The Children’s Court of New South Wales hears children’s care and protection cases. You will often hear these referred to as “care matters”. The Children’s Court also deals with criminal law cases with children under the age of 18 however these generally sit in a different Court.
The care and protection proceedings come under the law of the NSW Parliament and are contained in the Children & Young Persons (Care & Protection) Act 1988. When you are in Court you are often hear this referred to as “The Act”. This Act applies to children and young persons under the age of 18.
“Care matters” are usually commenced by the Department of Community Services in relation to risk or care issues concerning children, and there are usually no family law issues between parents. Every time that you attend Court for a care matter, there will be a Department of Community Services legal representative as well as a case worker, case manager or case liaison officer present.
Where is the Children’s Court?
When you are dealing with our office, your matter will generally appear at the Parramatta Justice Precinct, which is located at 2 George Street, Parramatta (opposite the Commonwealth Law Courts building).
There is parking available for $7.00 per day at the Parramatta Park or at the Parramatta pool or stadium, all of which are on O’Connell Street at Parramatta. If you are coming by public transport, the Parramatta train station is a short walk through Church Street mall, approximately 10 minutes from the Court.
The other Court where your matter may be heard is the Campbelltown Children’s Court. This is located at King Street in Campbelltown next door to the Campbelltown Local Court building. The Court is approximately 5 minute’s walk from the Campbelltown station and a short walk from the Campbelltown mall.
There is also free 2 hour parking available opposite the station if you are travelling by car.
For all Court appearances, it is important that you are prompt in attending at the allocated time and where possible, arrive at Court at least 30 minutes prior to the scheduled Court sitting. If you are in a normal mention list, this is generally a 9.30am start and we would ask that you be present at Court by 9.00am to meet with your Solicitor before your matter is called.
If you are attending Court for a conference, these will be allocated at different times and again, we would ask that you be present 30 minutes prior to the scheduled time.
Dressing for Court
It is imperative that when you attend Court you are neatly dressed in clean, comfortable attire. In fact, every time you attend at Court, you are presenting yourself to the Court and the Magistrate will observe you seated at the rear of the Court on each occasion.
It is not essential that you wear a suit, unless you ordinarily own or wear a suit to work or have one readily available. However, when attending Court it is important that you are smartly dressed and we suggest that you wear slacks or a skirt with a clean polo or business shirt if available. No jeans please.