Child protection

We help resolve complaints about child protection services funded by DHHS. Find out how we can help.

Children and young people in out-of-home care have the right to feel safe and protected.

There are over 11,000 children in Victoria who are unable to live with their parents. They live in out-of-home care, overseen by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and sometimes Aboriginal Community-Controlled Organisations.

Community Service Organisations (CSOs) provide some of these DHHS services.

What is our role?

We can consider most complaints about child protection services funded by DHHS. These could be about:

  • residential services
  • kinship care
  • foster care
  • family support
  • case management.

We encourage you to complain to DHHS or the Community Service Organisation providing the service first. If you’re not happy with their response and the issue continues to affect you, we may be able to help.

A court might need to make a decision on some parts of your complaint. We are usually not able to consider those parts of a complaint.

What type of complaints can we take?

We look into decisions that organisations have made about children and young people.

When making decisions, the best interests of the child or young person must be considered.

We look at whether organisations acted in a way that was lawful, reasonable and fair. We also look at whether they breached human rights or did not consider them properly.

A complaint could be about:

  • a placement that feels unsafe or too far from family
  • contact with family members
    • too much
    • not enough
    • feeling unsafe
  • a case plan that doesn't match the child or young person's needs and goals
  • issues with a case manager or carer
  • a leaving care plan that doesn’t support a young person's transition from care
  • not having a say about decisions being made
  • how an organisation handled your complaint.

We also take complaints from people caring for children in out-of-home care. For example, kinship carers.

These may be complaints about:

  • delays and/or errors in care allowance payments
  • delays in responding to requests for increased care allowances.
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    Looking to make a complaint?

    Use our online form to create and submit your complaint