An application for a care order is made to the Children's Court by the Department of Family and Community Services (FaCS).
There are two stages involved in the court's decision to make a care order. Firstly, the Court must be satisfied that the child or young person is in need of care and protection, based on one or more specific reasons that are set out in the legislation. This is called the 'finding' or 'establishment' part of the case. This part of the case can be made by consent of the parties or can be determined by a judicial officer after a hearing.
Once a judicial officer has made a finding that the child or young person is in need of care and protection, the Children's Court moves to the 'placement' phase of the proceedings. In this phase, the court makes a decision about what kinds of care orders are needed to protect the safety, welfare and well-being of a child or young person.