In 2017 Victoria Legal Aid referred Sasha* to our Child Protection Legal Service. Two years earlier, she had fled a violent relationship, leaving behind her two children.
The children’s father denied her access to the children. However, they were subsequently removed from his care by Child Protection following concerns around his substance abuse, criminal activity and violence towards his new partner. The children were initially placed with their paternal grandparents then later in our client’s care.
Now in a new relationship, Sasha was keen to regain permanent custody of her children and with her new partner to provide them with a safe and secure environment. She was particularly concerned as one of her children was absconding from foster care.
However, Sasha did not understand the legal process and could not afford a private solicitor. She needed free and expert legal advice and representation.
Sasha and her new partner were fully cooperative with the Department and remained child-focused throughout the process.
We advocated on her behalf at the Children’s Court to ask that the children be placed in her care.
Child Protection assessed Sasha and her partner and found no significant protection concerns for the children, however they held concerns for Sasha’s safety. Sasha successfully obtained a court order that placed the children in her care and we helped her to apply for a family violence Intervention Order to protect her from her former partner.
We continue to provide Sasha with legal advice around the Intervention Order and related Family Law matters.
*Not her real name.