New South Wales Consolidated Acts

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Secretary's response to requests for assistance

22 Secretary's response to requests for assistance

(1) If a person or non-government agency seeks assistance from the Secretary under this Part (whether or not a child or young person is suspected of being in need of care and protection), the Secretary must--
(a) provide whatever advice or material assistance, or make such referral, as the Secretary considers necessary, or
(b) take whatever other action the Secretary considers necessary,
to safeguard or promote the safety, welfare and well-being of the child or young person.
(2) Subsection (1) does not, however, require the Secretary to take any action other than assessing the request for assistance.
Note : The Secretary, in responding to a request for assistance, can provide services or arrange for other government departments and agencies, or community organisations, to provide services to assist children, young persons and their families.
If the Secretary determines that a child or young person is at risk of significant harm, the Secretary must offer alternative dispute resolution processes to the family of the child or young person (subject to certain exceptions) before seeking care orders.
The Secretary may request government departments or agencies, or non-government agencies in receipt of government funding, to provide prioritised access to services to children or young persons who are at risk of significant harm and to their families.
The Department may also play a role in referring people to services provided under Commonwealth legislation, such as Family Court counselling and access to maintenance entitlements or other benefits.

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