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CHILDREN AND YOUNG PERSONS (CARE AND PROTECTION) ACT 1998 - SECT 38A

Parent responsibility contracts

38A Parent responsibility contracts

(1) A
"parent responsibility contract" is either or both of the following:
(a) an agreement between the Secretary and one or more primary care-givers for a child or young person that contains provisions aimed at improving the parenting skills of the primary care-givers and encouraging them to accept greater responsibility for the child or young person,
(b) an agreement between the Secretary and either or both expectant parents whose unborn child is the subject of a pre-natal report under section 25 that contains provisions aimed at improving the parenting skills of the prospective parent and reducing the likelihood that the child will be at risk of significant harm after birth.
(2) A parent responsibility contract must:
(a) be in writing, and
(b) be signed by the Secretary and each primary care-giver or each expectant parent who is to be a party to the contract, and
(c) be in the form (if any) prescribed by the regulations, and
(d) be registered with the Children's Court, and
(e) specify the period (not exceeding 12 months) during which the contract will (unless varied under section 38B) be in force, commencing on the date on which the agreement is registered with the Children's Court, and
(f) specify the circumstances in which a breach of a term of the contract by a party to the contract will authorise the Secretary to file a contract breach notice with the Children's Court.
(3) No more than one parent responsibility contract may be entered into within any period of 18 months between the Secretary and any of the same primary care-givers for a child or young person.
(4) Before entering into a parent responsibility contract, the Secretary must give the other proposed parties to the contract a reasonable opportunity to obtain independent advice concerning the provisions of the contract.
(5) Without limiting subsection (1), a parent responsibility contract may make provision for or with respect to any or all of the following:
(a) attendance of a party to the contract for treatment for alcohol, drug or other substance abuse during the term of the contract,
(b) attendance of a party to the contract for counselling,
(c) requirements relating to alcohol or drug testing that a party to the contract must undergo during the term of the contract,
(d) permitting information about the contract (including compliance with the contract) to be shared between persons and agencies involved in the implementation of the provisions of the contract,
(e) participation in courses aimed at improving the parenting skills of any party to the contract (including, for example, courses relating to behavioural management and financial management),
(f) monitoring of compliance with the terms of the contract.
(6) However, a parent responsibility contract may not make provision for or with respect to any of the following:
(a) the allocation of parental responsibility for a child or young person,
(b) the placement of a child or young person in out-of-home care.
Note : Care plans may make provision for the allocation of parental responsibility.
(7) Any term of a parent responsibility contract that makes provision for or with respect to a matter referred to in subsection (6) has no effect.
(8) A parent responsibility contract takes effect only if (and when) it is registered with the Children's Court.
Note : Section 38F provides that a care plan or parent responsibility contract is taken to be registered with the Children's Court when it is filed with the registry of the Court without the need for any order or other further action by the Court.
(9) The Secretary is to cause a copy of the parent responsibility contract to be given to each other party to the contract as soon as is reasonably practicable after it is registered with the Children's Court.
(10) A parent responsibility contract remains in force for the period specified in the contract, unless sooner terminated.
(11) The period for which the parent responsibility contract has effect may be specified by reference to a fixed or ascertainable period or by reference to the occurrence of a specified future event.



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