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CHILDREN AND YOUNG PERSONS (CARE AND PROTECTION) ACT 1998 - SECT 86

Contact orders

86 Contact orders

(1) An order may be made by the Children's Court doing any one or more of the following:
(a) stipulating minimum requirements concerning the frequency and duration of contact between a child or young person and his or her parents, relatives or other persons of significance to the child or young person,
(b) requiring contact with a specified person to be supervised,
(c) denying contact with a specified person if contact with that person is not in the best interests of the child or young person.
(1A) A contact order may be made by the Children's Court:
(a) on application made by any party to proceedings before the Children's Court with respect to a child or young person, or
(b) with leave of the Children's Court--on application made by any of the following persons who were parties to care proceedings with respect to a child or young person:
(i) the Secretary,
(ii) the child or young person,
(iii) a person having parental responsibility for the child or young person,
(iv) a person from whom parental responsibility for the child or young person has been removed,
(v) any person who considers himself or herself to have a sufficient interest in the welfare of the child or young person, or
(c) with leave of the Children's Court--on application made by any person who considers himself or herself to have a sufficient interest in the welfare of the child or young person.
(1B) The Children's Court may grant leave under subsection (1A) (b) or (c) if it appears to the Court that there has been a significant change in any relevant circumstances since a final order was made in the proceedings.
(1C) The Children's Court is not required to hear or determine an application made to it with respect to a child or young person by a person referred to in subsection (1A) (c) unless it considers the person to have a sufficient interest in the welfare of the child or young person.
(1D) Before granting leave under subsection (1A) (b) or (c), the Children's Court:
(a) must take into consideration whether the applicant for the contact order and persons to whom the contact order applies have attempted, or been ordered by the Children's Court to try, to reach an agreement about contact arrangements by participating in alternative dispute resolution, and
(b) may order the applicant and those persons to attend a dispute resolution conference conducted by a Children's Registrar under section 65 or alternative dispute resolution process under section 65A.
(1E) Subject to any order the Children's Court may make, an applicant for a contact order under subsection (1A) (b) who was a party to care proceedings must notify other persons who were parties to the proceedings of the making of the application.
Note : Section 256A sets out the circumstances in which the Children's Court may dispense with the requirement to give notice.
(1F) A contact order made under subsection (1A) (b) on application of a person who was a party to proceedings in which an earlier contact order was made that has expired may be made in the same or different terms to the expired order.
(2) The Children's Court may make an order that contact be supervised by the Secretary or a person employed in that part of the Department comprising those members of staff who are principally involved in the administration of this Act only with the Secretary's or person's consent and must not be made in relation to contact with a child or young person who is the subject of a guardianship order.
(3) An order of the kind referred to in subsection (1) (a) does not prevent more frequent contact with a child or young person with the consent of a person having parental responsibility for the child or young person.
(4) An order of the kind referred to in subsection (1) (b) may be made only with the consent of the person specified in the order and the person who is required to supervise the contact.
(5) A contact order made under this section has effect for the period specified in the order, unless the order is varied or rescinded under section 86A or 90.
(6) Despite subsection (5), if the Children's Court decides (whether by acceptance of the Secretary's assessment under section 83 or otherwise) that there is no realistic possibility of restoration of a child or young person to his or her parent, the maximum period that may be specified in a contact order made under subsection (1A) concerning the child or young person is 12 months.
(7) Subsection (6) does not apply to a contact order made on the application of a former party to proceedings in which an earlier contact order was made that has expired.
(8) Subsection (6) does not apply to a contact order concerning a child or young person who is the subject of a guardianship order if the Children's Court is satisfied that a contact order of more than 12 months duration (for example, a contact order for the duration of the guardianship order) is in the best interests of the child or young person.



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