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Prepare an affidavit

The purpose of an affidavit is to provide sworn or affirmed, factual information to assist a magistrate in making a decision in relation to a child protection order.


Refer to the Practice guide Evidencing compliance with the 5 elements of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle for guidance when completing an Affidavit (Form 25) for an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander family.


The Director of Child Protection Litigation (DCPL) completes the application (Form 10) for a child protection order.

The following documents, if relevant and available, must be attached as an exhibit to the initial affidavit  using the Form 26 – Certificate of Exhibit template:

  • assessment and outcome that the child is in need of protection
  • most recent child strengths and needs assessment
  • most recent parental strengths and needs assessment  
  • most recent family risk evaluation
  • record of recent family group meeting 
  • current case plan 
  • most recent review report
  • current or previous child protection orders including emergency orders and care agreements
  • referral to support services for the child and the child’s parents  
  • independent assessment or reports about the child or the child’s parents  
  • a child’s birth certificate
  • child protection history table 
  • criminal and domestic violence history or traffic history. (Refer to Procedure 2 Check criminal and domestic violence history.)


For an initial affidavit make sure a copy of the handout Child Safety terms is attached as an exhibit.

After this:

  • The senior team leader will review and approve the information in the draft initial affidavit.
  • The OCFOS lawyer will review the initial draft affidavit and upload the affidavit and Form A referral to CourtShare.

The DCPL will review and provide feedback on the initial affidavit to the CSO and senior team leader before it is finalised and filed in the Childrens Court. 

Practice prompt

If a referral to the DCPL is completed before a family group meeting has been held, attach the current case plan to the initial affidavit. A family group meeting may be initiated by Child Safety (Child Protection Act 1999, section 51H(1)) or directed by the Childrens Court (Child Protection Act 1999, section 68(1)(d)(i)). Make sure during a child protection proceeding a revised case plan is prepared for the Childrens Court that responds to the child’s assessed needs. (Refer to Procedure 5 Provide the case plan to the Childrens Court.)

Consider attaching to the initial affidavit any practice framework tools completed with the child and family, for example, the Three houses, Future house and Circles of safety and support.

Identify sensitive information

The Child Protection Act 1999, section 191, allows Child Safety and the DCPL to not disclose a document or information in an affidavit that may or will endanger a person’s safety or psychological health. The sort of sensitive information that may not disclosed could include:

  • a carer’s address, if it has been withheld from a parent
  • a parent’s address, if it is not known to the other parent
  • the identity of a notifier
  • names of children who are not in care
  • personal information of people not involved in the court proceeding
  • personal information about a child and parent in cases of domestic and family violence
  • contact details of a current or previous domestic violence shelter
  • pending criminal charges.

Work with the senior team leader and OCFOS lawyer to complete the Sensitive information checklist to advise the DCPL about sensitive documents or information that is included in the initial affidavit. The OCFOS lawyer will make sure the sensitive information checklist is provided to the DCPL with the Form A referral and initial affidavit.


The DCPL makes the final decision on whether the information and document can be withheld in the affidavit material.

It is the responsibility of the OCFOS lawyer to redact (remove or conceal) sensitive information in the initial affidavit before it is finalised and filed in the Childrens Court.

Serve the application and affidavit

The DCPL will finalise the affidavit before the CSO either swears or affirms the affidavit and provides a signed copy of the affidavit to the DCPL via CourtShare. The DCPL will make sure the initial affidavit is always filed with a Form 10—Application for a child protection order and Form D – Disclosure Form.  

The application form for a child protection order is an unsworn document and is not considered evidence. Only information contained in the affidavit is considered evidence by the Childrens Court.

OCFOS will open a child protection order event in ICMS and complete all mandatory fields in a Form 10—Application for a child protection order.

The DCPL will request that the CSO serve a copy of the sealed application and initial affidavit on the parents for a child protection order. This is due to the personal service requirement. 

Time sensitive

Personal service of the application and affidavit must occur 3 days before the first mention of the application in the Childrens Court.

Complete an Affidavit of service (Form 22) for each parent as proof of service. The completed form is uploaded to CourtShare for the DCPL to file in the child protection proceeding.

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