This article was written by Michelle Makela - Legal Practice Director

Michelle has over 15 years experience in the legal industry, working across commercial litigation, criminal law, family law and estate planning.  Michelle has been involved in all practice areas of the firm and in her personal practice has had experience in litigation at all levels (state and federal industrial tribunals, the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, Federal...

Neglect and Parenting Matters


Neglect occurs when a child is not provided with adequate food or shelter, medical, treatment, care, nurture or supervision. Significant physical harm can be caused to a child as a result of neglect. Neglect can also have damaging effects on the child’s social, psychological, educational or emotional development.

The refusal or failure to fill a child’s basic needs will be considered within the context of the family’s circumstances. It may be a factor in the Department of Child Protection becoming involved and seeking orders in respect of the child. Neglect by one parent may also be a determinative factor in a decision by the family courts to make Parenting Orders that the child live with the other parent and/or that the other parent have sole parental responsibility. 

Why does neglect occur?

There is no single cause of child neglect. Children may be neglected for a number of reasons, these include:

  • Various addictions for example drugs, alcohol etc.
  • Parent not able to cope
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Anger management issues
  • Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome
  • Mental illness

Notice of Risk form

When a party files an Application or a Response in a parenting matter, one of the forms they are required to complete is the Notice of Risk form. This form requires the party to disclose any knowledge or suspicions they have that any of the persons involved in the proceedings have exposed any of the children to abuse or neglect and to provide details. This alerts the court and the other parties involved of any potential neglect or abuse that may occur if the children are placed in the care of that person.

While physical signs (such as bruises) or changes in the child’s behaviour may be a cause for concern, these indicators have also been seen in children who have not been subjected to neglect. If you have concerns for a child’s safety and well being contact the Department for Child Protection to discuss your concerns on 1800 622 258.

If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.

WHERE TO NEXT?

Taking the next step and contacting a family lawyer can be scary. Our lawyers will make you feel comfortable so you can talk about your situation. But first, ask yourself, Do I really need a lawyer?

WHY CHOOSE ARMSTRONG LEGAL?

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