Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women

Assessment orders

Assessment orders include:

Court Assessment Order

A Court Assessment Order (CAO) is an order made by the Childrens Court under the Child Protection Act 1999.

  • It authorises the Department of Child Safety to take certain actions to investigate and assess whether a child or young person is in need of protection.
  • An officer from our department or the Queensland Police Service can apply to the Childrens Court for a Court Assessment Order.

The purpose of a Court Assessment Order is to:

  • allow child safety officers or police officers to assess whether a child or young person has been harmed or is at risk of harm
  • make sure the child or young person is safe while the investigation and assessment occurs.

A Court Assessment Order can remain in effect for up to four weeks from the day the application is first brought before the court, even if the matter has been adjourned.

  • The order will state the date when it ends.
  • The Childrens Court can extend the order once for a further period of up to four weeks, if it is in the child or young person's best interests.
  • If the Court Assessment Order is extended, the child or young person's parents will be told about it and given a copy of the order.

A parent has the right to seek legal advice or representation at any stage of our involvement with their child.

Temporary Assessment Order

A Temporary Assessment Order (TAO) is an order made by a magistrate under the Child Protection Act 1999.

An officer from our department or the Queensland Police Service can apply to the magistrate for the order.

The purpose of a Temporary Assessment Order is to:

  • allow child safety officers or police officers to assess whether the child or young person has been harmed or is at risk of harm
  • make sure the child or young person is safe while an investigation and assessment occurs.

A magistrate can override a parent's objections to certain actions being taken by authorising any of the following actions:

  • contact with a child or young person by child safety officers or police officers
  • medical examination or treatment of the child or young person
  • temporary custody of the child or young person during the investigation and assessment period. This generally means that the child or young person will not stay in their home
  • child safety officers or police officers to enter and search a place to find a child or young person.

The Temporary Assessment Order can also direct a parent not to have contact with their child or young person, or to only have supervised contact.

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Assessment order - Information for parents

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