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  3. 10. General
  4. 10.20 Victims of crime and the role of Victim Assist Queensland
  5. Key steps
  6. 3. Make an application to Victim Assist Queensland

3. Make an application to Victim Assist Queensland

Victim Assist Queensland is a complementary scheme and will only pay for goods and services that have not already been covered by another scheme, such as Workcover, Medicare, Centrelink, private insurance, or in the case of a child subject to a child protection order granting custody or guardianship to the chief executive, child related costs.

Refer to the Victim Assist Queensland website for further information in relation to eligibility, application processes and support services available.

Where a child has been injured due to an act of violence, consult with Legal Services as soon as possible and advise them of the incident. Alternatively, Legal Services will approach a CSSC if they become aware of an incident about a child.

When making an application to Victim Assist Queensland on behalf of a child in the custody or guardianship of the chief executive, the CSO will:

  • talk with the child, where it is considered developmentally appropriate, and provide information about Victim Assist Queensland and potential assistance available
  • gain consent to make an application on the child’s behalf
  • consult with Legal Services for guidance on the application and the appropriate forms
  • complete the application, collate the required information and provide it to the Legal Services.

Legal Services will:

  • quality assure the application and information provided by the CSSC
  • submit the application to Victim Assist Queensland and will be the centralised contact point for Child Safety
  • request a CSSC response to any further information or application requests from Victim Assist Queensland received at the Legal Services and
  • advise the CSSC of any decision made by Victim Assist Queensland
  • inform the CSSC and liaise with the Public Trustee of Queensland and also Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, if relevant.

The CSO with casework responsibility will inform the victim of the outcome.

When a young person granted financial assistance through Victim Assist Queensland is transitioning from care to adulthood, prior to reaching eighteen years, the CSO will inform Legal Services. Legal Services will liaise with the Public Trustee for release of the funds in a timely way.

Where a child has experienced sexual abuse while placed in care under an interim or final child protection order, contact Legal Services to determine if the child may be eligible for assistance and should be referred to Victim Assist Queensland.

3.2 Make an application

Where a child has been injured due to an act of violence, decide when to make an application to receive assistance from Victim Assist Queensland at the earliest possible time, in consultation with Legal Services, as part of the case planning process for the child.

Legal Services will advise of the information required to support the application. The child’s CSO will collate and provide the information to Legal Services in a timely manner. An application is supported by information to help establish that the child has experienced an act of violence and has suffered an injury (as defined in the Victim of Crime Assistance Act 2009). Information collated may include:

  • the child’s birth certificate
  • a copy of the child protection order
  • the assessment and outcome from the investigation and assessment or the standards of care report
  • relevant associated case notes
  • information about counselling, therapy and medical treatment the child is or has received as a result of the act of violence
  • details of practitioners who are or have provided treatment.

This documentation will be provided with the application at the time it is lodged with Victim Assist Queensland to ensure timely assessment of the application.

In some cases, evidence that the child has suffered an injury will be available to Victim Assist Queensland through QPS and Queensland Court records. If evidence of injury is required, Victim Assist Queensland will formally request this from Legal Services.

If the incident has not previously been reported to the QPS, the CSO will report the incident in accordance with the Child Protection Act 1999, section 14(2) and advise Legal Services when this is done - refer to Chapter 10.2 Statutory obligation to notify the Queensland Police Service of possible criminal offences.  

For more information on responding to a child who has experienced sexual abuse while in care, refer to Chapter 5, 15. What if a child is sexually abused whilst in out-of-home care?

3.3 Support the rights of a child during criminal proceedings

Where a child victim of crime is subject to a child protection order granting custody or guardianship to the chief executive and the offender has been charged, the CSO will notify Legal Services. Legal Services will liaise with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) to monitor Court and sentencing processes and advise the CSO of the outcome of these matters.

In some circumstances, the ODPP may directly contact the CSSC in relation to specific processes or requirements that need to be communicated to the child, the child’s carer or a residential care service. The information to be provided may relate to matters such as Court dates, requirements to attend Court for pre-recording of evidence, preparation of victim impact statements or consenting for a PACT volunteer.

The CSO is responsible for coordinating all communication between the ODPP and the child, carer or residential care service. Contact details for the child, carer or residential care service are not to be provided to the ODPP. The CSO is to liaise with ODPP to ensure Child Safety is aware of sentencing processes and able to provide adequate support and to ensure the child’s private information is not given to a person or service who is no longer caring for the child.

Legal Services will assist the CSO identify any action needed to support the rights of the child as a victim and witness during criminal proceedings against the offender and in circumstances where the offender has been charged, in accordance with the obligations of Child Safety under the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 2009 Charter of Victims’ Rights.

3.4 Manage a financial benefit from Victim Assist Queensland

Legal Services will arrange for any financial benefit received in response to a Victim Assist application by a child subject to a child protection order granting custody or guardianship to the chief executive, to be managed through the Public Trustee of Queensland in accordance with the Child Protection Act 1999.

The Public Trustee may debit the child’s account for management fees. If this action has been taken, contact Legal Services to discuss whether Victim Assist Queensland may reimburse these management costs to the child.