Stage two - court ordered conference / additional family group meeting / case plan review meeting

On this page:

(show below)(hide below)

    Applications for aid from parties, non-parties and children (directly represented) to be represented at court ordered conferences, additional family group meetings and case plan review meetings are not subject to merits testing.

    For legal aid to be granted the following tests must be satisfied:

    Parties to proceedings:

    Direct Representation

    Documentary requirements

    Extension requests received from preferred supplier or in-house practitioner

    Practitioners seeking a grant of legal assistance must electronically submit an extension request via Grants Online attaching the appropriate checklist.

    The following documents may be submitted or retained on file but may be requested by Legal Aid Queensland:


    Guideline 1.4 – child protection (non-parties)

    In order to satisfy guideline 1.4, an order has to have been made under s113 of the Child Protection Act 1999 allowing the applicant for aid to participate in proceedings.


    s113 of the Act allows the court to join as parties to a proceeding, significant people in the child's life. The court has discretion to make an order allowing these people to participate as a 'non-party'.

    The order must indicate how and when the person will take part. For example, a non-party may be allowed to participate in the whole of the proceedings or only a specified part. The order may also provide that a non-party be treated as a party for some or all provisions under the Act.

    Guideline 1.5 – child protection (direct representation)

    Competent to provide instructions

    In considering an application for legal assistance by a child, the age of the child is not a determining factor as to whether the child is competent to provide instructions.

    Legal Aid Queensland considers in line with the authority in Gillick that an applicant child is competent to provide instructions when:

    • they have an understanding of the impact of any decisions they are making
    • they are willing to give instructions to a lawyer
    • the child has sufficient intellectual capacity and emotional maturity to understand the basis of their application.

    In making a determination as to the competence of an applicant child to provide instructions to a lawyer, Legal Aid Queensland will take into consideration the opinion provided by the practitioner who provided the initial advice to the applicant child.

    Family Group Meeting (FGM)

    A family group meeting is to be an inclusive and participative process for the child, family, the department and service providers, to develop a case plan that is child-centred, family-focussed, strengths-based and based on shared responsibility. It brings together family, extended family, services and support people in a forum that allows families to participate in planning for the protection of their children.

    Under the Child Protection Act 1999, section 51H, the department must convene a family group meeting, or have a private convenor convene a family group meeting, to develop the initial case plan for a child. This is to occur in an inclusive and participative process with the child, the child's family and other significant people.

    Further information is available at the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women website.

    Case Plan Review Meeting (CPRM)

    Every case plan developed for a child under the Child Protection Act 1999, part 3A, must be regularly reviewed. The purpose of the case plan review is to assess progress towards achieving the case plan goal and outcomes and inform the development of a new case plan where the decision has been made to continue ongoing intervention.

    A case plan must be reviewed regularly, taking into consideration the following factors:

    • the child’s age and developmental needs
    • the provisions of the case plan
    • any change that has a significant impact on the direction of the case plan.

    The following people must be given an opportunity to participate in the review of a case plan (Child Protection Act 1999, section 51W):

    • the child, if age and developmentally appropriate
    • the child's parents
    • other members of the child's family group who are considered likely to make a significant contribution to the case plan
    • other people with whom the child has a significant relationship, for example, the child's approved carer or guardian
    • any legal representative for the child
    • a member of the recognised entity, when the child is an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child
    • relevant service providers.

    When reviewing a case plan, the use of a family group meeting is not required, but may be an appropriate way of engaging people, particularly when:

    • there is disagreement between family members and the department about the case plan
    • previous actions have not been completed
    • changes to the case plan are being proposed which would significantly change the goal or outcomes.

    When a family group meeting is not to be used for the case plan review, a combination of strategies to conduct the review will be used to ensure it occurs in an inclusive and participative way, for example, meetings with the family, meetings with individuals or groups of individuals or, where necessary, telephone interviews.

    Further information is available at the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women website.

    Grant(s) of aid

    The initial stage two grant of aid available to parties, non-parties with an s113 order and children (direct representation) is CP5.

    This is a maximum fee grant of aid that allows for:

    • preparation and attendance at a court ordered conference
    • attendance at a court mention

    Extension(s) of aid

    Family group meetings / case plan review meetings

    The CP6 grant of aid is available if a practitioner is required to attend a further family group meeting or case plan review meeting during stage two of proceedings.

    This is a maximum fee grant of aid that allows for:

    • preparation and attendance at a subsequent family group meeting or case plan review meeting
    • attendance at a further court mention


    The CP3 grant of aid is available if a practitioner is required to attend at more court attendances than provided on any existing grants of aid.

    The CP3 grant of aid allows for appearances at a further 2 attendances and can be issued more than once if required.

    Court attendances include appearances at court for a mention, hearing, or attendances to inspect subpoena material.

    Interim hearing

    A grant of legal assistance may be available to make or respond to an interim hearing:

    If the matter proceeds beyond stage two, extensions of aid may be available to continue representation at the following stages:

    Review of decisions

    A decision to refuse legal aid for this type of matter may be appealed to the external review officer (refer to review of decisions).

    Last updated 26 October 2018