The Civil Section legally represents Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people in relation to Care and Protection matters concerning the removal of children from their families.
The Section advocates for the rights in accordance with legislation and international obligations that the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander People should be free to enjoy. These being the right to family, culture, knowledge, basic human rights and a life where they are not constantly faced with loss, grief and despair on a much greater scale than that of other South Australians.
The Civil Section continues to service clients in the metropolitan, regional and remote regions of South Australia and advocate cultural competence.
Clients can contact our free call number 1800 643 222, and ask for our metropolitan office in Adelaide and regional offices in Ceduna, Port Augusta and Murray Bridge.
Upon contact initial instructions are obtained and an interview time arranged. All hearings are listed in the Youth Court in Adelaide. If a client is unable to travel to Adelaide they can appear via telephone or video link up.
The Section’s role when an application for Guardianship is sought by the Minister is to act as an advocate for the client, ensuring all information is correct and the client’s right to respond to any allegations that are made against them.
The Section very often works closely with service providers that have been engaged with the family dealing with issues of violence, substance abuse and parental capacity.
The Section undertakes to ensure the obligations of the Minister are being upheld in the best interests of the child in particular when the child is placed in foster care we ensure the child’s cultural needs are addressed. In relation to parents, we provide assistance to document their concerns and represent their views.