Children's Court New South Wales

AVO's: parents, guardians, carers

If a child or young person is violent or behaves in a threatening manner an application for an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) can be made to the Children’s Court. 

In most cases the application will be brought by police.  Police also have the power to impose temporary orders (a provisional order) before the case comes to court.  However, if the child is under the age of 16 years of age police cannot impose orders that prevent a young person from living in their home. 

Legal help for children and young people

Legal Aid NSW will provide a lawyer for any child or young person who is a defendant in an application for an AVO.  The lawyer is responsible for providing advice to the child or young person and will follow the instructions that the child or young person provides them.  Your child is entitled to speak with their lawyer confidentially and they will need to make their own decisions about the court case. The lawyer cannot follow your instructions. The child or young person can tell you about the case or show you documents, but this is up to them.

For more information about the AVO court process see About Apprehended violence orders.

Help for parents, guardians and carers in need of protection

If police have made the application on your behalf, you will be represented by a police prosecutor at court.  Sometimes parents want help to manage conflict with a young person in the home.  The Children’s Court encourages young people and their families to get help early if there is conflict in the home.  It is not uncommon for young people and their parents to disagree, but it is not okay if these disagreements lead to violence or threats.  The Children’s Court will often adjourn AVO cases to allow a young person and their families to obtain counselling or other support services to help a young person to learn how to deal with conflict without using violence. 

Further information about how this process works is set out in Children’s Court Practice Note 8

There are a range of service providers who can help.  A good place to start is Relationships Australia NSW.

Domestic Violence Liaison Officers (DVLO's)

Domestic Violence Liaison Officers are specialist police officers, trained in domestic and family violence and child protection. DVLOs are located at the major police stations.

Domestic Violence Liaison Officers can provide advice and support to victims and help with the AVO court process. They can also give referrals to support agencies who can provide support with things like accommodation. One of their other roles is to monitor repeat victims and perpetrators.

To contact a local Domestic Violence Liaison Officer, phone your local police station and ask to speak to the ‘DVLO’.

Last updated:

05 Sep 2023

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