The Children's Services Ordinance 1986 was Commonwealth legislation, which emphasised strengthening and preserving the relationship between the child and his or her family and the desirability of leaving a child in their home. It introduced the legal term 'child in need of care', and also took a significant step in separating 'children in need of care' from 'juvenile offenders.' Sections of the Children's Services Ordinance 1986 commenced in June 1986, with others in April 1988 and June 1997. It was repealed by the Children's Services Act 1999 on 10 May 2000
The Children's Services Ordinance 1986 replaced the Child Welfare Ordinance 1957 (Cth).
In cases where a court found that a child was 'in need of care' it could make a supervision order; a residential order; commit the child to an institution; make the child a ward of the Director of Family Services; or refer the child to the Mental Health Tribunal for assessment.
The Children's Services Ordinance 1986introduced the legal term 'child in need of care'. It also took a significant step in separating 'children in need of care' from 'juvenile offenders.'
'Existing antiquated procedures which result in children in need of care being charged with a criminal offence are abolished.(Children's Services Ordinance 1986, Explanatory Statement)'
The 1986 Ordinance placed clear legislative guidelines on procedures relating to arrest, interviews, fingerprinting and photographs of children. It legislated for 'compulsory reporting' in regards to the abuse of children and created offences for abuses committed.
Emphasis was placed on the importance of addressing the individual child's understanding of the court system, and to the specific needs and concerns relevant to children.