The Children and Young People Act 1999 (Act no. 63/1999) was said to be ‘implemented with the best interests of the child or young person as the paramount consideration for decisions made’. This Act formally recognised the Aboriginal Child Placement Principle. Sections 1 and 2 commenced on 10 of November 1999, the remainder on 10 May 2000. It was repealed by the Children and Young People Act 2008 on 27 February 2009.
The 1999 Act outlines the responsibilities of parents and government in nurturing and providing care to allow children to grow in a safe environment, and their right to be protected from neglect and abuse.
Across the Act the concept of ‘parental responsibility’ is introduced to replace traditional notions of custody, guardianship and wardship in line with developments in other jurisdictions.
The Act introduced a new concept of voluntary ‘family group conferencing’ in order to facilitate greater family involvement in decision making around alternative ways to care for children and young people.
It also recognised that when it was considered necessary for the state to intervene in the life of a child or young person, the procedures and effects of such intervention should be clear to those impacted at all stages.
Amended by Act No.11 2000, Act No.23 2001, Act No.65 2001, Act No.33 2005, Act No.6 2006, Act No.52 2006, Act No.4 2007, Act No.20 2008