To provide information to child protection workers on the procedures required when a child in the CEO's care intends to travel interstate or overseas, including applying for a passport.
Note: CEO refers to the Chief Executive Officer of the Department of Communities.
The assistant district director or district director must give written approval for short term or temporary interstate travel by a child in the CEO's care, even if the child is to be accompanied by a Department officer, foster carer, the child's parents, or if the child is visiting his or her parents.
The district director must provide written approval for short term and temporary overseas travel, and approve applications for passports.
The relevant Executive Director (Residential Care, Executive Director or Regional Executive Director) must provide written approval when travel is contentious - for example, there are strong parental objections.
The Court must be informed of the intention to arrange interstate and overseas travel for children in provisional protection and care.
When planning for a child in the CEO's care (provisional protection and care or subject to final order) to permanently relocate interstate or to New Zealand, child protection workers must forward the child's care plan and Form 904 Request for Casework Assistance from WA to the WA Interstate Liaison Officer (WA ILO). The WA ILO will advise and liaise with the relevant agency interstate or in New Zealand.
When a child in the CEO's care is temporarily travelling interstate or to New Zealand, and difficulties are likely to arise while the child is interstate, child protection workers must forward Form 903 – Request for Interstate Notification to WAInterstateLiaison@communities.wa.gov.au. The WA ILO will advise the relevant state or territory of the child's travel plans.
Child protection workers must:
consider the views of the child and both parents about the proposed travel - where possible, parental consent for the travel must be obtained
confirm that escort, accommodation and supervision arrangements are in place before the child travels
confirm that travel and medical insurance has been obtained before any overseas travel
record the details of any proposed travel longer than four weeks, or the child's permanent relocation in the case plan and care plan
record Department funding for overseas travel in Assist's 'Funding' screen. Refer to the section 'Travel approval and documentation' below. Refer to the resource Assist: Recording funding for overseas travel for children in the CEO's care in related resources.
Child protection workers must apply for a passport for children in the CEO's care when they turn 15 years of age as part of planning for leaving care (if the child does not have a valid passport already).
Child protection workers must apply for a passport for a child in the CEO's care where consideration is being given to applying for, or supporting an application for a protection order (special guardianship). The passport application must be finalised before commencing the application for a protection order (special guardianship).
Refer to the following flowcharts in related resources:
When a child is subject to a protection order (time-limited or until 18), or a negotiated placement agreement where the agreement authorises the CEO to give consent for travel and/or apply for a passport - refer to s.127(2)(c) of the Children and Community Services Act 2004 (the Act):
A child in provisional protection and care does not require the Children's Court approval for travel, however, the Court must be informed of the intention to arrange interstate or overseas travel for the child. Child protection workers (CPWs) must consult with Child Protection Legal Unit in this circumstance.
If legal proceedings have commenced, child protection workers must consult with Child Protection Legal Unit regarding any proposed travel and passport application.
For a child placed under s.32(1)(c) of the Act, the consent of the person who has parental responsibility is required for any proposed travel and passport application.
The views of the child and parent must always be considered. Where possible and appropriate, the child and parent should be involved in the decision making process, and parental consent obtained for the travel.
For temporary interstate or New Zealand travel, interstate notification for children on protection orders does not need to occur if there are no foreseeable concerns or potential difficulties.
If difficulties or concerns are likely to arise while the child is interstate or in New Zealand, the travel should be considered carefully before it occurs. In this situation, interstate colleagues should be advised of the child's details and contact arrangements, and the caseworker's details - district office contact details and after-hours contact arrangements in WA. Child protection workers must complete and forward Form 903 Request for Interstate Notification to the WA ILO via WAInterstateLiaison@communities.wa.gov.au. The WA ILO will liaise with the relevant interstate or New Zealand agency.
If the travel is for a permanent relocation interstate or to New Zealand, CPWs must complete and forward the following to the WA ILO via WAInterstateLiaison@communities.wa.gov.au:
For more information refer to Chapter 3.3: Interstate and New Zealand liaison.
Intra or interstate travel
Child protection workers must complete a travel itinerary for all intra or interstate travel. The itinerary must be approved by the assistant district director or district director (refer to the ‘Submitting a request for travel approval and funding’ section below).
Children travelling intra or interstate may be required to provide identification and a letter of authorisation for travel at the time of check-in. Complete the Travel Authorisation Letter in related resources. Child protection workers should clarify requirements when confirming travel arrangements.
Before submitting a request for funding or approval for overseas travel, child protection workers must review and record the Australian Government's Travel Advisory and Consular Assistance Service level of security concern for the proposed travel destinations (graded level 1-4) (via the Smartraveller Advice link in related resources).
The district director must approve short term and temporary overseas travel where the security concern is level 1 (exercise normal safety precautions) or level 2 (exercise a high degree of caution), unless the travel is contentious, which will need Executive Director approval.
Where the level of security concern is level 3 (reconsider your need to travel) or level 4 (do not travel), travel will not be approved.
Child protection workers should consult with their team leader if travel warnings exist before making a submission for travel approval.
Overseas travel requires a valid passport with at least six months before expiry. If a child has a current passport with at least six months before expiry, the passport number must be recorded in Assist.
Child protection workers need to allow up to four months for the application process to obtain a passport for a child in the CEO’s care. Travel to some countries also requires a visa.
Child protection workers must obtain advice from a medical practitioner about the particular health risks and immunisation requirements for the destination country. Where immunisations are recommended, child protection workers must arrange for the child to be immunised before leaving Western Australia, and obtain or check that medical insurance has been obtained before travel commences.
For more information check the Smartraveller website (via the Smartraveller Health link in related resources).
Submitting a request for travel approval and funding
Requests for travel approvals and funding are generated through Assist. Child protection workers must scan all relevant documents to the Child History File. Funding for travel must be applied for and approved through the child's case plan in Assist.
The following documents, in addition to the travel approval and funding request, must be submitted to the team leader for endorsement:
The team leader must forward the submission to the:
The district director must forward any submission for contentious travel to the relevant Executive Director for approval.
Funding approval is made at the district's discretion after taking into account the rationale for travel and the case support costs budget.
Once approved, CPWs must:
Assist - recording funding for overseas travel
Child protection workers must record details of all overseas and international travel paid by the Department for children in the CEO's care.
Refer the resource Assist: Recording funding for overseas travel for children in the CEO's care for details of the recording process.
The Department provides travel insurance for children in the CEO's care through the Insurance Commission of Western Australia (ICWA) (see Travel insurance for children in the CEO's care – Certificate of Currency 2018-2019 in related resources). Travel insurance is subject to the following conditions:
When developing travel plans for a child who will be travelling oversears, contact Facilities Management: email@example.com at least 4 weeks before the departure date and provide the following information:
Facilities Management will forward a Travel Card to the CPW. The CPW gives the Travel Card to the child to take with them and carry while they are travelling. If any circumstances occur that require assistance through ICWA, contact the child's caseworker and ICWA (contact details are on the Travel Card).
Please note that New Zealand and the UK have a reciprocal Healthcare Arrangement with Australia whereby Medicare provides coverage for children in care in those countries.
Australian passports and citizenship
Where a child already has an Australian Passport, child protection workers must check that the passport has at least six months validity remaining beyond the period of intended overseas stay (a requirement for entry into most countries).
An Australian Passport can only be issued to an Australian citizen and evidence of Australian citizenship must accompany an application for a passport. Refer below to ‘Evidence of Australian citizenship and obtaining birth certificates’ or ‘Obtaining an Australian citizenship certificate for a child in care’.
Where a child’s citizenship status is unclear, child protection workers must contact the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) on 131 880 to clarify the process.
District director approval to apply for a passport and funding must be obtained before an application for a passport is submitted.
Completing the passport application
Child protection workers must complete the Australian Child Passport Application on behalf of the child. Application forms are available from Australia Post offices or can be downloaded here or via the Child Passport Application link in related resources (under forms).
Child protection workers must fill in sections 13 and 14 of the passport application, completing all details known. Ask the parents to complete and sign section 15 'Declaration and consent' if they give consent; if not, leave blank. Reasons for this must be recorded in section 5. 'Additional consent' in Form B-10 – Child Subject to State/Territory Child Welfare Law (link in related resources).
Child protection workers must sign in the 'Other person with parental responsibility' field in section 17 of the Passport Application and record their position title under the signature.
More information on completing the Child Passport Application can be found on pages 8 and 9 of the Child Welfare or Protective Agencies: A Guide to Lodging Child Passport (in related resources) and the Australian Passport Office website. For more information about the Australian Passport application process, refer to the following related resources:
Passport interview and other documentation required
Child protection workers must contact the Australian Passport Information Service on 131 232 (and ask to speak with a passport officer located in Perth, Western Australia) or Australia Post on 131 318 to request an interview for a passport application for a child in the CEO’s care. Child protection workers should consider attending the interview at the Australian Passport Office located at Level 1, 140 William Street, Perth as this will reduce the application processing time.
As of January 2016, the Australian Passport Office issue 10-year passports to children aged 16 or 17. The issue of a 10-year passport is not optional. The fee for the 10-year passport is the same as the fee for an adult passport. All the usual requirements for a child passport application continue to apply, including parental consent requirements. A child who is 16 or 17 years old must attend the passport interview with the child protection worker, to enable the interviewer to confirm the identity of the applicant against their application photo.
Child protection workers must take their Department identification to the passport interview. Payment for the passport can be made at the interview. Further information can be found on the Children’s Passports page on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) website (see the 'Children’s Passports' link in related resources).
The following completed forms and original documents must accompany the Child Passport Application at the interview (original documents will be photocopied and returned at the interview):
The DFAT website has a number of other forms on the Children’s Passports page that may need to be completed and taken to the interview, depending on the child’s circumstances. For further information contact the Australian Passport Information Service on 131 232 and ask to speak with one of the passport officers in Perth, Western Australia. Forms listed below can be obtained through the links in related resources.
If available, documented consent from the child’s parents should be provided at the interview, as this will reduce the application processing time.
For further information regarding passports for children, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Australian Passport Information Service on 131 232 and ask to speak with one of the passport officers in Perth, Western Australia.
To obtain an Australian passport, you must confirm the child’s Australian citizenship. A child’s passport is evidence of Australian citizenship if it was:
If the passport is provided at the interview, no further evidence of citizenship is required. Otherwise, the following documentation must be provided to prove that one of the child’s parents was either an Australian citizen or permanent resident of Australia at the time of the child’s birth:
For more information refer to the Australian Passport Office.
Child protection workers do not need to apply for a certificate of citizenship for Aboriginal children. If a parent’s birth certificate or passport is not available, the Australian Passport Office will assist on a case by case basis. It may be possible to issue a passport for an Aboriginal child in the absence of this documentation. When these documents are not available, child protection workers must complete Form B11 General Declaration by Passport Applicant (available in related resources), and lodge the passport application with all other required documents.
Children born to New Zealand parents
There are specific requirements for children born of New Zealand parents. Child protection workers should refer to the DIBP website ‘New
Zealand Citizens Living in Australia’ for information and contact details.
Children born overseas
If the child does not have an Australian birth certificate, the following must be provided:
Refer below to ‘Obtaining an Australian citizenship certificate for a child in care’.
Obtaining a parent or grandparent’s birth certificate
An Australian birth certificate can assist in establishing a child’s Australian citizenship for the purposes of applying for a passport.
If the child’s parent and grandparent (where necessary) consents, a certified copy of their Birth Certificate can be obtained from the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in the state they were born and submitted with the Child Passport Application.
To obtain a certified copy of a birth certificate with consent where a parent or grandparent (as applicable) was born in Western Australia, child protection workers must complete BDM1 - Birth Certificate Application form and ask the parent or grandparent to complete and sign BDM Form 600 - Letter of Authority. Both forms are available on the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages website or via the link in related resources.
The following documents must be provided with the completed BDM Forms 001 and 600:
Note: All copies of the parent or grandparent’s identification documents must be certified. Child protection workers can certify these. The application must outline why the birth certificate is required.
Where the child protection worker is unable to get the parent or grandparent to complete and sign BDM 600 - Letter of Authority, Form 007 - Letter to Registry of BDM for parent/grandparent birth certificate with/without consent must be completed, including an outline of what efforts have been made to obtain their consent and the outcome. If the parent or grandparent has refused to give authority, this must be noted.
Applications for Western Australian birth certificates can be lodged in person or via mail at the Perth Registry office at Level 10, 141 St Georges Terrace, Perth.
Further information on the Birth Certificate Access Policy and identification requirements can be found via the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages link in related resources.
A grandparent can also obtain a birth certificate for a child’s parent if they make application to the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in the state the parent was born.
For information on applying for a birth certificate for a child in the CEO’s care, and for contact details for the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in other states, refer to Chapter 3.4: Obtaining a birth certificate, and the related resource Contact Details for Births, Deaths and Marriages Registry Offices in Australia and New Zealand.
If evidence of the child’s Australian citizenship cannot be established in order to apply for an Australian passport, an application must be made to the DIBP for an Australian citizenship certificate for the child.
If the child does not have an Australian birth certificate, child protection workers must provide copies and originals of the child's overseas birth certificate (with an English translation if necessary) and proof of the child's Australian citizenship.
To apply for a certificate of Australian citizenship, child protection workers must complete DIBP Form 119 - Application for evidence of Australian citizenship. The form can be accessed via the DIBP Form 119 link in related resources. The DIBP website, ‘Becoming an Australian Citizen’ (link in related resources) also gives information on the application fees and timeframes for processing.
DIBP Form 119 must be submitted by mail with Form 009 Statutory Declaration (to accompany application for Australian citizenship certificate for a child in care) (refer to Example Statutory Declaration in related resources) stating the:
Other documentation accompanying DIBP Form 119 and the statutory declaration (Form 009) must include certified copies of:
All travel documentation must be scanned to the Child History File.
The Certificate of Citizenship must be stored in the Child History Folder and a copy placed on the Child History File.
Once a passport is obtained, the passport number must be recorded in Assist.
Where the Department pays for overseas travel and accomodation, you must record the payment in Assist as 'OVERSEAS TRAVEL' - not 'travel'.
While travelling overseas the child’s original passport must be held by the responsible adult travelling with the child. On return to Australia, the child protection worker must retrieve the passport and place it in the Child History Folder.