A regional court granted an application by the Child and Family Agency (CFA) to discharge a full care order concerning a 17-year-old boy, where he said that he would engage with the social worker if the care order was discharged.
The social worker gave evidence that the teenager had been missing in care since the middle of the summer and had a number of previous missing-child-in-care notifications. She said that he had recently got married and had asked to be discharged from care. The social worker told the judge that if the teenager was placed back in foster care, then he would go to ground again and she would not be able to contact him.
The judge asked: “If I make the order, will he be more at risk?” and the social worker responded: “He is engaging with me since I said that I would discharge the order”.
The social worker said that she met the boy the week before and he was well dressed, clean and well nourished. The boy had told her that his brother had offered him employment and that he was living with his grandmother and was not homeless.
The social worker was of the opinion that the child would be at more risk if he was returned to care and confirmed that he will still be offered services if the care order was discharged.
The judge found that it was in the child’s best interest to discharge the care order and the order was discharged.