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Child Witness Service

The Child Witness Service helps children and young people under 18 years of age who may need to give evidence in court. The children involved can be victims or witnesses to any criminal charge, in any court.

The Child Witness Service, part of the Department of the Attorney General, provides practical information and helps children and young people emotionally prepare for court. Support is provided on an individual basis. Evidence is never discussed.

The Child Witness Service does not provide counselling. However, referrals can be made to appropriate agencies when additional support is required.

The Child Witness Service aims to:

  • reduce trauma for children giving evidence in court by appropriate preparation and support.
  • Undertake assessments of a child's needs in relation to giving evidence and advocate for the child to receive their entitlements under the legislation.
  • work with the WA Police and the Director of Public Prosecutions to ensure a child witness and their family are kept fully informed about the progress of a case through the courts
  • help a child witness prepare a victim impact statement, even if the child is not required to give evidence

It is important that children are referred to the Child Witness Service as soon as possible after charges have been laid against an alleged offender. It is not necessary to know for certain if the child is required to give evidence. Child victims and witnesses can receive support from the time charges are laid until the matter before the court is finalised. It is important to note that if your child has completed a visually recorded interview with the Specialist Child Interview Unit, they may still be required to answer further questions.

The Child Witness Service can also provide consultation with both the WA Police and Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Making a referral

Any child under the age of 18 years, who may be required to give evidence, can be referred to the Child Witness Service. Referrals usually come from the WA Police, but can also be from a Government agency or the child's caregiver(s).

Where possible, the following details should be provided to the Child Witness Service at the time of referral:

  • Child or young person's name, date of birth, current address and ethnicity
  • Charges against the alleged offender (if known)
  • Details of the child or young person’s current caregivers
  • Other services being provided to the child or young person and their family by another agency (if known).

To make a referral, telephone the coordinator of the Child Witness Service on (08) 9425 2850.  Once a child is referred, the service will arrange an appointment for the caregiver(s) and child to meet a Child Witness Service worker.

The Child Witness Service is a free service provided by the Department of the Attorney General's Victim Support & Child Witness Service.

Contact details

Victim Support and Child Witness Service
Department of the Attorney General
District Court Building
Level 2, 500 Hay Street
PERTH  WA  6000
Phone: (08) 9425 2850
Fax: (08) 9425 2167
Freecall: 1800 818 988

Regional Child Witness Service locations

Albany
Albany Courthouse
184 Stirling Terrace
ALBANY WA 6330
Phone: (08) 9842 5222
Fax (08) 9841 7920

 

Broome
Office 2, 9 Napier Street
BROOME WA 6725
Phone: (08) 9192 6575
Fax: (08) 9192 6585

Bunbury
Bunbury Courthouse
Ground Floor
65 Wittenoom Street
BUNBURY WA 6230
Phone: (08) 9781 4212
Fax: (08) 9781 4233

 

Carnarvon
2 Rushton Street
CARNARVON WA 6701
Phone: (08) 9941 4070
Fax: (08) 9941 4080

Derby
Derby Courthouse
Loch Street
DERBYWA 6728
Phone: (08) 9191 2274
Fax: (08) 9193 1025

Esperance
Esperance Courthouse
100 Dempster Street
ESPERANCE WA 6450
Phone: (08) 9071 6318
Fax:  08 9083 2666 

 

Geraldton
Geraldton Courthouse
Marine Terrace
GERALDTON WA 6530
Phone: (08) 9921 3722
Fax: (08) 9921 4358

Kalgoorlie
Centrecare
168 Egan Street
KALGOORLIE WA 6430
Phone: (08) 9021 3098
Fax: (08) 9080 0399

 

Karratha
Karratha Courthouse
Balmoral Road
KARRATHA WA 6714
Phone: (08) 9143 1877
Fax: (08) 9185 6188

 

Kununurra
28 Banksia Street
KUNUNURRA WA 6743
Phone: (08) 9166 5000
Fax: (08) 9166 5050

Northam
Northam Courthouse
118 Wellington Street
NORTHAM WA 6401
Phone: (08) 9622 7017
Fax: (08) 9622 1234

Peel District
Rockingham Justice Complex
15-17 Whitfield Street
ROCKINGHAM WA 6168
Phone: (08) 9527 7699
Fax: (08) 9527 9782

 

Port Hedland
South Hedland Justice Complex
Hawke Place
SOUTH HEDLAND WA 6722
Phone: (08) 9172 9313
Fax: (08) 9172 9330

 

Last updated: 18-Feb-2013

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