Olgun & Neilson and Anor 2014 FamCA 25

The case involved a non-parent who applied for care of four children aged 1 to 6 years as the children had lived with her for 6-9 months.  The applicant was a friend of the mother.  Both parents reclaimed the children and involved police to recover the children from the applicant.  The non-parent then applied for the children to live with her and that she have sole parental responsibility.  Both parents opposed her applications.

Evidence was given that the children had been in the care of the mother when the parents separated and the mother had subsequently relinquished care of the children to her friend under circumstances that were not clear.  The mother reportedly went out drinking with friends.  The applicant raised concerns in Court but had not raised these concerns with the Child Protection Department.   The applicant’s concerns were that the mother had used inappropriate physical discipline with the children, and there had been a lack of supervision and neglect.  The Child Protection Department had not intervened for these four children, but the department had removed the mother’s first child as an infant aged 4 weeks old and had placed the infant into long term care.

The application was dismissed and the children were placed in the care of the biological parents.