PACT Services

PACT’s Child Witness Support Program provides impartial, empathetic and court approved support for children and young people who are required to give evidence in criminal courts, either as victims of, or witnesses to, a crime.

The entire process from arrest to trial can take 6 months to more than 2 years and along the way there will often be unexpected delays.

Our justice system is designed to ensure fairness – innocent until proven guilty – and this is an essential part of our country’s identity. But, this doesn’t make it any less frustrating for families at the beginning or middle stages of the justice journey.

This is why PACT exists! We have an important role to play in supporting children and young people step-by-step through the entire process.

PACT’s Support Process

1. Referral

In cases involving children and young people, once an arrest is made, the police officer makes a referral to PACT.

2. Introduction

PACT makes a phone call to the child's parent or carer to give an overview of PACT's support services and introduce the court process.

3. Face-to-face

PACT meets with the child and carer at their home, park or local venue to build trust with the child, and offer more in-depth information on what to expect.

4. Pre-Indictment Conference

Whilst this conference is rare, the prosecutor may wish to meet with the child as they begin preparing the evidence. PACT supports the child as they meet the prosecutor and go through their evidence.

5. Regular Updates

With the court process often taking between 6 – 24 months, PACT maintains regular contact via phone, email and text, keeping the child up to date and reassured.

6. ’93A’ Viewing of Evidence

PACT supports the child and ensures they concentrate and focus as they watch a recording of their initial statement to the police (the '93A' viewing), as part of their evidence preparation.

7. Prosecutor’s Conference

We support the child during the meeting with the prosecutor as they review the facts, evidence and witness preparation.

8. Court Tour

To reduce anxiety, children are given a tour of the court building and pre-recording (CCTV) room before their actual day to come in and give their evidence.

9. Court Day

PACT escorts the child into vulnerable witness areas using a secure entrance, also entertaining the child as they nervously wait to give evidence. Encouraging, supporting and repeating key information, we reduce anxiety by supporting the child as they wait to give evidence.

10. Pre-recording of Evidence

Sitting next to the child, PACT supports the child as they give their evidence, speaking to the judge, prosecutor and defence counsel over a video link from a private CCTV room..

11. Trial

Occasionally a child or special witness is required to give evidence in the courtroom from the witness box. In these cases we will offer support alongside the child, also requesting screens and/or to clear the gallery to reduce the strain of giving evidence.

12. Moving On

PACT helps the child and their carer to be aware of their rights, stay up to date on the offender’s release via the Victims' Register and seek compensation for their loss.

PACT’s Child Witness Support Program is open to anyone via our online referral form.

Referrals are also generally received from the Queensland Police Service or the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions as well as teachers, community organisations and families who may also refer children, with the family’s consent. Once PACT receives the referral, we allocate the case to one of our PACT Support Persons who will be in touch with the family.

PACT Referral Form

Discover more about PACT:

Our People

Meet PACT’s dedicated staff and Board of Directors

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Our imPACT

See the imPACT we’re having on more than 1,800 children every year across Queensland

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Our team of PACT Support Persons

Learn about our 100+ strong volunteer team making an imPACT

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