The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. The information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to relevant legislation/policy. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia.

1.1.I.05 Incapable of caring for a child


A person is incapable of caring for a child if the person is not able to care for the child because:

  • there is a parenting order (within the meaning of the Family Law Act 1975) in force resulting in the person not providing care for the child, or
  • the person is deceased, or
  • the person is in prison or otherwise institutionalised, or
  • the person's whereabouts are unknown after all reasonable efforts have been made to locate the person, or
  • the person suffers from a medical condition, or
  • Centrelink is satisfied that there is another reason, beyond the control of the person, that means the person is not able to care for the child.

The person is not incapable of caring for a child if the person voluntarily chooses not to care for the child.

Example: A person may voluntarily choose not to care for a child by deciding to travel overseas without the child or by deciding to look after other relatives and not the child.

Note: A person is considered to be incapable of caring for a child if as a result of a medical condition, or a reason outside of their control, they have no capacity or such a limited capacity that it could be considered as no capacity, to care for a child.

Act reference: PPL Rules section 6 Definitions, section 7 Meaning of incapable of caring for a child

Policy reference: PPL Guide Part 2 Eligibility for PLP

Last reviewed: