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. DOP reviews - parent's location unknown, adoption, arrival of refugee's parent


This topic explains DOP ( reviews in the following situations:

  • when a surviving parent's (1.1.S.450) location is unknown to a recipient
  • adoption, and
  • the arrival in Australia (1.1.A.320) of a refugee's (1.1.R.110) parent.

Sole surviving parent's whereabouts unknown to recipient

If a DOP recipient indicates that they do not know the whereabouts of the surviving parent and payment is made on this basis, a 2 yearly review should be set to verify whether the parent and child have had any contact.

A social worker should assess the situation at the time of the review, and:

  • supply details of
    • support services available
    • additional advice needed
  • build on the relationship between the recipient and Centrelink established at the time of grant, and
  • report on the recipient's knowledge of the parent's whereabouts.

    Example: The report can cover details about the last contact, approximate or roughly defined whereabouts, if known, whether there is any likelihood of future involvement, and what attempts the guardian has made to establish the whereabouts of the parent.


DOP is not payable, if the child for whom DOP is claimed, is adopted by the applicant. If a DOP recipient indicates that adoption is probable, the claim should be investigated. A statement should be obtained as to whether there:

  • has been any legal action or advice undertaken, and
  • are any barriers to adoption.

A delegate should:

  • remind the recipient of their obligation to notify
  • grant or continue the claim, and
  • set a review for earlier than the anticipated adoption date.

If a recipient indicates that adoption is not imminent or likely, a 2 yearly review should be set to determine whether adoption has occurred or is imminent. A social worker should assess the situation at the review time, reporting on whether adoption is planned. If eligibility is then assessed as ongoing, a further 2 yearly review is set.

Arrival of refugee's parent in Australia

If Centrelink becomes aware that the parent of a refugee child has arrived in Australia, the case should be reviewed immediately. If the parent's whereabouts are known to the recipient, DOP should be cancelled, generally from the next available payday. If a recipient indicates that the parent's entry is unlikely or not imminent, a 2 yearly review is set to verify whether the situation has changed.

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