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Worry and goal statements

When to write a worry statements

Worry statements can be developed to focus our assessment and planning at differing points on the child protection continuum.

At the investigation and assessment stage, worry statements can be used to identify the risk, or what Child Safety is worried might happen in future, based on our assessment of past and/or current harm.

If the outcome of an investigation and assessment is ‘substantiated harm’ or ‘risk of harm, child in need of protection’, a worry statement is developed to assist everyone to understand what Child Safety is concerned might happen to harm the child in the future if nothing changes.

It is very important when developing worry statements that you don’t include information that came from the mother or child. This may cause the father to retaliate against the mother and child.

Example worry statements

Child Safety and Sue are worried that Krystal and Ben hear Paul shouting at Sue and calling her names, making them feel scared and sad.

Child Safety and Sue are worried that Ben and Krystal miss out on eating meals and having clothes because Paul does not allow the money to be spent.

When to write goal statements

Good goal statements will outline:

  • who is part of the family’s network and/or the plan
  • what actions will be taken by the parent, carers or network to address the worry statement
  • how long the behaviour will need to be demonstrated for Child Safety to be confident the behaviour will continue.

Example goal statements

  • Paul will work with Child Safety and his safety and support network to develop a plan that will show everyone that he respects Sue by speaking to her politely.
  • Paul will work with Child Safety and his safety and support network to develop a plan that will show everyone he can make good parenting choices to help Sue to make sure the children have enough food to eat and enough clothes to wear at all times.

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