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Determine which Child Safety Service Centre will be responsible for case management

After an investigation and assessment is completed with a substantiated―child in need of protection outcome, case management responsibility will be accepted by:

  • the CSSC in the geographical area where the child and family normally reside 
    or
  • another CSSC determined by the senior team leader responsible for the investigation and assessment team. For example, if:  
    • a child has siblings in care and the CSSC with case management responsibility for the siblings could reasonably provide case management for the child
    • a child is placed in a care arrangement in a different geographical location to the parents and it is assessed that reunification is probable within a short timeframe. The CSSC where the parents reside will be responsible for case management.

Principles for accepting case management

  • The safety, belonging and wellbeing of children is the focus of Child Safety intervention and the best interests of children are at the centre of all decision-making.
  • The care needs and safety of children in need of protection are a state-wide responsibility. Decisions about the handover of case management from an investigation and assessment team to an ongoing intervention team will be based on the need for effective service delivery to the child and family.
  • Children, parents and families will receive the right service at the right time and a CSSC will accept case management responsibility within the specified timeframes to ensure continuous and planned service delivery to children and their families. (Refer to Timeframes for accepting case management.)
  • The primary focus of an investigation and assessment team is to assess and take action to ensure the immediate and ongoing safety of a child throughout the investigation and assessment―and for a child in need of protection, until case management is accepted by an ongoing intervention team.
  • Ongoing intervention case work and case management tasks for a child and family sit best with an ongoing intervention team.
  • Differences of opinion between senior team leaders regarding ongoing intervention will not delay acceptance of case management, and subsequently, ongoing intervention service delivery to a child and family.

Request that a Child Safety Service Centre accepts case management

To request that a CSSC accepts case management for ongoing intervention, the senior team leader responsible for the investigation and assessment will email the senior practitioner or the senior team leader of the relevant CSSC, and:

  • ask the CSSC to accept case management responsibility
  • provide the investigation and assessment ICMS event identification (ID).

Note

Additional written documentation is not required to support a request for a CSSC senior team leader to accept case management responsibility for a child after the completion of an investigation and assessment.

Timeframes for accepting case management

An ongoing intervention senior team leader will accept case management responsibility in writing within 5 business days of receiving the request to ensure continuous service delivery to the child.

If geographically possible, the CSO responsible for the investigation and assessment will facilitate a warm handover for the child and family with the CSO responsible for ongoing intervention. Case management will be accepted within 5 business days of the request regardless of whether the warm handover is able to occur in that time.

A request for an ongoing intervention team to accept case management for:

  • an intervention with parental agreement case
    or
  • a support service case for:
    • an unborn child assessed to be in need of protection after he or she is born
      or 
    • a child not in need of protection with a family risk evaluation final scored risk level of ‘high’ 

will be made by the investigation and assessment senior team leader as soon as:

  • the investigation and assessment event is closed in ICMS
    and
  • the investigation and assessment team has completed the work for which they are responsible.

A request for an ongoing intervention team to accept case management of a child (for whom a child protection order is being sought) will be made by the investigation and assessment senior team leader as soon as:

  • the investigation and assessment event is closed in ICMS
  • the DCPL has accepted the referral and indicated they will apply for a child protection order 
  • the investigation and assessment team has completed the work for which they are responsible. (Refer to Responsibilities of the investigation and assessment team.)

Responsibilities of the investigation and assessment team

The investigation and assessment team will:

  • finalise the investigation and assessment
  • advise one or both parents of the investigation and assessment outcome. (Refer to Inform the parents of the outcome and Discretionary compliance with section 15)
  • complete the child strengths and needs assessment tool and parental strengths and needs assessment tool for each child in need of protection
  • approve all documents within the investigation and assessment event in ICMS
  • request that the relevant CSSC accepts case management responsibility in line with the relevant timeframes. (Refer to Timeframes for accepting case management.)

In addition, if an assessment has been made that a child protection order is the most appropriate intervention for the child, the investigation and assessment team will:

  • complete the initiating affidavit 
  • provide the initiating affidavit to the OCFOS lawyer for the DCPL
  • serve the respondents and complete an affidavit of service (for the initiating affidavit only)
  • complete a referral for a family group meeting―unless a case plan was developed for an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child at a family-led decision making process during the investigation and assessment. (Refer to Consider family-led decision making.)

Responsibilities of the receiving ongoing intervention team

The ongoing intervention senior team leader will:

  • accept case management in writing, within 5 business days of the request being made
  • update the case management tab in ICMS
  • allocate case management responsibility to a CSO
  • make sure:
    • the CSO contacts the child and family within 5 business days of accepting case management
    • a case plan is developed for the child.

In addition, the CSSC responsible for ongoing intervention will undertake all future case management tasks for the child―excluding those for which the investigation and assessment team is responsible. (Refer to Responsibilities of the investigation and assessment team.)  The responsibilities of the ongoing intervention CSSC manager include deciding:

  • all financial matters relating to the child’s ongoing intervention
  • the approval of a kinship carer (if a kin member was provisionally approved to care for the child during the investigation and assessment).

Resolve issues

The CSSC managers responsible for the investigation and assessment team and the ongoing intervention team will:

  • resolve any issues regarding the handover of case management
  • address any impediments to timely service delivery to a child and family

 in line with the principles for accepting case management. (Refer to Principles for accepting case management.)

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