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Gather information from other sources

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This page was updated on 03 September 2020. To view changes, please see page updates

Gather information from other sources

Other people identified during the investigation and assessment may be potential sources of information that will contribute to a holistic assessment of the child’s need for protection. Consider gathering information from them.

When requesting information from another source, seek information that is relevant to assessing the child protection concerns.

Examples of other sources of information that may not have been known during the investigation and assessment planning include:

  • other family members or significant people
  • people identified by a child or family as able to provide information or cultural advice
  • school personnel
  • the family doctor, a child health nurse, or Child and Youth Mental Health Service
  • the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) regarding a child’s National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) access status, plan or supports
  • other professionals, or agency or support service staff who know the child or family.

 The Child Protection Act 1999 also provides authority for:

  • agencies to give a relevant child’s personal information to Child Safety during an investigation and assessment (section 159MB) 
  • Child Safety to request information from the Public Guardian, a prescribed entity, a licensee (an entity licensed to provide placement services to children in the custody or guardianship of the chief executive) or the person in charge of a student hostel. The request must be complied with (section 159N). 

When requesting information under the Child Protection Act 1999, section 159N, complete a Section 159N information request and forward it to the relevant agency. However, if information is to be requested from the NDIA or NDIS, obtain consent from the child’s parent to speak to the NDIA using the NDIS Consent for the NDIA to share your information form. If the parent does not consent, seek information from the NDIA using the Data Management NDIA Request Form.

Practice prompt

Consider the type of information being requested from an agency. For example, a child may have attended schools across multiple Department of Education regions, or Queensland Health may have more than one file for a child or family.

Information gathered from other sources is part of the investigation and assessment. It cannot be used to decide that an investigation and assessment is no longer required and the notification downgraded to a child concern report. (Refer to Procedure 5 Information sharing.)

Receive information under the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012

During the investigation and assessment, relevant information may be received, as part of a request from a Queensland court, attached to a Report to the Court pursuant to section 55 Part A—Request form, under the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012 section 55

To respond to this information:

  • Assess whether the information contains child protection concerns.
  • Assess and record the information in line with usual intake processes. (Refer to Procedure 1 Receive and respond at intake.)

Receive information from the Integrated Justice Information Strategy

During an investigation and assessment, information relevant to the assessment of the child’s need for protection may be received from the Integrated Justice Information Strategy (IJIS).

Data Management Services will send an automated email alert to the relevant CSSC via the management team group email, containing either:

  • an IJIS notification (criminal court matter alert), notifying details of a subject child’s first scheduled appearance in a criminal court proceeding
  • an IJIS Electronic transfer of court result (ETCR) alert, advising of the need to run an IJIS ETCR report in ICMS to access details of a criminal or domestic violence court result involving a subject child.

Tip

The CSSC management team is responsible for making sure the group email account is up to date and regularly monitored.

Receive an Integrated Justice Information Strategy notification (Criminal court matter alert)

If a child is identified as a subject child in an open investigation and assessment, the court matter alert email will be forwarded to the CSSC responsible for the investigation and assessment.

If an IJIS notification (criminal court matter alert) is received by a CSSC, the allocated CSO will:

  • read and assess the information to decide the appropriate response, including deciding if the information reaches the threshold for a notification, if relevant
  • record the information in the current ICMS event
  • print the alert for the client file
  • liaise with the young person’s CSO about Child Safety attendance at court—if the young person is subject to ongoing intervention
  • liaise with youth justice staff if required.

Note

Data Management Services will send the court matter alert email to the RIS rather than the CSSC, if:

  • a notification recorded on the subject child is awaiting approval in ICMS by the RIS senior team leader
  • the notification has been approved, and the investigation and assessment has not been allocated to the pending allocation tray of the receiving CSSC.

(Refer to Procedure 1 Integrated Justice Information Strategy electronic transfer of court result information.)

Receive Integrated Justice Information Strategy Electronic transfer of court result information

The IJIS electronic transfer of court results (ETCR) delivers court results from all Queensland criminal and civil jurisdictions to the CSSC with responsibility for a subject child. The subject child is identified as the primary person of interest. Information may also be received about secondary persons of interest, who may not have an existing person record in ICMS.

Data Management Services receives an ETCR if a child is matched in the court result as being subject to an open investigation and assessment.

Details about the court matter are accessed by running an ‘IJIS Electronic Court Results report’ in ICMS.

After receiving an ETCR report:

  • Gather further information from relevant sources, such as the QPS or OCFOS, if required.
  • Make sure the information is recorded in ICMS, including court dates, outcomes and persons named. If the information is already recorded, check it is accurate and update as needed. The ETCR report will remain accessible in the ICMS reports tab.
  • Make sure each child or adult who has a significant relationship with the subject child has a person record in ICMS.
  • If the information indicates new harm or risk of harm to the child, record the information in line with usual intake and investigation and assessment processes.
  • Attach the ETCR report to the relevant event in ICMS.

Respond to additional notified concerns

Record additional notified concerns if all the following apply:

  • New concerns are received that require screening to decide the intake response.
  • The new concerns do not meet the exceptions to recording additional notified concerns outlined in Procedure 1 Decide if additional notified concerns is the appropriate response.
  • There is already a notification that has not yet been approved or an open investigation and assessment event in ICMS for the child or unborn child or family.

Do not record an Additional notified concerns form in an intake event where a child concern report is recorded. Any new concerns are to be recorded as a new intake event.

While there is no limit to the number of additional notified concerns that may be recorded as part of one notification and investigation and assessment process, the ongoing receipt of additional notified concerns may indicate cumulative harm or an escalating threat to safety. This should be considered when planning the commencement of the investigation and assessment.

If additional notified concerns are received:

  • Check the child protection history.
  • Conduct a pre-notification check (only if needed).
  • Complete an additional notified concerns form in the investigation and assessment event in ICMS, which includes the screening criteria and if required, response priority.
  • Submit the completed form to the senior team leader for approval.
  • Consider whether a subsequent safety assessment is required, due to any change in circumstances for the family, and review any existing immediate safety plans to ensure the safety needs of the child are still being met.
  • If the additional notified concerns meet the threshold for a notification, respond within the shortest response timeframe, which is either:
    • the response timeframe that already applies to the open investigation and assessment
    • the response timeframe relating to the new concerns.

The allocated CSO is responsible for investigating and assessing all information received about the family during the course of the investigation and assessment, until the investigation and assessment is finalised and approved in ICMS. This includes:

  • all concerns received—the original concerns and any additional notified concerns with a notification response
  • any new concerns that arise as part of the investigation and assessment process that do not need to be recorded as additional notified concerns and are to be assessed as part of the investigation and assessment.

If an investigation and assessment is commenced before a decision that additional notified concerns meet the threshold for a notification:

  • Sight and interview the subject child, to meet the new response timeframe and assess the additional notified concerns.
  • Advise at least one of the child’s parents of the new concerns so a current assessment of their capacity and willingness to protect the child can be completed.

If the alleged person responsible for the new harm is someone other than a parent and they are likely to be recorded as a person responsible for harm to the child, give them the opportunity to respond to the allegations made against them.

Note

If the additional notified concerns do not meet the threshold for a notification, there is no need to re-interview or re-sight the child; however, consider the information in the context of assessing and finalising the current investigation and assessment.

If additional notified concerns are recorded and the investigation and assessment is to be transferred to another CSSC, the senior team leader is responsible for approving the Additional notified concerns form in ICMS, before the transfer occurs.

Further reading

Respond to conerns that have already been received

If the information to be recorded as additional notified concerns duplicates concerns that have previously been recorded, record an Additional notified concerns form:

  • with a child concern report response
  • regardless of whether the concerns meet the threshold for a child concern report or notification. 

(Refer to Procedure 1 Record duplicate concerns.)

Check criminal and domestic violence history

Consider asking the QPS for criminal and domestic violence history under the Child Protection Act 1999, section 95(3) if the information is relevant and required to complete the investigation and assessment. This includes information about:

  • a parent or household member who:
    • refuses to disclose their criminal or domestic violence history, and the information cannot be gathered from other sources
    • is alleged to have a history of offences against children, but the full history is not available
  • an allegation of harm or risk that has been made against another adult relevant to the investigation and assessment.

To complete a non-urgent criminal and domestic violence history check:

The Central Screening Unit will email the QPS documents to the requesting CSSC manager and also send them by mail to the CSSC.

The Central Screening Unit cannot forward the request to the QPS if the mandatory fields are incomplete. Contact the local Child Protection and Investigation Unit (CPIU), to help find out any relevant information needed to complete the spreadsheet.

Consider asking for an urgent criminal and domestic violence history check:  

  • to complete the initial safety assessment (Child Protection Act 1999, section 95(3))
  • to facilitate provisional approval of a carer applicant for an emergency care arrangement. (Refer to Procedure 6 Assess an applicant requiring provisional approval.)
  • if a written record of history is needed as evidence in an application for a CAO or TCO (Child Protection Act 1999, section 95(2)).

The Police Information Centre will process an urgent criminal or domestic violence history check if the rationale for urgency is one of the following:

  • The child is to be placed with a carer on the same day as the request.
  • The child is to be placed with a parent on the same day as the request.
  • An application for a TCO will be made on the same day, and the information is needed to support the court application.
  • Serious concerns of a criminal nature about a parent or household member are likely to require a response by Child Safety within 24 hours.

Further reading

If an investigation and assessment continues after business hours and urgent criminal and domestic violence history is needed to inform the assessment or a care arrangement of a child, the CSAHSC can carry out checks between 3:30pm and 8am, Monday to Friday.

To complete an urgent after-hours QPS criminal and domestic violence history check:

The CSAHSC will forward the request to the QPS and complete other tasks if agreed by negotiation with the CSSC.

Request information from Medicare Australia

Medicare Australia can share information with child protection agencies when the agency has reasonable grounds for believing that disclosure is necessary to prevent or lessen a threat to life, health or welfare of a child.

Medicare Australia can share information such as:

  • records of any treating doctors and their location and history of visits to medical practitioners
  • Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme records to, for example, assess parental prescription drug abuse
  • Medicare numbers
  • a history of Medicare access to, for example, assess medical neglect cases.

To request information from Medicare Australia:

Seek information about problematic alcohol and other drug use by a parent

Seek information from an Alcohol and Other Drugs Services professional to inform or clarify an assessment of a parent’s substance misuse or abuse, including:

  • general advice or knowledge about drug or alcohol issues
  • specific information about the potential impact of the drug misuse on the parent's ability to parent.

Further reading

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