Provide intervention with parental agreement to a child in need of protection when the parents are assessed as being willing and able to actively work with Child Safety to reduce risk to the child. The child is safe to remain in the home for most or all of the intervention.
This intervention occurs without the need for a child protection order granting custody or guardianship to anyone.
Child Safety cannot consider this type of intervention if it is likely a child will be at immediate risk of harm if the parents withdraw their agreement to the intervention.
An immediate safety plan may have been used to address immediate harm indicators during the investigation and assessment. If ongoing immediate safety plans are required to ensure the safety of the child, consider whether intervention with parental agreement is the most suitable intervention to meet the child’s needs.
There is no maximum timeframe for an intervention with parental agreement case to remain open, however:
- Extending an intervention with parental agreement case beyond 12 months requires CSSC manager approval.
- Up to 12 months is generally an appropriate length of time in which to address the concerns while a child remains in the home.
For information on extending an intervention with parental agreement case beyond 12 months, refer to Consult if an intervention with parental agreement case requires extension beyond 12 months.
Open an intervention with parental agreement case
When deciding to open an intervention with parental agreement case, talk with the parents and (where appropriate) the child, about:
- the process of intervention with parental agreement, including their participation in a family group meeting and the development of a case plan
- the need for regular contact and review of the goals and action steps in the case plan, including ongoing assessment of risk to the child
- the requirement for Child Safety to respond to the child’s safety, belonging and wellbeing needs
- the expectation that the parents will actively work to address identified worries
- action that may need to be taken if the level of risk to the child remains the same or increases during the intervention. This may include placing a child with the parents’ consent using a child protection care agreement or applying for a child protection order
- the requirement to notify Child Safety of any changes to the adults or children residing in the family home. (Refer to Respond when individuals residing in the family home change.)
- the need to seek their consent for substance testing when alcohol and other drugs (AOD) use is having or will have an impact on the child’s safety and wellbeing.
When intervention with parental agreement is being considered for an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child, arrange, with the consent of the child and family, for an independent person to facilitate the child’s and family’s participation in the decision. (Refer to Procedure 5 Make arrangements for an independent person)
If required, substance testing will occur during the intervention with a parent’s consent. Substance testing is used in addition to appropriate intervention strategies to help a parent meet their child’s ongoing needs when their problematic AOD use is assessed as having a significant impact on the child’s safety, belonging and wellbeing needs. (Refer to Consider substance testing of a parent.)
Develop a case plan and start case work
Hold a family group meeting or family-led decision making process to develop a child’s case plan within 30 days of the decision that a child is in need of protection.
Following the decision to open an intervention with parental agreement case:
- Provide the parents with the brochure Intervention with parental agreement— Information for parents.
- Ensure there is an ongoing intervention event open in ICMS.
- Begin case work with the child, family, and safety and support network based on information from the investigation and assessment and the child and parental strengths and needs until a case plan is developed.
- Hold a family group meeting or family-led decision making process as soon as possible. (Refer to Procedure 5 Assess and prepare to develop a case plan.)
- For an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child, record details of the child’s and family’s choice on having an independent person in the Independent person form in ICMS.
For an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child, use a family-led decision making process to develop a case plan wherever possible. This process can be facilitated by the Family Participation Program or an external, identified convenor. If the family consents to facilitation by the Family Participation Program, complete an online referral form in the Queensland Family Support Referral portal.
Family-led decision making:
- assists a child and their family to fully participate in significant decisions that affect a child (for example, the decision about what is included in the child’s case plan)
- enables the collective resources and protective capabilities of the family to be fully explored and taken into account to ensure the best decisions are made for the child
- supports the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families to self-determination.
With the consent of a child and their family, Child Safety will arrange for an independent person to help facilitate the child’s and parents’ participation in significant decisions as part of case planning.
For further information, refer to Procedure 5 Decision making for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and the practice kit Safe care and connection.
When starting case work with the family, consider the use of the Future house tool as a way to support the parents in identifying their vision and goals for their child’s future safety, belonging and wellbeing. This process can also prompt the parents’ thinking for the future of their family before they participate in the family group meeting.
Once a case plan has been developed, ensure a copy is provided to all people who participated in its development. Depending on the child’s age and developmental stage and the needs of the parents, you may also need to develop a child-friendly or parent-friendly version of the case plan.
Implement the case plan
Timely implementation of the case plan by everyone involved in its development is critical to achieving the identified goals. Once the family and their safety and support network have a copy of the case plan:
- Partner with the child, parents and their safety and support network to progress the case plan actions and goals.
- Complete actions that Child Safety is responsible for in a timely manner, particularly if a parent or network member cannot complete an action until Child Safety has completed theirs.
- Visit the child and parent as per the family’s contact requirements to maintain meaningful contact. (This is explained in the following tables.)
- Make time to regularly discuss any actions achieved to date with the child, parents and network members.
- Record all relevant information in ICMS.
If, during the course of the intervention, a parent exhibits hostile or aggressive behaviour, talk to a senior team leader and refer to the practice guide Working with hostility and aggression in child protection
For further information on case plan implementation, refer to Procedure 5 Implement the case plan.
Maintaining meaningful contact with children and parents is an obligation when working with children subject to intervention with parental agreement. Every contact with a child and their family is an opportunity to implement the case plan and support the family in achieving case plan goals.
Use the Framework for Practice engagement tools when implementing the case plan. (Refer to the practice guide Framework for Practice.)The tools make it easier to work collaboratively with the family and their network in promoting safety and positive changes.
Each month, there is a minimum number of face-to-face and support contacts that the child and their parents have with the CSO and other people within the safety and support network involved in case work with the family.
The number of contacts required each month is initially determined by the family’s scored risk level in the family risk evaluation, which is completed in the investigation and assessment. As part of every case plan review, a family risk re-evaluation is completed to reassess the family’s scored risk level and contact requirements.
To further understand family risk evaluation tool definitions and how to complete them, refer to the family risk evaluation section of the SDM policy and procedures manual.
Table 1 outlines the minimum contact requirements that apply for a child subject to intervention with parental agreement:
|Table 1: Minimum contact requirements for in-home cases|
|Risk level||Parent and child contacts||Location|
One face-to-face per month with parent(s) and childOne support contact
Must be in parent(s)’ residence
Two face-to-face per month with parent(s) and childTwo support contacts
One must be in parent(s)’ residence
Four face-to-face per month with parent(s) and childFour support contacts
Two must be in parent(s)’ residence
Table 2 provides information and considerations about Child Safety’s contact requirements.
|Table 2: Additional considerations|
|Definition of face-to-face contact||Face-to-face contacts are intended to be meaningful, purposeful, and goal directed. Contacts with parents should focus on assessment of strengths, needs and case plan progress. Contacts with children should be child focused, assessing each child’s strengths and needs, views and wellbeing. Always consider changes in family circumstances that may affect the child’s safety. During face-to-face contact with a child, it is recommended that the CSO speak with the child alone to provide them with an opportunity to express any concerns.|
For low and moderate risk cases, the CSO must make at least one of the required face-to-face contacts with each child and parent.
For high risk cases, the CSO must make at least two of the four face-to-face contacts during the course of a month with each child and parent.
|CSSO contacts||Contacts by CSSOs may supplement the required contacts, as long as the nature of the contact meets the definition of face-to-face contact.|
|Service provider contacts||The CSO must always maintain at least one face-to-face contact per month with the child and parent(s). Contacts by a service provider may supplement the required contacts in circumstances where that service provider is involved in the implementation of the case plan. Examples of service providers may include (but are not limited to) health services and counselling services.|
|Definition of support contact||Personal or telephone contact with a person who has information about the child and/or the parents in circumstances where that person is involved in the implementation of the case plan. Examples may include, but are not limited to, educational personnel, health services, counselling services, Youth Justice.|
|Overrides||A discretionary override to these face-to-face and support contact guidelines is permitted based on unique case circumstances. Any override must be documented by the CSO and approved by the senior team leader.|
Use professional judgement to determine whether more contact with a child and family is necessary to meet case plan goals. Following approval by a senior team leader, increase the level of contact, and record the decision and rationale in a case note in ICMS.
Visit the child and parent
Face-to-face contact is fundamental to building relationships with a child and their parents, and to progressing actions to meet case plan goals.
It is important to plan and conduct contact visits with a clear purpose in mind while also maintaining the flexibility to respond to the needs of children and parents.
- is collaborative, inclusive, purposeful, and goal directed
- is culturally responsive and respectful
- is child-focused and considers the child’s safety, belonging and wellbeing needs
- is used in making assessments of child and parental strengths and needs and in other structured decision making tools.
When arranging contact with a child or parent:
- negotiate an appropriate time and place for the visit
- assess any personal safety issues and take necessary action to ensure safety for all participants
- consider cultural information and make plans as required
- engage an interpreter or communication partner if the child or parent experiences communication barriers (due to disability or the child or parent speaking a different language).
When visiting a child or family, plan for your personal safety. Always document your exact location in your electronic calendar, carry a mobile phone, have access to exits within the home, and use non-violent crisis intervention (NVCI) techniques to de-escalate potentially hostile situations. See tip below.
Log into iLearn on the intranet and search for non-violent crisis intervention and enrol in the online course which provides an overview of NVCI, understanding aggression and enhancing personal safety.
Engage in meaningful face-to-face contact with a child
Face-to-face contact occurs with all children, irrespective of their age, to regularly assess their general development, safety, belonging and wellbeing. Taking into consideration a child’s age and development:
- Observe the child in their environment to develop an understanding of their health, development and relationships with those around them. This is particularly important for children who are not able to speak or communicate their views.
- Talk with the child alone. This will allow you to:
- actively listen to them and provide them with support
- build trust and understanding in the relationship
- encourage their participation and seek their views and wishes about matters affecting them
- discuss any personal issues or worries the child may raise
- discuss any risks to the child’s safety.
- Discuss the progress of the action steps in the case plan, including the cultural support plan where relevant.
- Inform the child of significant events such as court proceedings or changes to family contact, ensuring their views and wishes are considered in decision making.
- Record relevant information in a Prescribed home visit case note in ICMS as soon as possible following face-to-face contact with the child.
If a face-to-face visit with the child was attempted but not successful, or a home visit to a child was completed by a non-authorised officer and is not considered to be a supplementary visit in line with the contact requirements in the SDM Policy and procedures manual, record relevant information in a Visit to child case note in ICMS as soon as possible.
To make face-to-face contact with a child or parent as meaningful as possible, consider what additional preparation may be required. For example, consider how to effectively communicate if the child or parent has a disability, is from a culturally and linguistically diverse background, or uses alcohol and other drugs.
Read the Engaging with children and Engaging with parents sections of the relevant practice kits to develop your understanding and your ability to respond to the child and parent.
Engage in meaningful face-to-face contact with a parent
Face-to-face contact with parents is critical to developing a collaborative working relationship and to determining how a child’s safety, belonging and wellbeing needs are being met. When meeting with a parent:
- Explore what is working well and what Child Safety and others are worried about.
- Discuss the actions the parent has taken towards meeting the case plan goal, what barriers exists, and how to overcome any barriers.
- Obtain feedback about whether their involvement with service providers is addressing their identified needs.
- Discuss any significant changes that have occurred in the parent’s circumstances. If these affect the child and the case plan goals, explore options that could be undertaken to respond to the changes.
- Make arrangements with them for the next visit in line with the minimum contact requirements.
After face-to-face contact with the parent, take action to address any issues identified, particularly about the child’s safety.
If contact with the parent also involved meaningful face-to-face contact with the child, record information about the contact with both the parent and the child in the Prescribed home visit case note in ICMS as soon as possible.
If the contact was with a parent whose child:
- does not live in the home
- was not home at the time of the visit
record information about the contact in the Visit to parent case note in ICMS as soon as possible.
Refer to the practice guide Case notes for further information about case note types.
Use a predictive planning approach to ensure visits to parents and children are planned in advance and scheduled into your weekly or monthly calendar to align with their contact visit requirements. (Refer to the Workload management guide).
Undertake substance testing of a parent
If it has been determined that a parent’s AOD use has or will have a detrimental impact on a child’s safety, belonging or wellbeing, substance testing may be used to confirm or dispute allegations of AOD use.
Different types of substance testing can determine the substances in a person’s system. They include urine testing (urinalysis), hair testing, and carbohydrate deficient transferrin testing. For further information about the different types of substance testing and their limitations, refer to the practice guide Alcohol and other drug testing.
Substance testing is not always an accurate or reliable means of monitoring problematic AOD use. Urine samples may be tampered with, and certain drugs will only be detected if the frequency of testing is adequate.
Arrange substance testing for a parent where confirmation of AOD use is required to make informed decisions about intervention with parental agreement. The substance testing of a parent may be considered a necessary and important part of intervention with parental agreement based on:
- the extent and nature of the parent’s AOD use or history
- the level and nature of harm, or unacceptable risk of harm, to the child.
During an intervention with parental agreement, consider substance testing a parent:
- when there are indicators that a parent is engaging in serious and persistent problematic AOD use
- confirmation of AOD use is required to inform assessment about whether a child is in need of protection or continues to be in need of protection.
A substance test can only show the presence, type and in some circumstances, quantity of a substance. It cannot specify how the substance affects a parent’s ability to meet the safety, belonging and wellbeing needs of their child.
Further assessment is required to understand how a parent’s problematic AOD use impacts on their functioning. Refer to the practice kit Alcohol and other drugs for guidance about assessing and monitoring a child’s safety and about case planning where problematic AOD use is present.
The Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS) is a statewide Queensland Government telephone service that provides free counselling, information and referral services for anyone with concerns about their own or someone else’s use of AOD, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. ADIS can provide information on available supports and treatment options for a parent who is using AOD.
Alcohol and Other Drugs Services (AODS) (formerly Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Services–ATODS) are in various locations across Queensland. AODS provide a range of free services including assessment, counselling, needle and syringe programs and opioid treatment programs.
Decide the testing schedule
Where the parent is engaged with an AOD service, develop the testing schedule in consultation with that service.
Take into consideration:
- the parent’s views and their likely ability and willingness to comply with the testing schedule
- previous and current problematic AOD use by the parent, including the parent’s dependence on the substance, how chronic their use is, and the likelihood of relapse
- the reason for testing the parent, and how continued problematic AOD use impacts their ability to parent the child
- how test results will be used for assessment, intervention and case planning with the family and whether significant decisions about a child would change if a positive test result was received
- whether further information gathering and observation is sufficient to negate the need for substance testing
- the timeframes relating to the different types of testing, including that the urinalysis detection period for most substances is two to three days.
When a testing schedule has been determined:
- If the parent confirms AOD use and there are no concerns that the information provided is untrue, misleading or contradicts other information gathered, consider whether to proceed with substance testing.
- If there are concerns that the parent’s AOD use is more serious and problematic than the parent has stated, proceed with substance testing to obtain independent verification of their AOD use.
When a testing schedule has been determined, document it in a case note in the ongoing intervention event in ICMS. If the parent is already participating in substance testing as part of a treatment plan with an AOD service, attach the testing schedule and treatment plan to the ongoing intervention event in ICMS.
QML and Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology (SNP) are certified to conduct substance testing in accordance with Australian and New Zealand standard. A private collection agency may undertake a substance test when a parent is unable to attend a QML or SNP collection centre in person. For further information on private collection agencies, refer to the practice guide Alcohol and other drugs testing.
Obtain consent from the parent
The substance testing of a parent can only be undertaken when a parent provides written consent. When Child Safety asks a parent to undertake an initial screening test:
- Give them details about the proposed substance test.
- Talk through the Consent form—Initial screening test.
- If they consent to the initial screening test, have them sign two copies of the consent form.
- Provide them with one copy of the signed consent form and attach the other copy to the relevant event in ICMS.
Where a parent is asked to participate in an ongoing testing schedule:
- Discuss the proposed testing schedule with them.
- If they consent to the ongoing testing schedule, have them sign two copies of Consent form—Ongoing testing schedule.
- Provide them with one copy of the signed consent form and attach the other copy to the relevant event in ICMS.
- Document the testing schedule in a case note.
When a parent is unable to attend QML or SNP in person and a private drug collection agency is being considered, the parent will need to consent to their information being provided to the agency as per the referral form.
This includes a photo of them and information about:
- personal details such as name, date of birth, phone number and home address
- known drugs or medication being used
- their demeanour, level of aggression and past compliance
- their employment status
- specific dates, times and places where they can be tested.
The collection agency should be provided with the details for the CSSC on-call representative or CSAHSC if a private collection agency is attending the parent’s home after business hours and they need to verify the identity of the parent. A Child Safety After Hours Service Centre : After hours referral form must be recorded in the relevant ICMS event with a photo of the parent or enough information to confirm the parent’s identity.
Proceed with substance testing for a parent
When the parent consents to substance testing:
- Ensure a collection centre pathology request form is available to provide to the parent when requesting they complete a test.
- Advise the parent that the substance test is for the purpose of determining whether there are substances in their system or for monitoring the level of substances in their system.
- Discuss with the parent their recent history of substance use, including which substances they’ve used and in what frequency and quantity.
- Ask the parent to complete the substance test as soon as possible, or within 24 hours of being requested to complete the test.
- Provide the parent with a QML or SNP pathology request form for the relevant collection centre and request that they undertake the test.
- Complete the referral form for a private drug collection agency when a parent is unable to attend a QML or SNP collection centre.
- Ask the parent to take the QML or SNP pathology request form and photo identification when attending the collection centre for the test or advise the parent that the private drug collection agency will be in contact to collect the relevant sample.
Interpret substance test results
Initial test (screening test) results for urinalysis will either provide a negative result or a non-negative result.
A non-negative result refers to when a substance, or class of substance, is likely to be present in a sample from an initial urinalysis screening test. A positive result cannot be determined from an initial screening test, as the sample requires a confirmation test for more detailed analysis to confirm the presence of a substance.
A non-negative initial test result will not stand up to legal scrutiny. If the finding is potentially significant, the sample must undergo confirmation testing. Results which have been confirmed are generally accepted without challenge in courts. For information on substance test results as evidence in court proceedings, refer to the practice guide Alcohol and other drugs testing.
The pathology service that undertook the substance testing of the parent will provide advice and assistance with interpreting test results where required.
Private collection agencies are not pathology services and cannot provide an expert interpretation of test results.
Respond when an initial screening test result is non-negative
When a parent has participated in an initial urinalysis screening test and the result is non-negative, consult with a senior team leader or senior practitioner to assess whether action is required to ensure the immediate safety of the child prior to confirmation testing occurring.
As part of assessing the child’s immediate and longer-term safety needs, consider:
- how the parent’s problematic AOD use is impacting on their capacity to meet the safety, belonging and wellbeing needs of the child
- how the parent’s problematic AOD use is affecting their ability to provide a structured, nurturing and safe environment that meets their child’s needs
- any treatment plans the parent is participating in and the goals of the treatment (for example, reduced or controlled use or abstinence)
- any recent change in circumstances that may place additional stressors on the family, and parental symptoms or behaviours associated with the detected substance
- the nature of substances detected, taking into consideration the history of problematic AOD use by the parent and the impact on the child
- whether a subsequent safety assessment is required.
Meet with the parent and, where possible, their preferred AOD service and the parent’s safety and support network, to discuss:
- the test results
- the reasons for the non-negative result
- the parent’s progress with addressing their problematic AOD use (if engaged with an AOD service) or whether the parent would be willing to engage with an AOD service for support
- what supports could be provided to ensure the safety of the child, given the non-negative test result.
After determining if action is required to ensure the immediate safety of the child, decide whether confirmation testing will be undertaken on the non-negative result.
Respond when a confirmation test result is positive
If a confirmation test has been done on the urine sample and has a positive result:
- Discuss the results with the senior team leader and consider what further action is required (for example, reviewing family contact arrangements or holding a meeting with the safety and support network to make a plan for the child’s safety).
- Consider discussing the results with the child or young person, depending on their age and ability to understand, particularly if the result affects contact arrangements or the case plan goal.
- Provide a copy of the screening test results and confirmation test results (if completed) to the parent and discuss the results with them.
- Depending on the frequency of testing and the substances identified in previous tests, consider whether confirmation testing is required for each non-negative test result when the parent is participating in an ongoing testing schedule.
A positive test result must also be considered in assessing the long-term needs of the child and progress towards the case plan goals. Consider whether an urgent case plan review is required.
For information about the indicators of and risks associated with parental problematic AOD use, and treatment and intervention options, refer to the sections Working with parents, Risk assessment and Case planning in the practice kit Alcohol and other drugs.
Respond to a parent’s decision not to participate in substance testing
A parent may refuse to participate or cease participating in AOD services or substance testing at any time. If this happens when a parent’s participation in substance testing and other treatment options for problematic AOD use is part of the child’s case plan, determine whether:
- a subsequent safety assessment is required and, depending on the outcome, whether an immediate safety plan for the child is required
- a case plan review is required and if so, the urgency of the review
- the current intervention is appropriate to meet the child’s safety, belonging and wellbeing needs.
Record the parent’s decision not to participate in, or to cease participating in, substance testing, in the relevant event in ICMS.
A parent with problematic AOD use may not be engaged with an AOD service. If advice about a parent’s problematic AOD use is required to assess the safety, belonging and wellbeing of a child, contact the Alcohol and Drug Information Service and provide de-identified information about the parent to seek advice to inform the assessment.
Implement supports to address problematic alcohol and other drug use
Substance testing will always be paired with treatment options to support a parent in addressing their problematic AOD use.
Ensure that consideration is given to:
- an assessment by an AOD service to determine the level and nature of the parent’s problematic AOD use and associated health and intervention needs
- treatment by an AOD service to implement the most effective intervention once the parent’s problematic AOD use has been assessed
- the development of a relapse prevention plan, depending on the parent’s stage of addressing their problematic AOD use
- the cultural needs of the parent, to ensure that treatment or intervention is done in a culturally safe and responsive way
- the safety and support network supporting a parent in identifying practical strategies to manage parental stress and enhance the safety of the child.
Problematic AOD use can harm a child’s wellbeing. In addition to implementing support for a parent, ensure:
- the voice of the child is heard
- the child’s experience of their parent’s AOD use is understood
- the child has their own support.
Refer to the section Working with children in the practice kit Alcohol and other drugs for more information on working with a child whose parents use AOD.
Assess if other worries are interfering with a parent’s ability to achieve their goal of addressing their AOD use. Examples are domestic and family violence, or unaddressed mental health concerns. When this is the case, ensure that intervention for a parent’s AOD use includes support for the other worries to give the parent the best opportunity to address their AOD use.
If a parent requests an AOD assessment or treatment, regardless of whether substance testing is occurring or whether non-negative results of substance testing have been recorded previously, always refer the parent to an appropriate service and record the referral outcome.
For information about available AOD use interventions, contact the ADIS. Talk with the parent about the available supports and the service they prefer to engage with to address their problematic AOD use.
It cannot be assumed that once a parent resolves their problematic AOD use they will be able to meet the safety, belonging and wellbeing needs of the child, particularly if other risk factors are contributing to the child being in need of protection.
The presence of a new individual in the home can affect the goals and actions within a case plan. When developing or reviewing the case plan, inform the parents that Child Safety must be notified when:
- a parent commences a new relationship and:
- their partner will be having regular contact with the child
- is intending to take up residence in the family home
- their partner will be having regular contact with the child
- the parents’ relationship ends and one of the parents takes up residence at a separate address
- an adult is intending to, or has, taken up residence in the family home—for example, a member of the extended family, a family friend or an adult boarder
- another child is intending to or is residing in the family home—for example, a member of the extended family, the child of a family friend or one of the children’s friends.
Following notification by a parent of a change in the membership of the family household:
- complete child protection history checks on the new household member
- complete a subsequent safety assessment
- review and modify the case plan, as required
- consider asking the Queensland Police Service for a criminal and domestic violence history for the household member under the Child Protection Act 1999, section 95(3) if the information is required to assess the child’s safety in the household. (Refer to Procedure 2 Check criminal and domestic violence history.)
Respond to concerns from Queensland Health about a child’s immediate safety upon discharge from a hospital
If a Queensland Health doctor contacts the RIS or CSSC with concerns for a child’s immediate safety upon discharge from a hospital, when the child is subject to intervention with parental agreement:
- seek as much information as possible about the reasons for the medical officer’s concern for the child’s immediate safety
- take the necessary action to develop a collaborative and safe discharge plan for the child, including completing or reviewing a safety assessment for the child.
- advise the doctor of the Child Safety response and planned intervention.
If the doctor’s concerns for the child’s immediate safety upon discharge constitute new child protection concerns refer to Procedure 1 New child protection concerns.
If the doctor advises that they remain concerned about the child’s immediate safety after they have been advised of Child Safety’s response, they may decide to initiate the discharge escalation pathway. Refer to Procedure 2 Respond when the discharge escalation pathway is initiated and the practice guide Queensland Health discharge escalation pathway.
Respond when a child needs a care arrangement
If it is decided that a child subject to intervention with parental agreement requires a short-term care arrangement out of the home to ensure their safety, belonging and wellbeing, seek the parents agreement to use of a child protection care agreement to facilitate the arrangement. Refer to Use a child protection care agreement.
Review an intervention with parental agreement case
The review of an intervention with parental agreement case provides an opportunity for Child Safety, the child, their parents and their safety and support network to come together and share information on what the family has accomplished so far, and what other actions need to be taken to achieve the overall case plan goal.
The child’s case plan must be formally reviewed every 6 months. In some circumstances, more frequent reviews are appropriate due to the short-term and intensive nature of the intervention and the family’s needs.
Decide how often to review the case plan by considering:
- any change that has a significant impact on the direction of the case plan
- any change that triggers concern about the type of intervention, for example multiple requests from a parent to place a child
- the child’s vulnerability, age and developmental needs
- the action steps in the case plan.
Use the tool collaborative assessment and planning framework to structure your review meeting with the family—to measure positive progress and determine what further worries need to be addressed. For further information refer to the Collaborative assessment and planning framework booklet.
Assess the following factors specific to intervention with parental agreement cases:
- the parents’ continued ability and willingness to:
- understand the worries
- genuinely work towards completing actions and achieving the primary case plan goal
- progress made towards addressing the identified risk and safety issues for the child
- the parents’ continued commitment and ability to work with the safety and support network
- the parents’ ongoing commitment to participating in substance testing when problematic AOD use remains a complicating factor.
Complete a review report in the ongoing intervention event, using information from the review process. Refer to Procedure 5 Review and revise the case plan.
Child Safety must reassess the suitability of the current intervention if a family is not able to:
- sustain their commitment or ability to meet a child’s safety, belonging and wellbeing needs
- work towards addressing the concerns.
In these circumstances, consult with a senior team leader and seek legal advice from the OCFOS lawyer to determine if the child’s safety, belonging and wellbeing needs are best met by a recommendation to the DCPL for a child protection order.
If a matter is referred to the DCPL for an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child, ensure the family is given the opportunity to have an independent person to facilitate their participation in the decision-making process.
If, during intervention with parental agreement, new child protection concerns are identified, Child Safety must act to ensure the child’s immediate safety and determine the most appropriate response. If new concerns are identified, a review of the case plan may also be required. (Refer to Procedure 1 New child protection concerns.)
Revise contact arrangements following case plan review
During the review of a case plan, the most recent family risk re-evaluation may identify a higher or lower scored risk level than in the previous evaluation. If so, the required level of contact will change accordingly. (Refer to Meet contact requirements for in-home cases.)
Use professional judgement to determine if more contact with a child and family would assist in meeting the child’s safety, belonging and wellbeing needs and in achieving case plan goals. Following approval by a senior team leader, increase the level of contact and record the decision and rationale in a case note in ICMS.
Consult if an intervention with parental agreement case requires extension beyond 12 months
If an intervention with parental agreement case plan has been reviewed, and the primary case plan goal has not been achieved in a 12-month period, reassess whether intervention with parental agreement is the most appropriate way to meet the child’s needs.
Discuss the appropriateness of the intervention by having a case consultation with a senior team leader or senior practitioner.
When reassessing the appropriateness of the intervention, use the information obtained during the review process to consider:
- available evidence that the family can achieve the case plan goals and complete necessary actions in a reasonable timeframe
- whether it is safe for the child to continue to remain in the home while the family works to achieve case plan goals
- the child and parental strengths and needs assessment
- the family risk re-evaluation.
Record the CSSC manager’s approval for extending an intervention with parental agreement case beyond 12 months, including the rationale for the extension, in a case note in ICMS.
Close an intervention with parental agreement case
An intervention with parental agreement case is closed when the child is no longer in need of protection, or is subject to a child protection order granting custody or guardianship to the chief executive or a suitable person.
Close an intervention with parental agreement case when a child is no longer in need of protection, as a case plan review has determined:
- Child Safety is satisfied the family has made progress in resolving the child protection concerns and achieving the primary case plan goal
- the child is no longer assessed as being at unacceptable risk of significant harm
- the outcome of the family risk re-evaluation is low or moderate
- a subsequent safety assessment has been completed and there are no immediate harm indicators present in the household
- the family can continue to work with their safety and support network to meet the child’s ongoing safety, belonging and wellbeing needs.
The decision to close an intervention with parental agreement case may be referred to a practice panel for discussion if the case is complex or requires a robust discussion. (Refer to the practice guide Practice panels.)
An intervention with parental agreement case must be closed when the Childrens Court makes:
- a temporary custody order
- an interim order
- a child protection order granting custody or guardianship of the child to the chief executive or a suitable person.
When closing an intervention with parental agreement case also involves ending a care arrangement for a child, complete the steps in Procedure 6 Conclude the child’s care arrangement.
A safety assessment must be completed prior to the decision to close an intervention with parental agreement case. If the child is in a care arrangement under a child protection care agreement and the safety decision is unsafe, they cannot be returned home.
An intervention with parental agreement case cannot be closed if the family risk re-evaluation outcome is high. Further intervention is required to meet the child’s safety, belonging and wellbeing needs.
Once the senior team leader has approved the decision to close the intervention with parental agreement case, inform the child (where appropriate), parents, and safety and support network of the decision to close the case. Ensure all documentation is recorded in ICMS and the event is closed.
Refer to an Intensive Family Support service when a child is not in need of protection
When Child Safety has been working with a family via an intervention with parental agreement, and it is assessed that the child is no longer in need of protection, consider whether the family meets the referral criteria for an IFS service and would benefit from further support. (Refer to Procedure 1 Referral to another agency). If the child and their family meet the referral criteria:
- discuss the referral with the senior team leader
- discuss the referral with the child and family and obtain their consent for the referral
- complete the online referal form in the Queensland Family Support Referral portal and attach the completed referral to ICMS
- contact the service to discuss the referral.
Respond if the parents withdraw their agreement or disengage
If parents withdraw their agreement to the intervention, do not adhere to the case plan, including a willingness to agree to drug testing, or do not adhere to the immediate safety plan:
- complete an updated safety assessment to assess the child’s immediate safety
- consult the senior team leader to determine the appropriate response to ensure the immediate safety of the child if an immediate harm indicator is present
- complete the family risk re-evaluation to assess the current level of risk to the child
- consult the senior team leader to assess the appropriateness of the intervention, including:
- whether the child is in need of protection, guided by the outcome of the safety assessment and the family risk re-evaluation
- whether the parents are able and willing to continue working with Child Safety to meet the safety, belonging and wellbeing needs of the child. Refer to Decide to provide intervention with parental agreement.
To help decide the appropriate response to a child’s immediate safety or the assessment of the appropriateness of the intervention, consider:
- convening a Practice Panel for a collaborative decision making approach to meet the child’s safety, belonging and wellbeing needs
- seeking legal advice from the OCFOS lawyer about use of a temporary custody order, for a child who is assessed at immediate risk of significant harm (Refer to Respond to urgent circumstances – temporary custody order) or a referral to the DCPL for a child protection order to meet the child’s protection needs. Refer to Decide the type of child protection order.
If a matter is referred to the DCPL for an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child, ensure the family is given the opportunity for an independent person to facilitate their participation in the decision-making process. (Refer to Procedure 3 Decide ongoing intervention type.)
Any decision about a type of ongoing intervention change must be approved by the senior team leader and recorded in ICMS.
Related forms, templates and resourcesBack to top
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Version historyBack to top
New section on Qld Health discharge escalation pathway
Updated content for when parents withdraw or disengage from an IPA case.
Updated new content relating to the Queensland Family Support Referral.
Maintenance Added CAP framework booklet
References to Procedure 5 added.
new content - Case notes