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Case management

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This page was updated on 25 June 2024. To view changes, please see page updates

Case management refers to the overall responsibilities of Child Safety when managing statutory intervention with a child subject to ongoing intervention. Case management responsibility and case work for a child, young person or pregnant woman include: 

  • meeting all statutory requirements relevant to the intervention type 
  • asking an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child and their family if they want an independent person to help facilitate their participation in significant decisions about the child, and if the child or family consents, collaborate with them to arrange an independent person’s involvement
  • collaborating with the child and family, pregnant woman or young person to develop and implement a case plan or support plan and achieve the goals of the plan 
  • working with the child’s safety and support network to develop a safety and support plan, if required, which outlines strategies to meet the child’s safety, belonging and wellbeing needs 
  • undertaking ongoing assessment and review of the case plan or support plan
  • working collaboratively with an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child and their family to implement the cultural support plan developed within the child’s case plan
  • working collaboratively with the child and family in making decisions and providing them with as much information as possible 
  • supporting a child in care and monitoring the quality of care provided.

Ongoing intervention

Ongoing intervention is provided when:

  • an unborn child has been assessed as being in need of protection following their birth and the pregnant woman is provided support through a support service case, with her consent, prior to the birth (Refer to Procedure 4 Support service case with a pregnant woman.)
  • a child has been assessed as being a child in need of protection and is subject to intervention with parental agreement (Refer to Procedure 4 Intervention with parental agreement.)
  • a child has been assessed as being a child in need of protection and is subject to
    • a directive order
    • a supervision order
    • a child protection order granting custody or guardianship to the chief executive
  • A child is subject to a child protection order granting long-term guardianship to a suitable person. In this circumstance, ongoing intervention is provided in a limited capacity. (Refer to Long-term guardianship to a suitable person.)
  • a young person requires support through a support service case after they have turned 18.  (Refer to Procedure 4 Support service case with a young person.)

Note

Child Safety does not provide ongoing intervention to a child is subject to a permanent care order but will have open case management in ICMS to allow for the payment of the carer allowance to the permanent guardian. (Refer to Permanent care order.)

Ongoing intervention continues until the child’s safety needs have been resolved, or ongoing support is no longer needed. 

Determine who is responsible for case management 

Case management responsibility is determined by the type of ongoing intervention and the location where the child, young person, or pregnant woman resides.

The senior team leader is responsible for accepting and allocating ongoing intervention cases, as follows:

Type of ongoing intervention Case management responsibility
Support service case – pregnant woman CSSC where the pregnant woman normally resides
Support service case – young person over 18 CSSC who opened the support service case
OR
Transition officer
Intervention with parental agreement

CSSC where the child lives

(Refer to Case transfer exceptions for a child protection care agreement.) 

Child protection order – directive order CSSC where the child lives

Child protection order – supervision order

CSSC where the child lives
Child protection order – custody to the chief executive, including interim custody CSSC where the child lives
Child protection order – guardianship to the chief executive CSSC where the child lives
Child protection order – guardianship to a suitable person CSSC where the child lives
Type of intervention Case management responsibility

Permanent care order

CSSC who sought the permanent care order (for the purposes of continuing payments to the permanent guardian only).

If there are siblings living in care arrangements in more than one geographical area, case management for the sibling group will sit with one CSSC. This will be the CSSC with the largest number of siblings in their area, unless otherwise negotiated and agreed to by the senior team leaders of both CSSCs.

If negotiations are required about which CSSC will have case management, organise a case transfer discussion between all relevant CSSCs to:

  • discuss the situation and determine where case management would best sit
  • determine if circumstances mean it may be better to have case management remain in more than 1 CSSC
  • make sure the decision making prioritises the safety, wellbeing and best interests of each child.

Attention

A CSSC will agree to undertake case work tasks on behalf of another CSSC, when the CSSC with case management for a child cannot reasonably undertake case work tasks.

Note

Child Safety may also have open case management in ICMS for a young person who is not subject to ongoing intervention, to allow for the payment of the carer allowance to an approved carer when the young person continues to live with them after they have turned 18.

Allocate case management 

The senior team leader is responsible for accepting case management of an ongoing intervention case:

Record case management in ICMS 

The senior team leader will update the case management tab of the child’s person record in ICMS to make sure it reflects the current case status, including: 

  • the name of the allocated CSO and CSSC 
  • the start date of the case
  • the start date the CSO was allocated responsibility for the case, and the end date when this ceases.

When case management information is being recorded in ICMS, a message is displayed if:

  • An open ongoing intervention event already exists for the child.
  • Multiple open ongoing intervention events already exist for the child.
  • No open ongoing intervention event exists for the child.

If a case transfer between CSSCs is in progress, the tab also includes information about case work tasks requested during the case transfer process. 

Transfer a case to another Child Safety Service Centre

A case transfer between CSSCs may be required when:

  • A child has moved to a care arrangement in another geographical area. 
  • The approved carer or guardian of a child moves to another geographical area. 
  • The long-term guardian of a child moves to another geographical area. 

Case transfer guidelines – ongoing intervention

Senior team leaders are responsible for all case transfer decisions. Any issues related to a case transfer will be managed by the relevant senior team leaders. If escalation of a matter is required, it is to be escalated to the relevant CSSC managers.

The following guidelines apply to all cases transfers:

  • CSSCs are to transfer case management for cases in accordance with the guidelines in Determine who is responsible for case management.
  • All decisions about case transfers must prioritise the child’s safety, wellbeing and best interests and ensure ongoing service provision to the child.
  • Case transfers will be planned with the child, family and carer, who will be kept informed of the transfer progress. 
  • Before a case is transferred there must be
    • a current case plan
    • a current placement agreement.
  • When a child is subject to a child protection order that is expiring within the next 6 months, the case cannot be transferred until the DCPL has filed the new application with the court, if a new order is being sought.
  • A case transfer request cannot be refused if it meets the case management requirements outlined in Determine who is responsible for case management and these guidelines.
  • The receiving CSSC cannot delay accepting a case because it does not agree with previous case decisions, including financial decisions, or for workload reasons.

Case transfer exceptions

The following exceptions apply to the case transfer guidelines:

Exceptions to case transfer guidelines

Details

Child protection care agreements

A case will not be transferred if a child is subject to a child protection care agreement as part of intervention with parental agreement. 

The CSSC in the geographical area where the child is living will complete case work tasks, such as visits to the child, if requested.

Admission to hospital

A case will not be transferred if a child is admitted to a hospital in another geographical area for a period of time.

The CSSC in the area of the hospital will complete case work tasks, if requested.

Boarding schools

A case will not be transferred if a child attends a boarding school but returns to another geographical area when not at school.

The CSSC in the area of the boarding school will complete case work tasks, such as visits to the child, if requested.

Young person in detention

A case will not be transferred if a young person is placed in detention for a period of time.

The CSSC in the area of the detention centre will complete case work tasks, such as visits to the young person, if requested.

Pregnant women in prison A support service case will not be transferred if a pregnant woman is remanded in custody or in a correctional centre.
Child protection order subject to an appeal

A case will not be transferred while the child protection order for a child is currently being appealed.

Children in residential care services Case management will not be transferred for a child in residential care unless the child has remained in the new geographical area for more than 6 months.
Support service case for a young person over the age of 18  

A support service case for a young person over the age of 18 will not be transferred. 

The allocated CSO or transition officer will provide the CSSC in the geographical area where the young person is living with information, so they can respond to the young person if needed.

Child subject to a permanent care order

Case management will not be transferred as Child Safety no longer provides ongoing intervention to the child.

The CSSC with case management responsibility at the time the permanent care order is finalised will continue to be responsible for payment of the fortnightly caring allowance and any additional financial support, regardless of where the child and permanent guardian is living. (Refer to Permanent care order.)

Attention

Exceptions to the directions outlined in Determine who is responsible for case management and the transfer guidelines above can be made if it is in the child’s best interests, and both CSSC managers agree.

Interim orders

A case may be transferred when there is an interim child protection order in place if:

  • the case transfer guidelines are met
    and
  • it does not interfere with ongoing court processes.

If a decision is made to transfer a case where the child is subject to an interim child protection order, the senior team leader will immediately advise the DCPL.

When an application is being contested, the transferring and receiving CSSCs will consult with the DCPL to determine the best time for the case transfer to occur, taking into account court matters and hearing timeframes, whether an application is likely to be filed with QCAT, and what is in the best interests of the child.

Practice prompt

When deciding whether the transfer will interfere with ongoing court processes, take into account the following:

  • what is in the child’s best interests and aligns with the case plan goals
  • whether there are any upcoming court events, such as a court ordered conference or a hearing, that need to be considered
  • what the case transfer will mean for the servicing of the case. 

Prepare for a case transfer

To prepare for a case transfer request:

  • Seek approval for the request from the senior team leader.
  • Make sure the case transfer guidelines are met. 
  • Complete a Case summary for transfer and attach it to a case note in ICMS.
  • Follow the procedures outlined in Procedure 6 Request approval for an out of region referral, if relevant
  • Share information in a timely way with the relevant PSUs during the transfer process. 
  • Make sure all required documentation, letters or other matters have been completed, for example, the completion of letters about family contact if the has been removed from their home.
  • Make sure all ICMS records are up to date and forms are completed and approved.
  • Visit the child to tell them about the transfer. 
  • Inform services working with the child, family and carer about the pending transfer. 

Note

If a carer and child move to another geographical area, and the move is unexpected or unplanned, refer to Procedure 6 Manage an unplanned end to a care arrangement.

Request a case transfer

To request a case transfer to another CSSC, the senior team leader will: 

  • contact the senior team leader of the receiving CSSC as soon as possible to discuss
    • the plan to place the child in their area or the situation that has resulted in the child being in their area
    • details of the case, including critical issues, financial commitments and service needs
    • timeframes for the transfer 
    • specific case work tasks to be completed during the transfer period and who is responsible for them
    • the status of the child’s carer, if relevant, for example, have they been provisionally approved to care for the child
  • provide the receiving CSSC with a copy of the Case summary for transfer
  • request that the receiving CSSC accept the case transfer and provide written confirmation.

Timeframes for case transfers 

When a request for case transfer is made and all the relevant guidelines are met, the receiving CSSC must accept the case within 10 working days to ensure the child and their family receive timely and continuous service delivery.

Once the case transfer is accepted, finalise the handover to the receiving CSSC as soon as possible.

Note

A senior team leader will accept a case transfer that meets the case transfer guidelines. A disagreement about previous decisions made is not a valid reason for holding up the case transfer process. 

Any disputes may be referred to the CSSC managers, who are responsible for ensuring agreement is reached within the required timeframe.

Accept a case transfer 

The senior team leader in the new geographical area will accept a case transfer that meets the transfer guidelines and will:

  • advise the CSSC manager of the case transfer
  • advise the regional director if the financial cost of a child’s care arrangement is in line with their financial delegation
  • accept case management responsibility (including financial responsibility) for the child in writing
  • ensure contact with the child and family occurs within one week of their arrival to the area. 

Attention

Acceptance of a case transfer is not to be impacted by workload pressures at the receiving CSSC.

Once the case transfer request has been accepted, the transferring CSSC will:

  • arrange a meeting with the family and the receiving CSSC, if possible, to introduce the new CSO and confirm the transfer of the case
  • the senior team leader will
    • re-allocate all open events in ICMS to the receiving CSSC
    • ensure all paper files are sent to the receiving CSSC
  • advise the DCPL of the transfer, if the child is subject to an interim order.

The receiving CSSC will:  

  • Participate in discussions with the transferring CSSC. 
  • Complete required case work tasks while the case transfer is being completed. 
  • Participate in a joint meeting with the family and the transferring CSSC, if possible. 
  • Confirm that a child's paper case files have been received. 
  • Advise the PSU of the care arrangement.
  • Update the case management tab in ICMS.
  • Tell the child, their family and the carer when the transfer is complete.

Resolve a disagreement

CSSC managers are responsible for resolving any disagreement that arises during the case transfer process—within within the required 10 day timeframe.

If the CSSC managers cannot reach agreement about a child’s move to a care arrangement in another area, they will refer the matter to their respective line managers to decide if the care arrangement and transfer will proceed.

Respond to a notification recorded during the transfer

If a new notification is recorded during a case transfer process, the CSSC responsible for the area where the child lives will complete the investigation and assessment. The two CSSCs will continue to liaise until the transfer is completed.

Version history

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Published on:

Last reviewed:

  • Date: 
    Minor edit in relation to appeals.
  • Date: 
    Minor edit in relation to appeals.
  • Date: 
    November release - New key step with Case management and case transfer information
  • Date: 
    November release - New key step with Case management and case transfer information