1. Intake

Purpose

The Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women (Child Safety) has a legislative responsibility to respond to information received about reasonable suspicion that a child may be in need of protection or that an unborn child may be in need of protection after he or she is born. The purpose of intake is to receive information about child protection concerns from government and non-government agencies, other service providers and community members, provide a response to the information in accordance with the responsibilities of Child Safety, inform the community about the role of Child Safety and provide information about child protection services.

Key steps

  1. Gather information about the child and family
  2. Assess the information and decide the response
  3. Record the outcome and provide to the relevant CSSC or RIS
  4. Provide relevant intake information to external agencies

What ifs - responding to specific intake matters

Standards

  1. The intake response considers the safety, well-being and best interests of the child, both through childhood and the rest of the child’s life, as paramount.
  2. All notifiers are treated professionally and with respect.
  3. Information is systematically gathered and analysed with decision-making guided by the structured decision making assessments and supported by the Strengthening Families, Protecting Children Framework for Practice.
  4. For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, Aboriginal tradition and Island custom relating to the child are considered and analysed in decision-making.
  5. For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, actions will be made, and decisions will be taken, in accordance with the Child Placement Principles.
  6. Child protection history checks are conducted and assessed prior to the decision about the response by Child Safety.
  7. Action is taken to identify the cultural identity of all clients.
  8. Any suspected criminal offence in relation to alleged harm to a child is reported immediately to the QPS regardless of the decision about the intake response.
  9. The information received at intake is recorded in ICMS in a timely manner.
  10. A clear rationale for the intake decision is provided to government and non-government agencies in accordance with procedural requirements.

Practice skills (Key areas for reflection)

  • Did I engage well with the notifier and would they feel confident to re-contact Child Safety in the future?
  • Did I clarify information with the notifier to make sure I clearly understood their concerns?
  • Did I gather all the information possible about the child, their family and other household members?
  • Have I appropriately applied the Strengthening Families Protecting Children Framework for Practice?
  • For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, have I considered Aboriginal tradition and Island custom relating to the child?
  • Have I integrated all of the information gathered and critically analysed all the risk and protective factors when deciding whether there is a reasonable suspicion that a child is in need of protection?
  • Is my assessment of the intake information holistic, has it considered cumulative harm and is it focused on the child's safety and well-being?
  • Have I considered what supports can be provided to this child and family and made referrals as appropriate?
  • Did I effectively consult with other Child Safety staff to expedite the transfer of the intake matter to the relevant team?

Authority