You are here:

  1. Home
  2. Chapters
  3. 10. General
  4. 10.14 Referring to Family and Child Connect or intensive family support services for early intervention
  5. What ifs

What ifs

1. What if Child Safety refers a family and they do not engage or cannot be contacted?

If Child Safety refers a family to Family and Child Connect or an intensive family support service and the family does not engage with the service or cannot be contacted, the service must contact the department to advise of such.

Family and Child Connect will also advise Child Safety of the details of their engagement attempts, types and over what period.

In these circumstances and where no new concerns are raised, the receiving departmental officer is to:

  • record this information in a case note (if verbal) or as an attachment (if written and the event remains open) in the event where the referral is recorded: and
  • advise the Team Leader responsible for this event via email. 

If new or additional concerns are reported by the service, this information should be assessed per intake procedures.

2. What if a family moves to another area? Transferring between Family and Child Connect and intensive family support services?

Families can only be transferred between Family and Child Connect and intensive family support services with the family’s consent. If a family is incorrectly referred by a particular prescribed entity (including Child Safety) to a service that does not cover the family’s geographic area, the service will:

  • contact the referrer and advise them of such

Family and Child Connect will also send a letter to the family to provide them with information about the service, including the Family and Child Connect brochure and telephone number.

3. What if Family and Child Connect or an intensive family support service report to Child Safety?

If Family and Child Connect or an intensive family support service, during the course of their engagement with the family, reasonably suspects that a child may be in need of protection they have a responsibility to report the matter to Child Safety through the Regional Intake Service.

The service may utilise the Child Protection Guide to support their decision making as to whether the concerns should be reported to Child Safety and may also consult the Principal Child Protection Practitioner. Where the concerns clearly reach the threshold for a report to Child Safety or an urgent response is considered necessary, the service may report to Child Safety without prior consultation with either the Child Protection Guide or the Principal Child Protection Practitioner. (Note: the service will report information about immediate danger to persons to the Emergency Services)

Where Family and Child Connect or an intensive family support service are referred a matter and it is assessed that the concerns reach the threshold for a report to Child Safety, the service will contact the referrer and encourage them to contact the Regional Intake Service directly. This ensures all relevant information is provided and the referrer receives protection as a notifier under the Child Protection Act 1999.  The only exception to the service recontacting the referrer is where the service believe this action would adversely affect the safety of a child or young person. 

If the referrer is a professional, and agrees to do this, the service will seek an email from the referrer to confirm this has occurred, allowing the referral to be closed.  If this advice is not received within a 48 hour period, or the referrer is not a professional, the service should report the matter directly to the Regional Intake Service, including details of the concerns and the identity of the original referrer. The Family and Child Connect or intensive family support service staff member should be recorded as the notifier on ICMS records.

Regardless of Family and Child Connect or an intensive family support service reporting the matter to Child Safety, the service will, unless under exceptional circumstances (e.g. concerns regarding the safety of staff), continue to engage with the family. Family and Child Connect or an intensive family support service will only cease involvement with a family, if they become aware that the family is subject to departmental ongoing intervention (i.e. Intervention with Parental Agreement, Child Protection Order).

4. What if Child Safety makes a pre-notification check to Family and Child Connect or an intensive family support service?

The Regional Intake Service may contact the Family and Child Connect or an intensive family support service to conduct a pre-notification check if it has been identified that the service may hold relevant information. As per current departmental procedures, a pre-notification check to a service will only be conducted when child protection concerns are received and further information is needed to assist in the completion of the screening criteria, and to determine if a notification response is required.

If the service is contacted and the family’s records indicate that they were also subject to a case consultation with the Principal Child Protection Practitioner, the service will advise the intake officer that a case consultation occurred. The intake officer may then contact the Principal Child Protection Practitioner to seek further information.