6. Intervention with parental agreement

Purpose

This procedure outlines the process for providing ongoing intervention to a child who is in need of protection when the parents are able and willing to work actively with Child Safety to reduce the level of risk in the home, and a child protection order is not appropriate.

The preferred way of providing ongoing intervention is with parent’s agreement. Intervention with parental agreement (IPA) is a type of ongoing intervention that enables Child Safety to provide support and assistance to a child and family in circumstances where all of the following apply:

  • the child is in need of protection
  • there is no child protection order granting custody or guardianship of a child to anyone and Child Safety is satisfied the child is in need of protection and needs ongoing help under the Child Protection Act 1999
  • the child’s views and wishes have been considered
  • the parents are able and willing to work actively with Child Safety to increase the child’s safety and reduce the level of risk in the home
  • the child's safety, belonging and wellbeing needs can be met by the family with time-limited intensive intervention
  • it is likely the child is safe to remain at home for all, or most of the intervention
  • it is likely that the parents will be able to meet the safety, wellbeing and belonging needs of the child when the intervention is completed.

Intervention with parental agreement aims to build the capacity of the family so that following the intervention they are able to meet the child’s protection and care needs. It is generally of a short-term and intensive nature, and it is usual for the child to remain at home for all, or most of, the intervention period.

Child Safety is not required to consider intervening with parental agreement if it is likely the child will be at immediate risk of harm if the parents withdraw their agreement to the intervention for the child.

For further guidance regarding this type of intervention, refer to the practice papers Engaging with families (PDF, 175 KB) Engaging with families (RTF, 95 KB) and Engaging parents through case work (PDF, 250 KB) Engaging parents through case work (RTF, 111 KB).

Key steps

  1. Provide intervention with parental agreement
  2. Review an intervention with parental agreement case
  3. Place a child using a child protection care agreement
  4. Close an intervention with parental agreement case

What ifs - responding to specific intervention with parental agreement matters

Standards

  1. The level of risk to the child is such that the child is able to remain safely at home with their parents for the majority of the intervention, while the safety and risk issues are being addressed.
  2. The parents are assessed as both able and willing to work cooperatively with Child Safety to meet the child's protection and care needs.
  3. The level of risk in the home is constantly monitored and assessed to ensure the ongoing appropriateness of the intervention.
  4. The five elements of the Child Placement Principle are applied to case work for an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child.
  5. Where required, the child is placed in a short-term placement, using a child protection care agreement.
  6. Case plans are reviewed regularly and at a minimum, every six months.

Practice skills (Key areas for reflection)

  • Do the parents have a clear understanding of why Child Safety is involved and the capacity to give their informed agreement?
  • Do the parents understand the changes needed to ensure the child is no longer at risk of harm?
  • Do the parents understand Child Safety’s next steps if the case plan goal and outcomes are not met within the agreed timeframes?
  • Have I engaged effectively with the child and family and enabled them to actively participate in decision-making?
  • Have I arranged, with the consent of the child and family, for an independent person to help the child and family participate in decision-making about significant decisions for an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child?
  • Have I applied the five elements of the child placement principle in case work for an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child?
  • Have I sought the family’s consent to share their information whenever safe, possible and practical?
  • Have I engaged appropriate service providers to work with the family and progress the case plan goal, outcomes and actions?
  • Has my face-to-face contact with the child and parents been meaningful, purposeful and goal-directed?
  • Have I actively engaged with the child, family and service providers in order to ensure the child is not at risk of immediate harm?
  • Have I assessed the progress of the family’s ability and commitment to address the child protection concerns?
  • Have I assessed whether intervention with parental agreement is still the most appropriate form of intervention to ensure the child’s ongoing safety?
  • Has illicit drug or substance misuse been identified as a factor contributing to the harm or risk of harm to the child/ren?

Authority