1. Provide intervention with parental agreement

1.1 Open an intervention with parental agreement case

As part of the decision to open an intervention with parental agreement case, meet with the parents to seek their agreement to the intervention. Where the intervention with parental agreement is being discussed for an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child, arrange, with the consent of the child and family, for an independent person to help facilitate the child and family’s participation in the decision.

Discuss the following with the parents:

  • the process of undertaking an intervention with parental agreement case and the need for regular reviews of the case plan that include a reassessment 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 work actively to address the identified concerns
  • the need for Child Safety to ensure the child’s safety and to take appropriate action should the level of risk to the child remain the same, or increase during the intervention - this may include the need to apply for a child protection order
  • where illicit drug use has been identified as a factor contributing to the harm or risk of harm to the child/ren the parents must agree to regular and random drug testing as part of the case plan. When a parent refuses to consent to drug testing, consult with OCFOS to determine whether there is sufficient evidence for a recommendation to DCPL for a child protection order. Where OCFOS advises there is insufficient evidence to refer to DCPL, proceed with the intervention and record the consultation as a confidential legal advice - privileged case note in ICMS.

A safety plan may have been used to address immediate safety risks during the assessment process. Consider whether intervention with parental agreement is a suitable intervention if it is deemed necessary to have an ongoing safety plan.

The willingness of the parents to work with Child Safety to address the child protection concerns does not lessen Child Safety’s responsibility to meet the child’s safety, belonging and wellbeing needs. Child Safety will undertake work with the family, as well as refer to appropriate services to address the child protection needs in a timely way.

Duration of intervention with parental agreement

There is no maximum timeframe for an intervention with parental agreement case to remain open, however, up to 12 months is generally seen as an appropriate length of time in which to address the concerns.

If, after 12 months of intensive intervention, there has been little or no reduction in the risk factors, reassess the child’s safety and the appropriateness of the intervention to meet the child’s protection and care needs. This assessment will take into account what has been achieved and will include consideration of the child strengths and needs assessment and the family risk re-evaluation. Where it is decided to extend an intervention with parental agreement case beyond 12 months:

  • seek CSSC manager approval for the decision
  • record the approval in a case note in ICMS.

1.2 Develop a case plan

Following the decision to open an intervention with parental agreement case for a child in need of protection:

  • provide the parents with the information brochure Intervention with parental agreement – Information for parents (PDF)
  • ensure there is an open ongoing intervention event in ICMS and that the senior team leader has completed the relevant information in the case management tab in ICMS
  • commence active case work with the child and family and undertake activities, as outlined in Chapter 4. Case planning, in order to hold a family group meeting within 30 days of the decision that a child is in need of protection
  • arrange, with the consent of the child and family, for an independent person to help facilitate the child’s and family’s participation in decisions that are likely to have a significant impact on the life of an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child, and complete the ‘Independent entity’ form in ICMS, refer to 10.1 Decision-making about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

If a parent has an intellectual disability, refer to the practice resource Supporting parents who have an intellectual disability (PDF, 33 KB) Supporting parents who have an intellectual disability (RTF, 24 KB). If a parent exhibits hostile and aggressive behaviours, refer to the practice paper Working with parents who demonstrate hostile and aggressive behaviour.

Where a short-term placement is required for a child using a child protection care agreement, refer to 3.1 Place a child using a child protection care agreement.

Financial support

A child subject to intervention with parental agreement, and placed in out-of-home care using a child protection care agreement, is eligible for financial support through child related costs, to meet requirements of the case plan. Where required, negotiate any costs with the CSSC manager prior to the development and endorsement of the case plan.

Referral to an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Family Support Service

In addition to any activities or interventions specified in the case plan, consider a referral to an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Family Support Service - refer to Chapter 10.16 Referral to an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander family support service.

1.3 Implement the case plan

Actively implement the case plan in accordance with the requirements of Chapter 4, 4. Implement the case plan. To do this:

  • maintain regular contact with the child and family and, where appropriate, the carer and work toward meeting the case plan goal and outcomes
  • proactively implement and coordinate activities to achieve the case plan goal
  • regularly liaise with other support agencies who are involved with the child and family, including the recognised entity for an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child
  • ensure all relevant information is recorded in ICMS.

When a child is subject to both an intervention with parental agreement case and youth justice intervention at the same time, refer to Chapter 3, 5. What if a child is subject to ongoing intervention and youth justice intervention? for additional requirements.