What ifs

In cases involving a child, where the outcome of the family risk evaluation tool is 'high' and consent is not given to a support service case, consult the senior team leader to re-consider whether a support service case is the appropriate child safety response to the child and family - refer to Chapter 3, 1. Decide the type of ongoing intervention.

Where the decision to offer a support service case remains unchanged, record in ICMS:

  • the family's refusal to consent to a support service case
  • the discussion held with the senior team leader, including the outcome and rationale for the decision.

In cases involving a child, where the outcome of the family risk re-evaluation tool is 'high' and consent to the support service case is withdrawn following a period of ongoing intervention, complete a subsequent safety assessment to inform the actions to be taken - refer to 3.1 Close a support service case.

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When it has been assessed that an unborn child will be in need of protection after their birth and the pregnant woman does not consent to intervention with a support service case, no ongoing intervention can occur.

Similarly, where a pregnant woman withdraws her consent to the support service case, during the period of ongoing intervention, ongoing intervention cannot continue.

In both of these circumstances:

  • make every effort, including sending a follow up letter, to:
    • alert the pregnant woman to the potential risks identified to her unborn child after birth
    • provide information about support services in the community to assist her and her family prior to the birth of her child
  • advise the pregnant woman that either a new notification or a child protection order may be required when the child is born. However, this information must not be provided to the pregnant woman when it is assessed that, by providing this information, the child may be placed at further risk after their birth
  • record an 'unborn child alert' on the person records of the mother and the unborn child - refer to Chapter 1, 9. What if an alert needs to be recorded in ICMS?
  • complete and forward either, or both:
  • attach the 'HRA Form 1' to the 'investigation and assessment' event in ICMS
  • consider whether a referral to the SCAN team is warranted, or if the case is open to the SCAN team system, update the SCAN team - refer to Information Coordination Meetings (ICM) and the Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect (SCAN) Team System Manual
  • provide the Child Safety After Hours Service Centre with a Child Safety After Hours Service Centre: After hours referral form and any additional relevant information, including a copy of the 'HRA Form 1'
  • recontact the pregnant woman's medical practitioner, if known, to:
    • discuss the concerns identified
    • request that information be shared with relevant health professionals such as the midwife or social work services
    • ask that Child Safety be advised of the birth of the child
  • recontact any services previously involved in the provision of support services to the pregnant woman, including the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Family Support Service or Family Wellbeing Service, as appropriate, to inform them that the pregnant woman has withdrawn her consent to ongoing intervention.

When the child is born, commence the most appropriate type of ongoing intervention or record a new notification if an up-to-date risk assessment is required.

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3. What if intervention is required after the birth of a child?

When at the time of the child's birth, Child Safety is working with the woman via a support service case, and ongoing intervention is to continue after the birth with the agreement of the woman or the parents:

When at the time of the child's birth there is no open support service case, because the woman has not consented to the intervention, but an investigation and assessment completed prior to birth had a ‘substantiated - child in need of protection’ outcome either:

  • commence the most appropriate type of ongoing intervention
  • record a new notification when it is determined that an up-to-date risk assessment is required.

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4. What if a child is also subject to youth justice intervention?

If a child is subject to a support service case and youth justice intervention, ensure service delivery coordination for the duration of the support service case. It may also be appropriate to invite the child's youth justice case worker to a meeting to develop, or review, a Support plan (DOC). For further information, refer to Chapter 3, 5. What if a child is subject to ongoing intervention and youth justice intervention?

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5. What if new child protection concerns are received?

When child protection concerns are received about a child subject to ongoing intervention, take action to ensure the child's immediate safety and determine the most appropriate response - refer to Chapter 3, 2. What if new child protection concerns are received?

 

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