How to use the Child Safety Practice Manual

The Child Safety Practice Manual is one of a set of 'authority documents' that collectively make up the policy and procedural documentation for child protection within the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women (the department). The purpose of the practice manual is to facilitate standardised practice across the state. In addition, the practice manual:

  • guides and informs 'frontline' child protection practice across the child protection continuum
  • outlines the roles and responsibilities of departmental staff in the delivery of statutory child protection services
  • advises staff of their statutory obligations to promote the safety and well-being of Queensland children and young people, specifically those at risk of harm.

The other components of the 'authority documents' are:

  • legislation
  • policy statements
  • other departmental manuals and resources
  • inter-agency agreements, memorandums of understanding and protocols.
Structure of the manual

The CSPM is structured into the following seven sections:

  1. Introduction
  2. Practice framework and maps
  3. Chapters
  4. Practice papers
  5. Resources
  6. Structured Decision Making
  7. Quick links
1. Introduction

The introduction outlines a range of information that relates to the work and obligations of the department, under the following headings:

2. Practice framework and maps

This section contains the Child Safety practice framework and information about integrating and understanding the framework, along with a set of Practice maps that represent the phases and tasks of child protection intervention. The following legend contains a list of the elements represented in each map.

3. Chapters

There are 10 chapters containing topic specific procedures that span the chid protection continuum. Each chapter is organised under the following structure:

  • Overview: accessed when you click on the chapter, which includes:
    • Purpose - of the chapter and the specific area of child protection intervention.
    • Key steps - the overarching key steps for undertaking that phase or content area of child protection intervention.
    • Standards - the key actions that must occur as part of the phase.
    • Practice skills - critical areas for reflection by staff when undertaking the steps.
    • Authority - the legislative authority for action by the department.
  • Key steps - which contains the procedural information and content for each step in the chapter.
  • What ifs - these are located at the end of the chapter and are procedures for matters related to a child protection phase, but that may not relate to all cases, and are used when relevant. They are numbered from most common to least common.
  • Resources: which are broken down into:
    • Forms and templates - forms, templates and standard letters that areused by staff in their day-to-day work.
    • Departmental resources – additional information to inform practice and procedures and assist staff to understand their role, for example, practice papers, practice resources, information brochures, fact sheets and guides.
    • External resources - information provided to staff from our partners and other external sources and websites.
4. Practice papers

Practice papers provide additional and more in-depth information about critical areas of child protection practice.

5. Resources

All resources that are linked in each chapter and throughout the CSPM are located here under chapter headings.

6. SDM

The section provides information and resources to support the use of Structured Decision Making assessments in child protection practice, which aim to provide consistency and validity in assessment and decision-making processes.

7. Quick links

The quick links include: