CSPM July 2013 updates

Release of the Child Safety Practice Manual - CSPM_July2013

This release includes practice changes and amendments to the following sections:

  • Introduction
  • Practice framework and maps
  • Chapter 1. Intake
  • Chapter 2. Investigation and assessment
  • Chapter 3. Ongoing intervention
  • Chapter 4. Case planning
  • Chapter 5. Children in out-of-home care
  • Chapter 6. Intervention with parental agreement
  • Chapter 7. Support service cases
  • Chapter 8. Regulation of care
  • Chapter 9. Matters of concern
  • Chapter 10. General
  • Glossary
  • Acronyms

All sections

  • All previous references to “Child Safety” have been changed to ‘the department’ or ‘departmental’, as appropriate.
  • The Unaccompanied humanitarian minor (UHM) program officer title has been updated, and Statewide Services has been replaced with Adoption Services.
  • ‘CCR’ is written in full as “child concern report”
  • References to the Child Protection Regulation 2011, to replace the former regulation.

Introduction

  • Clarification of the values which guide the Child Safety practice framework.
  • Updating of priorities and goals to align to the new Strategic Plan.

Practice frameworks and maps

  • The Matters of concern practice map is replaced by the Standards of care practice map, due to outcome of the Matters of Concern review (Chapter 9, Standards of care).

Chapter 1. Intake      

Matters of concern terminology has been amended to “concerns about a child in out-of-home care” to reflect policy and procedural changes.

1.1 Gather information from the notifier

  • Receive concerns about a child in out-of-home care amended to reflect the change in terminology replacing the words “matters of concern” with “concerns about a child in out-of-home care”.
  • Receive information from the Family Court or Federal Circuit Court of Australia amended to reflect the change in name of the Federal Circuit Court and the changed title of the Form 4 to include risk of family violence.
  • Receive a request for information from a Queensland court includes new procedures when a request for information is received from a Queensland court under the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012, Report to the Court pursuant to section 55.
  • Adoption enquiries includes the consideration to contact Adoption Services and/or Post Adoption Support Queensland (PASQ) if information is received which indicates that the child is part of an adoptive family.  Inclusion of the statement to the notifier, that a notifier’s identity can not be disclosed as confidentiality provisions apply, note there are exceptions to this confidentiality.
  • Clarification when new child protection concerns are received about another family when undertaking casework or an investigation and assessment in the community, the service centre is responsible for all intake functions.

1.4 Conduct a pre-notification check if required

  • Amended to reflect the change in terminology from “matter of concern notification” to “harm report”.

1.5 Conduct urgent criminal and domestic violence history checks, if required

  • Includes the need to provide a rationale on the fax cover sheet to explain the urgency for the request.

2.6 Decide the response

  • Notification includes a prompt to consider information that may identify an unborn child.
  • Clarification that a rationale for a child concern report response is recorded within the “Additional Notified Concerns” form.
  • Exceptions to the recording of additional notified concerns includes amended wording to reflect the change in terminology replacing the words “matters of concern” with “harm reports”.

3.3 Record a child concern report

  • Amended wording to provide consistent timeframes for team leader approval of a child concern report.

3.4 Record a notification

Additional wording added to ensure consistency with the SDM manual that, where a child lives across two households, the CSSC responsible for undertaking the investigation and assessment will be the CSSC in the geographical area of the household where the harm or risk of harm is alleged to have occurred.

4.1 Inform the police of possible criminal offences

  • Includes wording when a paediatrician from Queensland Health reports suspected harm or risk of harm resulting from fabricated or induced illness, immediately provide the information to the QPS.

4.3 Provide feedback to SCAN team core member agencies

  • amended to reflect the change in terminology replacing the words “matters of concern” with ‘concerns about a child in out-of-home care

What ifs?

1. What if the child protection concerns are about a child in another jurisdiction?

  • Includes initiating a Centrelink search through DMS.
  • Contact numbers have been included for relevant interstate jurisdictions and an email address for the ILO has been added.

8. What if child protection concerns are received from the Family Court of Australia or the Federal Circuit Court of Australia?

  • All content amended to reflect legislative changes.
  • Additional information about when Notifications are made by a staff member of the family courts.

9. What if an alert needs to be recorded in ICMS?

  • Additional wording that a suicide risk alert can only be generated within a suicide risk event.

16. What if concerns are received about fabricated or induced illness?

  • Additional information about the requirement to inform the team leader of the details of the case and immediately provide the information to the QPS.

18. (New) What if a request for information is received from a Queensland court under the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012?

  • New what if provides procedures when a request is made under the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012, section 55 

Resources

New resources:

  • Practice resource: Guidelines for departmental staff when providing information to the court regarding a domestic violence order application.
  • Practice resource: Section 55 requests – Domestic and Family Violence Act 2012.

Amended resources:

  • Practice resource: Receiving Integrated Justice Information Strategy email alert information – terminology has been updated for consistency.

Chapter 2. Investigation and assessment

1.1 Plan the investigation and assessment

  • New procedures for staff to contact QPS rather than CSAHSC, where concerns relate to fabricated or induced illness.
  • Clarification regarding which two officers can conduct investigation and assessment interviews, including consideration of an appropriate second worker.

2.3 Interview and sight the child

  • Procedures regarding a second worker being present when sighting injuries to a child, during an investigation and assessment, have been broadened to include a “professional person”.  Previously only another CSO or police officer could perform this role.  

2.5 Other considerations

  • Additional information that, when it is identified during an investigation and assessment that a child is adopted, consideration should be given to whether the child or family would benefit from specialised counselling and referral to either Adoption Services or Post Adoption Support Queensland (PASQ). 
  • Clarification that where an investigation and assessment involves concerns regarding fabricated or induced illness, there is a requirement to notify QPS (section14(2)) and a joint investigation with QPS may be required.

2.6 Complete a Safety Assessment

  • Clarification that a subsequent safety assessment is required where new information becomes available or a change in circumstances indicates a threat to a child’s safety, but the threat does not reach the threshold of a notification. This includes when information indicates a child has been released from hospital.

2.7 Gather information from other sources

  • Parental substance misuse now referred to as parental substance misuse or abuse.
  • In relation to IJIS, ‘civil’ matters now referred to as ‘domestic violence’ matters.
  • Information included that relevant information may be attached to a section 55 request from a Queensland court under the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012.
  • For non-urgent criminal and domestic violence history checks QPS will no longer provide interim results of their searches via email to the CSU.  They will mail a hard copy of the results of their searches to the CSU.
  • Clarification of the appropriate criteria for requesting urgent criminal and domestic violence history checks, including out of business hours procedures.

3.1 Complete the family risk evaluation

  • Clarification that the FRE relates to the primary parent in the household where the harm or risk of harm is alleged to have occurred.

3.2 Determine whether the child is in need of protection

  • Clarification that a “no investigation and assessment outcome” is recorded when a parent has refused contact with the child and a TAO or CAO has been applied for, but the order has not been made by the magistrate or the court.

4.3 Record the investigation, assessment and outcome

  • Clarification that use of powers under the authority of the Child Protection Act 1999, sections 16-18, must be recorded in the investigation and assessment event in ICMS.

What ifs?

1. What if an open investigation and assessment needs to be transferred?   

  • Clarification regarding transfer procedures where a child lives across two households.

3. What if a parent will not consent to actions required - use of a CAO?

  • Additional information that when considering a CAO application, the Childrens Court must consider the views of the department when making decisions about contact between a child and their family while the child is in the custody of the chief executive.

7. What if the investigation and assessment is for an unborn child?

  • New procedures for sending a statewide unborn child high risk alert to be used in exceptional circumstances only, where the pregnant woman is highly mobile and it is not possible to identify the hospitals where she is likely to give birth. 

21. What if a family resides in the south east region and is eligible for a referral to a secondary service?

  • Clarification regarding the referral of matters involving an unborn child.

Resources

Amended resources:

  • ‘Practice resource: Unborn children’ additional information regarding how to distribute a cessation of the unborn child high risk alert (HRA Form 3) when the initial alert was a statewide alert sent to public hospital child protection staff via the new group email address.
  • ‘Practice resource: Interviewing a child’ has additional wording to prompt early engagement with a child prior to undertaking an interview.
  • ‘Practice resource: Family risk evaluation’ provides additional content about the development of the family risk evaluation, and clarifies the family risk evaluation relates to the primary parent in the household where the harm or risk of harm is alleged to have occurred.
  • ‘Practice resource: Safety assessment’ has additional content about the completion of a safety assessment when all children have not been interviewed.
  • ‘Practice resource: Informing parents’ about the harm and outcome – section 15 includes an additional reference to the legislative definition of ‘parent’.
  • ‘Practice resource: Planning the investigation and assessment' includes additional information about the use of interpreter services.
  • ‘Practice resource: Planning’ for and undertaking a joint investigation has been amended to remove the requirement to refer a matter to the SCAN team system.
  • Practice guide: the assessment of harm and risk of harm has been updated to reflect changes in terminology.
  • ‘Practice resource: The role of a support person’ has been updated to reflect changes in terminology.
  • ‘Practice resource: Recording the investigation and assessment’ has been updated to reflect changes in terminology.
  • ‘Practice resource: Recording your professional assessment about whether the child is in need of protection’ has been updated to reflect changes in terminology.

Chapter 3.  Ongoing intervention

All references to the permanency panel have been amended to refer to practice panels, this is in accordance with the implementation of the recommendations from the Court Work Project

2.9  Applying for a transition order

  • Clarified that an application for a transition order can be made verbally.
  • Removed reference to making application for a transition order through Form 49.

What ifs?

1. What if a suitable person has long-term guardianship?

  • Information has been added in relation to family contact, respite, evolve and transition from care into adulthood. 
  • All information in relation to the responsibilities of the long term guardian and the department is now contained in this chapter as opposed to spread between chapters 3 and 5.

11. What if obvious or blatant breaches of pool fencing requirements are noticed?

  • This has been removed from Chapter 4, Case Planning and added to Chapter 3, Ongoing Intervention.

Chapter 4.  Case planning

Standards

  • Standard 8 amended to read “Children and parents are visited in accordance with departmental contact requirements”.

1.1 Gather information about the child and family

  • Link to ‘Practice resource: Supporting parents who have an intellectual disability’ included

4.1 Actively implement the case plan

  • Changes made to remove reference of animal welfare issues, Integrated Justice Information Strategy (IJIS) notification or court result alert email and obvious or blatant breaches of pool fencing requirements. These issues are now included in other sections of the manual:
    • Chapter 2, ‘What if animal welfare issues are identified?’
    • Chapter 3, ‘What if obvious or blatant breaches of pool fencing requirements are noticed?’

5.5 Refer the case to a practice panel

  • Removed the prescriptive nature of previous permanency planning requirements by providing CSSC managers with discretion to refer a case to a practice panel to help guide decision making around permanency.
  • Widen the scope of cases that may be referred to a practice panel to include any case where a permanency decision is being considered (regardless of a child’s age).
  • Provided guidance on the use of practice panels for permanency decisions.
  • Reference and link to a new Practice panel referral form.

What ifs?

2. What if parents are unwilling to engage in case planning?

  • Removal of the term ‘sabotage’ and opening sentence made more comprehensive in meaning.

9. What if obvious or blatant breaches of pool fencing requirements are noticed?

  • This has been removed from Chapter 4, Case Planning and moved to Chapter 3, Ongoing Intervention.

Resources

New resources

  • Practice resource: Supporting parents who have an intellectual disability.
  • Link to external resource ‘Serious Criminal Offences’ included.
  • Practice panel referral form.

Chapter 5.  Children in out-of-home care

1.2 Gather information to inform placement matching

Inclusion of procedural requirements when placement matching to:

  • Inclusion of procedural requirements when placement matching to:
    • gather information from a child’s case plan goal, outcomes and actions where developed for a child subject to ongoing intervention
    • consider a child’s previous relationships with other children including incidents of conflict and bullying
    • consider whether a placement type will impact on the ability of a child under three years of age to develop a healthy attachment to a primary care giver
    • gather information from a behaviour support plan where developed
    • consider a residential care placement for a child under 12 in accordance with the Residential care policy
    • consider a therapeutic residential care placement for a child under 12 in accordance with the Therapeutic residential care policy
  • Inclusion of, and link to, the Kinship care program description.

1.4 Determine the most suitable placement type

  • Clarification of the requirement to provide full, detailed information about a child’s history of sexual abuse to proposed carers regardless of the child’s views.
  • Inclusion of, and links to, the:
    • Kinship care policy.
    • Kinship care program description.
    • Intensive foster care program description.
    • Pre-placement checklist.
    • Placement Services Unit referral.

1.5 Obtain approval for the placement 

  • Clarifies that when considering placement of a child in another area, the CSSC manager responsible for the area must give permission (not approval) for the placement in writing prior to the placement.

1.7 Prepare for the placement

  • Outlines a child’s needs as identified in ‘Child information form, and the procedural requirement that the information is provided to a carer or residential care service at the commencement of a placement.
  • Text changed from create a placement event in ICMS under the ‘Placements and Locations’ tab to ‘Locations’ tab

1.9 Complete a placement agreement 

  • Includes requirement that a written agreement is developed within three working days of a placement.
  • Text added to require staff to consider the impact of parents residing in the same household as the carer and child, on contact, daily care roles and responsibilities of each of the parties.
  • Content made clearer that an agreement is required for all placements including respite.
  • Procedural requirement when completing a placement agreement to:
    • gather information about a child’s relationships with other children in previous placements, for example, bullying or conflict.
    • gather information from additional assessments that indicate the needs of a child under 12 are best met by a residential care or therapeutic residential care service.
    • include strategies to address how a residential placement may impact on the ability of a child under three to have a healthy attachment to a primary carer.

1.11 Place the child in out-of-home care

  • Includes the requirement that a carer or residential care service is provided with adequate information regarding the child’s needs as identified in the ‘Child information form’
  • Inclusion of, and link, to the Placement commencement checklist.

2.1 Obtain a birth certificate for a child

  • Identifies the need to attach a copy of a child protection order when applying for an interstate, overseas or late registration birth or death certificate.

2.2 Obtain Medicare and Health care card details

  • Includes requirement for a young person over the age of 15 years to apply for their own Medicare card in person at a Department of Human Services service centre.  

2.3 Develop a child health passport  

  • Link to Vaccination Information and Vaccination Administration System website.

2.4 Respond to the child’s education needs

  • Specified that only children on finalised child protection orders are eligible for ESP. Children who are on interim orders, a long-term guardianship order to other and interstate orders are not eligible for an ESP.

2.6 Provide regular respite for the child

  • Refers to the ‘Dual payment of carer allowance’ policy when the usual carer and the respite carer require payment.

2.8 Refer the child to Evolve, if required

  • Updated Queensland Health name to Department of Health and Hospital and Health Services. 
  • A new section on the Evolve Specialist Disability Assessment and Early Intervention Service.

3.6 Make medical decisions, including dental

  • Delegation for providing consent for DNA testing has changed from Director-General to Regional Executive Director.
  • Additional decision or consent ‘category’, ‘Other decisions relating to medical requiring a guardian’s explicit consent’, added to table.
  • Reference and link to new procedure, Make decisions about DNA testing.  

3.17 Make decisions about DNA testing

  • New procedure and practice resource.
  • Delegation for providing consent for DNA testing has changed from Director-General to Regional Executive Director.

5.1.4 Determine the most suitable placement type

  • Updated to include that full/detailed sexual abuse history including sexualised behaviours should also be provided to carers. Link to the practice resource specific to placing a child with a sexual abuse also provided.

What ifs?

1. What if a suitable person has long-term guardianship?

  • Information has been transferred from Chapter 5, Children in out-of-home home care in relation to family contact, respite, evolve and transition from care into adulthood. All information in relation to the responsibilities of the long term guardian and the department is now contained in this chapter as opposed to spread between Chapters 3 and 5.

2. What if I have concerns about the quality of care provided to a child?

  • Content updated based on re-written Chapter 9, Standards of care.
  • Requirement that regardless of the documented case plan, ongoing assessment and monitoring of the care environment and the quality of care provided is a vital component of case work.

14. What if a child is missing?

  • New requirement to advise staff of a residential service about the resource, Reporting missing or absconding children to the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services: A guide for non-government organisations.

15. What if a child is sexually abused whilst in out-of-home care?

  • Clarified requirements when responding to a child who has been sexually abused while placed in out-of-home care to:
    • acknowledge the abuse and resulting harm experienced by the child
    • review the child's case plan
    • make a referral to Legal Services
    • consider a referral for the child and their carer to relevant therapeutic support or medical services.
  • Link to the practice resource specific to placing a child with a sexual abuse also provided.

Resources

New resources

  • Evolve Behaviour Support Services Specialist Disability Assessment Referral Form
  • Practice resource: DNA paternity testing
  • Reporting missing or absconding children to the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services: A guide for non-government organisations.
  • Placement commencement checklist.
  • Kinship care policy.
  • Kinship care program description.
  • Placement Services Unit referral.
  • Intensive foster care program description.

Chapter 6.  Intervention with parental agreement

What ifs?

6. (New) What if a child has a disability

  • New What if in relation to Evolve Specialist Disability Assessment and Early Intervention Service.

Resources

New resources

  • Evolve Behaviour Support Services Specialist Disability Assessment Referral Form.
  • Practice resource: Intervention with parental agreement – Information for parents.
  • Practice resource: Working with parents who demonstrate hostile and aggressive behaviour.
  • Practice Paper: Engaging with Families.
  • Practice Paper : Engaging Parents through Casework.

Chapter 7.  Support service cases    

1.2 Develop and record a support plan

  • Included link to Practice resource: Supporting parents who have an intellectual disability.

Resources

New resources

  • Practice resource: Supporting parents who have an intellectual disability

Chapter 8.  Regulation of care

Authority

  • Includes a new Policy No. 632: Kinship care
  • Includes a new reference to Procedures and guidelines for Quality Care: Foster care training

1. Pre-application

  • New checklist resource about the roles and responsibilities of the CSSC and the PSU in relation to the carer enquiry and application process.

2. Assessment

  • New checklist resource about the roles and responsibilities of the CSSC and PSU in relation to the carer assessment processes.

2.1 Complete pre-service training

  • New reference and link to the Kinship care program description.

2.2 Facilitate personal history checks

  • Provides greater clarity about what personal history checks include.
  • New content to clarify the process for conducting interstate and international personal history checks.
  • New content about providing relevant personal history to an external assessor and clarifies what can be provided. Contains link to new resource: Confidentiality and privacy information for private contractors and panel participants. Used to be in What if 3.

2.3 Conduct assessment interviews

  • New content about discussing personal history information with applicants, including where history relates to only one partner of a joint application. 
  • New reference and link to the Kinship care program description.
  • New reference and link to the Kinship carer initial assessment report.
  • New reference and link to the Kinship carer initial assessment report guidelines.

2.5 Conduct medical checks, if applicable

  • New procedures for applicants who have a communicable disease, including that they must undergo a medical assessment, what the assessment report should include, and what must be taken into account to approve the applicant.
  • New link to the new Kinship carer initial assessment report.

2.7 Complete the assessment report

  • Reference and link to the new Kinship carer initial assessment report and Kinship carer initial assessment report guidelines.

3. Approval

  • Now includes Complete a foster carer agreement content (used to be section 4.2)

3.1 Decide the outcome of the application for approval

  • New information about assessment panels and panel participants receiving personal history information about applicants.

3.3 Approve the application

  • New reference to the email for Carepay.
  • Includes content that used to be in section 4. Monitor and support – including tasks to be completed following approval and updating the carer entity status (active/inactive) during period of approval.

3.4 Refuse the application

  • New resources about the roles and responsibilities of the CSSC and PSU in relation to the approval or refusal of a carer application.

3.5 Complete a foster carer agreement

  • This is a new location for this content which used to be located in section 4. Monitor and support.
  • Outlines that the PSU is responsible for developing the foster carer agreement for a carer affiliated with the department (not the CSSC).

4. Monitor and support

  • This whole section now no longer exists as relevant monitor and support information has been included in the amended chapter 9. The sections from Monitor and support that remain in chapter 8 include Complete a foster carer agreement (now section 3.4) and Standard and advanced training (now section 4.1).

4. Renewal

  • Previously number 5.

4.1 Complete standard and advanced training

  • This content has been moved from the old Monitor and support section to now come under the Renewal.

4.2 Invite an application for renewal of approval (used to be 5.1)

  • New resources about the roles and responsibilities of the CSSC and PSU in relation to renewal of approval processes.

4.3 Lodge the application for renewal

  • Previously 5.2.

4.4 Facilitate personal history checks

  • Previously 5.3.

4.5 Conduct medical checks, if applicable

  • Previously 5.4.
  • New procedures for carers who have communicable diseases.

4.6 Assess the application for renewal

  • Previously 5.5.
  • Reference and link to the new Kinship carer renewal assessment report guidelines.

4.7 Complete the renewal assessment report

  • Previously 5.6.
  • Reference and link to the new Kinship carer renewal assessment report.

4.8 Decide the outcome of the application for renewal

  • Previously 5.7.

4.9 Approve the application for renewal

  • Previously 5.8.

4.10 Review support arrangements

  • Previously 5.9.
  • New link to the new chapter 9, Standards of care, in relation to reviewing support options when dynamics have escalated into a standard of care review or harm report.

4.11 Review the foster carer agreement

  • Previously 5.10.
  • Outlines that the PSU is responsible for reviewing the foster carer agreement for a carer affiliated with the department (not the CSSC).

What ifs?

1. What if the applicant requires provisional approval?

  • Reference and link to the new Provisional approval assessment form.
  • New content about the requirement for the CSSC to review ICMS and provide the regional director with any relevant child protection history information about the applicant and adult household members to inform the decision by the regional director to grant urgent provisional approval prior to the outcome of checks undertaken by the CSU.
  • New reference to the email for Carepay.
  • New resource about the roles and responsibilities of the CSSC and PSU in relation to the provisional approval of a kinship carer applicant.

2. What if there is a change in carer circumstances?

  • New resource about the roles and responsibilities of the CSSC and PSU in relation to a change in carer circumstances.
  • New reference to the email for Carepay.
  • New procedures about actions required in ICMS when a carer’s certificate has been amended but the carer couple are also long-term guardians for one or more children.
  • New content and practice resource about deciding the suitability of a new adult household member who enters the household during a carer’s period of approval.

3. What if a carer or carer applicant is also a departmental employee?

  • Previously What if 12.
  • The former ‘3. What if an external party requests of requires personal information or history about a foster or kinship carer?’ is now included in ‘2.2 Facilitate personal history checks’.
  • Inclusion of Temporary Custody Order

4. What if a review of carer suitability is required?

  • New procedures added as part of Matter of Concern review (refer to information regarding Chapter 9, Standards of care).

7. What if the foster or kinship carer decides to cease being a carer?

  • New reference to the PSU being responsible for tasks relating to carer cessation.
  • New resource about the roles and responsibilities of the CSSC and PSU when a carer surrenders.

Resources

Amended resources

  • Statement of Commitment between the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services and the foster and kinship carers of Queensland

New resources

  • Confidentiality and privacy information for private contractors and panel participants
  • Kinship carer initial assessment report
  • Kinship carer initial assessment report guidelines
  • Kinship carer renewal assessment report
  • Kinship carer renewal assessment report guidelines
  • Carer assessment and approval or refusal checklist (foster care)
  • Carer assessment and approval or refusal checklist (kinship care)
  • Carer enquiry and application checklist (foster care)
  • Carer enquiry and application checklist (kinship care)
  • Change in carer circumstances checklist
  • Integrated Client Management System (ICMS) Child Protection Participant Manual, May 2012
  • Kinship care program description
  • New adult household member checklist
  • Practice resource: Suitability decision-making for a new adult household member
  • Provisional approval assessment
  • Provisional approval checklist for kinship carer applicants
  • Renewal of approval checklist (foster care)
  • Renewal of approval checklist (kinship care)
  • When a carer surrenders their approval checklist

Chapter 9.  Standards of care (formerly Matters of concern)

Chapter 9 has been rewritten following a review of the matters of concern policy and procedures.

The significant procedural changes include:

  • The procedures for monitoring and supporting carers, previously part of chapter 8, has been updated and included in this chapter to place emphasis on support to prevent standard of care issues arising.
  • ‘Matters of concern’ will no longer be used as the overarching term for concerns in relation to a child in out-of-home care.
  • Where concerns are raised about the care provided to a child in out-of-home care, the department will assess the information and will decide one of three possible responses:
    • Continue monitoring the standards of care
    • Conduct a standard of care review
    • Record a harm report and conduct an investigation and assessment
  • Child placement concern reports (CPCR) will be replaced with standard of care reviews.
  • The decision to record a standard of care review will be made by a team leader following consultation with foster and kinship care services or care services (currently made by the CSSC manager).
  • Procedures for conducting a standard of care review aim to improve practice in responding to concerns that the standards of care may not have been met for a child.  This includes a greater emphasis on partnership with either the carer and foster and kinship care service or the care service.
  • The procedures for conducting standard of care reviews will shift the focus from investigating concerns and attributing blame, to identifying issues and developing solutions. To this end, outcomes will no longer be recorded as ‘breach’ or ‘no breach’, but as ‘standards of care met’ or ‘standards of care not met’.  The department will not record persons responsible in standard of care review outcomes.
  • A new form will be introduced to record standard of care reviews (Standard of care review report), to reflect the new procedures. The form will be attached to a ‘Matter of concern’ event in ICMS.
  • When the outcome is standards not met for a carer, the placement agreement for the child must be reviewed. When the outcome is standards not met for a care service, follow up actions will be recorded in an action plan within the Standard of care review report, or attached to the report.
  • Matter of concern – notifications have been renamed ‘harm reports’.
  • Harm reports will be recorded when it is reasonably suspected that a child has suffered harm and the department will respond with an investigation and assessment. A harm report will not be recorded in relation to reasonable suspicion that the child is at risk of harm, as the department has a number of other responses to this, including reviewing the appropriateness of a child’s placement, current supports or reviewing a carer’s suitability.
  • There is more flexibility in who may conduct an investigation and assessment - CSSC managers are able to allocate the response to staff other than specialised investigation and assessment workers, in recognition of the fact that it does not require an assessment of whether the child is in need of protection, but whether harm has occurred and whether the placement is still an appropriate one for the child.
  • In addition, for carers, follow up actions arising from harm reports will no longer be recorded in an action plan form, but will be recorded in the placement agreement and/or foster carer agreement, as appropriate.

Resources

Amended resources

  • Information sheet for carers
  • Information sheet for children and young people
  • Practice paper: Carer support
  • Practice resource: Notifiers and mandatory notifiers

New resources:

  • Checklist for assessing a standard of care review
  • Checklist for investigating and assessing a harm report
  • Letter to care service - standard of care review outcome
  • Letter to carer - outcome of harm report
  • Letter to carer - standard of care review outcome
  • Letter to carer/staff member - advice of harm report
  • Letter to staff member - outcome of harm report
  • Practice resource: Standards of care - key concepts and definitions
  • Standard of care review report
  • Standards of care flowchart

Chapter 10.  General procedures

10.1 Decision-making about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children 

  • 1. Determine whether a matter is a ‘significant decision’ has been updated to include new terminology in relation to responses to standard of care issues.    

10.4 Providing Adoption Services

  • Amendments through out the chapter to reflect the correct service name, Adoption Services

10.5 Recording sensitivity

  • ‘1. Determine whether a person or event is sensitive’ includes new content where a prominent member of the community or high profile cases may be classified as sensitive at the discretion of the RED or RD.
  • Amendment to the title of the ‘ICMS – Child protection participant manual’.
  • ‘4. Review the sensitivity plan’ includes reference to a carer entity
  • What if 1. What if a sensitivity plan is shared with a Youth Justice Service Centre? includes an amended reference to Youth Justice Services.

10.7 Undertake the substance testing of parents     

  • Changes made throughout to provide greater clarity about use of substance testing to inform assessment and decision-making.
  • Parental substance misuse now referred to as parental substance misuse and abuse.

10.8 Responding to self-harming behaviour

  • 1.3 Heading changed to ‘Consult with the team leader to decide the required response’
  • ‘2.2 Develop a self-harm risk management plan’ includes information about recording the self-harm risk management plan and the team leader’s verbal approval in ICMS.
  • ‘3. Review the self-harm risk management plan’ includes the minimal requirement to review the plan every three months until closed.
  • ‘3.2 Record the outcome of the review in ICMS’ includes information about recording the approval and rationale for decisions.

10.9 Responding to suicide risk behaviour

  • The chapter sections have been re-ordered. Additional information has been added to the chapter to include procedures when a suicide risk alert is generated at intake or during an investigation and assessment.
  • ‘3.1 Review the suicide risk management plan’ is an additional section providing procedures to review an immediate suicide risk management plan within two weeks. This is a new requirement.

10.12 Professional supervision

  • ‘1. Implement supervision requirements’ includes the addition of family group meeting convenors as departmental officers requiring supervision.

10.15 The role of the Child Safety After Hours Service Centre  

  • ‘1.1 Manage child protection matters’ has been amended to include TCO applications to the list of actions that may be undertaken.
  • ‘1.2 Children subject to ongoing intervention’ has been amended to include more information in relation to the ‘Foster and kinship care support line’.

10.17 Complaints management    

  • General amendments to include reference to the Senior Advisor and updates of terminology.
  • References to the Complaints manual have been removed.
  • ‘2.3 Central Complaints and Review Unit response’ has been updated to include the requirement for a request for an internal review to outline the reasons the complainant is dissatisfied with the process used to manage their complaint.
  • ‘3. Outcome and systems improvement’ has been amended to require that a complainant is provided with the opportunity to comment on, or reply to, the outcomes or finding made from the complaint process.

10.18 Interstate and New Zealand matters     

  • General amendments to update terminology, for example, reference to Court Services.
  • Minor edits to content to clarify procedural requirements and include references to the PSU as required.
  • ‘3.7 Transfer of child protection orders and proceedings’ amended to update procedural requirements for consent forms.
  • ‘Judicial transfer of an order to Queensland’ has been amended to clarify the role of the ILO.
  • ‘4. Enacting a warrant’ has been amended to include reference to warrants being enacted interstate under the Commonwealth Service and Execution of Process Act 1992 (SEPA).   

10.19 The review of child deaths     

  • A new section ‘1.1 Complete an intake’ has been included to ensure information in relation to child death information is recorded in ICMS by the CSSC, RIS  or CSAHSC.
  • ‘2.2 Detailed review’ has been amended to remove references to external reviewers.
  • ‘3.1 Provision of final report to staff and dissemination of review learnings’ has been amended to include specific reference to de-identified copies of the report being provided to, the Director, Child Protection Development, to inform practice development as appropriate and  the Director, Organisation and Workforce Development (Child Safety and Communities Training Unit) for use in learning and development as required.
  • ‘3.4 Development of an action plan’ amended to remove reference to providing ongoing progress reports in relation to action plan recommendations.

10.20 Victims of crime and the role of Victim Assist Queensland

  • ‘3.2 Consult with Legal Services’ has been amended to provide additional information in relation to contacting Legal Services for advice prior to making an application for a child, or advising a parent or guardian to make an application to Victim Assist Queensland, and contacting Legal Services when a child has experienced sexual abuse while placed in out-of-home care, to determine if the child may be eligible and should be referred to Victim Assist Queensland.

10.21 Family courts       

  • Inclusion of a new ‘Standard’ (5.) requiring staff to make efforts to avoid multiple proceedings running in concurrent jurisdictions, and by the one court, that is the court that is most appropriate in the circumstances (the ‘one court principle’).
  • General amendments to update terminology, for example, the Federal Circuit Court of Australia and reference to Court Services.
  • ‘1.The family courts and child protection interface’ has been amended to specify that a family court application is referred to as a parenting application in the family law jurisdiction, and a family court order is referred to as a parenting order in the family law jurisdiction.
  • ‘2.1 Family consultants’ has been amended to include reference to the RIS for intake matters.
  • ‘Contact by an Independent Children’s Lawyer’ includes reference to the requirement of a subpoena to release departmental file material by the ICL to the family court, while the release of verbal information to the ICL may be undertaken in accordance with the confidentiality provisions contained within the Child Protection Act 1999, section 187(3).
  • The title ‘3.1 Official notification by family court personnel or a party to parenting proceedings (Form 4 notice)’ has been updated to reflect references to parenting orders and includes reference to the updated ‘Form 4 Notice of Child Abuse, Family Violence or Risk of Family Violence form’.
  • ‘4.1 Section 91B orders’ has been amended to include an additional circumstance where    Family courts may consider making a ‘91B order’, that is where neither parent/party to the proceedings seems likely to be in the child’s interests or may be a viable carer.
  • ‘4.1 Section 91B orders’ has also amended to include that a family court may not make a costs order against the department when the department intervenes in the proceedings following a section 91B request, and has acted in good faith, and that the department is entitled but not compelled to intervene in proceedings under section 91B.
  • ‘6.1 Intervention where there are current proceedings in a family court’ has been amended to clarify information in relation to when the department becomes a party to proceedings.
  • The section title ‘6.2 Provide intervention where a parent has a ‘lives with’ parenting’ has been updated and amendments made to clarify that if the parent with whom the child lives will not consent to not invoking their rights under the family court orders, staff are to advise the protective parent to seek legal advice regarding lodging an application to vary the order.
  • The section title ‘6.3 Provide intervention where a parent has a ‘contact’ parenting order’ has been updated and amendments made to clarify that if the parent with whom the child has contact will not consent to not invoking their contact rights under the family court orders, staff are to advise the protective parent to seek legal advice regarding lodging an application to vary the order.
  • ‘6.4 Provide intervention when a child requires ongoing protection’ has been amended to include when a parent is unable or unwilling to self-litigate in family law court matters, that the department can only seek a child protection order by presenting evidence that the safe parent cannot protect the child because of the existence of a family court order which the parent is unable or unwilling to vary.
  •  ‘2. What if a parent requests a ‘statement of position’ letter from the department?’ has been amended to advise that where the department seeks to intervene in family court proceedings, it may also be necessary for the department to file sworn evidence.
  • ‘2. What if a parent requests a ‘statement of position’ letter from the department?’ has also been updated to include additional information about parenting orders and how they relate to child protection orders, and the requirement that the provision of information to a parent who may potentially initiate family court proceedings will be made by a team leader, senior practitioner or CSSC manager, in consultation with Court Services, due to potential legal and financial implications.

10.22 International child protection matters and the Hague Child Abduction Convention        

  • Procedure amended to correct and update terminology.
  • New reference to Family Law (Child Protection Convention) Regulations 2003.
  • Legal Services is now to be contacted for some matters that were formerly the responsibilities of Court Services.
  • Amendment to include the PSU (formerly the CSSC manager) being contacted in circumstances where a placement is required under the Hague Convention.
  • New external practice resource.