Closure phase - advice

This advice provides additional information regarding the definition and purpose of the closure phase.

Introduction

See procedure Closing a case for tasks that must be undertaken.

The five phases of the statutory child protection process are intake, investigation, protective intervention, protection order and case closure.

Definition

Case closure is the last phase of child protection involvement with a child and family and is an active phase in itself, involving casework actions and tasks as well as administrative tasks. The decision to close a case can be made for a variety of reasons:

  • the reported concerns did not constitute a protective intervention report, and intake tasks have been completed
  • the family are refusing to engage with child protection in the conduct of an investigation and there is insufficient evidence to apply for a TAO or s. 241 warrant
  • a temporary assessment order (TAO) has been granted and the outcome of the assessment is that no further child protection involvement is warranted
  • the family’s whereabouts are or have become unknown
  • the reported concerns were not substantiated
  • the protective concerns have been addressed and sufficient safety can be provided by parents without support beyond that available from universal services, or with support from a community service or other service agency
  • a protection application has been dismissed or an order that the department does not administer has been made
  • a review of an order has identified that the order is no longer required and the child and parents agree to the order ending
  • an order is nearing expiry and the protective concerns have been addressed (noting the case will be closed after the order has ended)
  • an order has ended or been revoked and no other order has been made
  • the child is moving interstate or overseas
  • the child attains 18 years, marries, or dies.

The closure phase begins when the decision is made to close the case. A phase outcome that will move the case to closure phase is then recorded in CRIS. A case can be moved to closure phase from any of the preceding phases: intake, investigation, protective intervention or protection order.

The outcome codes that will move a case to closure phase are as follows:

  • Intake phase
    • Advice/Information to child/family
    • Advice/Information to Reporter
    • Inappropriate Report – no action necessary
    • Insufficient info – no action possible
  • Investigation phase:
    • No Further Action Required
    • Significant concern for wellbeing of child – refer for service
  • Protective intervention phase:
    • no further action required.
  • Protection order phase:
    • move to closure.

Purpose

In this phase the purpose of the work undertaken is to:

  • ensure linkages and collaborative community plans have been developed and are operational so as to further protect the child, promote their development and strengthen families
  • terminate child protection involvement with a child and family in a timely and appropriate manner
  • ensure all final casework actions and tasks are completed.

Related procedures

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