Substantiation judgement matrix

This matrix provides guidance to child protection practitioners when making a substantiation decision, including corresponding actions.

Substantiation judgement table

Substantiation Judgement

Substantiation decision

Action

There is no evidence of significant concerns for the safety, wellbeing and development of the child (including cumulative harm).

Not substantiated.

Provide information and advice as appropriate to the circumstances and close.

There is no evidence of significant concerns for the safety, wellbeing and development of the child (including cumulative harm, however, there is evidence of significant concerns for the wellbeing of the child.

 

 

Not substantiated.

While parents are willing and able to take every reasonable decision and action necessary to protect the child from harm and promote their safety, wellbeing and development there is a significant concern for wellbeing requiring a referral to Child First.

Refer to Child First or to a service as appropriate to the circumstances.

There is evidence that the child has suffered significant harm to their safety, wellbeing and development (including cumulative harm).

Substantiated.

Parents are now willing and able to take every reasonable decision and action necessary to protect the child from harm and promote their safety, wellbeing and development but require additional support.

Develop and endorse a case plan and refer to Child First or to a service as appropriate to the circumstances and close.

There is evidence that the child has suffered significant harm to their safety, wellbeing and development (including cumulative harm).

Substantiated.

There is not yet a sufficient basis to determine parental capacity and the future likelihood and consequences of harm; AND/OR

The parent(s) have demonstrated some capacity/willingness to ensure the child’s safety, wellbeing and development and it is assessed that further protective intervention may resolve protective concerns, without the need for court intervention.

Develop a case plan for the child and give the child and family the widest possible assistance to assess whether further statutory intervention is required to protect the child from harm and promote their safety, wellbeing and development in the future.

Past or current harm to the child cannot be confirmed, but there are clear indicators of significant risk to the child, based on substantiated harm to siblings, family and protective history and parents current presentation.

Substantiated.

The parent(s) have demonstrated some capacity or willingness to ensure the child’s safety, wellbeing and development, and it is assessed that further protective intervention may resolve protective concerns, without the need for court intervention.

Develop a case plan for the child and provide the widest possible assistance to the child and family and assess whether further statutory intervention is required to protect the child from harm, and promote their safety, wellbeing and development in the future.

There is evidence that the child has suffered significant harm to their safety, wellbeing and development (including cumulative harm).

Substantiated.

There is evidence that the child is at risk, or is likely to be at risk of future significant harm; AND

The parents have not or are unlikely to take every reasonable decision and action necessary to protect the child from harm. The child is in need of protection.

Protection application issued. Develop a case plan for the child and include in the disposition report for the Court.

Past and current harm to the child cannot be confirmed, but there are clear indicators of significant risk to the child, based on substantiated harm to siblings, family and protective history and parents current presentation.

Substantiated.

There is evidence that the child is likely to be at risk of future significant harm and the parents are unlikely to take every reasonable decision or action necessary to protect the child from harm. The child is in need of protection.

Protection application issued. Develop a case plan for the child and include in the disposition report for the Court.

1