Transfers to and from the AHCPES

Follow this procedure when transferring cases between divisions and AHCPES.

Introduction

Transfers between the After Hours Child Protection Emergency Service (AHCPES) and divisions are made in accordance with the After Hours Child Protection Emergency Service (AHCPES) – protocol.

Each morning, CRIS sends an automated email to intake team managers regarding any new reports and divisional practitioners and their supervisors an email regarding any contact regarding existing cases.

For additional information see AHCPES case transfers - advice.

Procedure

AHCPES practitioner tasks

Transfer from AHCPES to divisions

  • Place any new report on the division’s transfer list.
  • Phone divisional offices with details of complex, urgent or court matters. The decision to phone divisional offices will be made by AHCPES or at the request of a divisional worker.
  • If you initiated court action:
    • prepare necessary legal documentation
    • ensure case notes outline the reasons for the action taken and legal grounds for a protection application or breach
    • brief the AHCPES court officer to attend
    • complete relevant CRIS recording
    • liaise with divisional staff regarding recommendations to the Court.

In cases where the child is an existing child protection client the division will have final decision-making responsibility regarding recommendations to the Court. The divisional practitioner should, unless otherwise negotiated, attend the court hearing.

For new reports AHCPES will have final decision-making responsibility regarding recommendations to the Court, including orders and conditions sought. Ordinarily, a divisional practitioner will also attend the initial hearing concerning new reports.

  • Be available to attend subsequent court hearings to give evidence if required. Attendance must be negotiated with the AHCPES team manager.
  • Negotiate with divisional staff regarding transportation of a child to court for new and existing clients or make arrangements for the child to give instructions to their legal representative should they choose not to attend court.

AHCPES team manager tasks

  • Consider requests for transfer to AHCPES with regard to the After Hours Child Protection Emergency Service (AHCPES) – protocol.
  • Provide an outreach service only if:
    • a child is at immediate risk
    • the situation cannot wait for a divisional response the following day
    • other methods of intervention, such as phone counselling, have been unsuccessful.

Divisional case practitioner tasks

Transfer from AHCPES to divisions

  • Confirm receipt of automated email indicating contact with AHCPES.
  • Negotiate with AHCPES staff regarding transportation of a child to court for new and existing clients or make arrangements for the child to give instructions to their legal representative should they choose not to attend court.

Divisional team manager tasks

  • Provide at least five days notice to any AHCPES practitioner required to give evidence at a court hearing via a request to the AHCPES team manager.

Transfer from AHCPES to divisions

  • Ensure practitioners confirm receipt of automated email indicating contact with AHCPES.
  • Accept a case placed on the divisional transfer list by AHCPES.

Case management becomes the responsibility of the relevant divisional child protection office on the next working day.

  • If there is a dispute about which division should have case responsibility for a new report, commence any necessary investigation or contact with children and families while the dispute is being resolved.

Transfer from divisions to AHCPES

A division may request a transfer to AHCPES in response to information received late in the day (after 4.30 pm) when urgent action is required. 

  • Request a transfer to AHCPES (via the AHCPES team manager) in relation to a new report, a re-report regarding a previous client, a new allegation regarding an existing client, or an existing client in crisis only if:
    • other methods of intervention (such as phone counselling) have been unsuccessful or are inappropriate
    • the situation cannot safely be left until the next working day, and
    • the situation cannot be managed within core business hours (7 am–7 pm) by the division.
  • Request a transfer to AHCPES if there is current activity in a case that may result in AHCPES being contacted by a third party (for example, if a child is currently being assessed by a mental health service, or police have been asked by the division to attend at an address, or execute a warrant).

When considering a request for a response by AHCPES, take into account that it is preferable in most situations for a divisional practitioner who is known to the client or family to respond in the first instance.

It is not appropriate for AHCPES to become involved during a crisis where divisional practitioners are already involved. Generally, AHCPES will not accept a handover once a divisional visit or intervention has already commenced.

  • Ensure CRIS case notes are up to date including a summary of the current situation.

Request for AHCPES to execute a warrant

  • Request the AHCPES team manager to execute a warrant when the situation requires that a warrant be executed outside normal business hours. The warrant must be obtained by the division prior to execution by AHCPES.

Placement agency on-call service tasks when placements breakdown

  • Manage tasks associated with a placement breakdown.
  • Liaise with AHCPES if necessary or to seek access to appropriate placement services. AHCPES may provide a telephone response or a coordination role.
1