Transfers between divisions

Follow this procedure when transferring case responsibility within or between divisions.

Procedure

Case practitioner tasks

All cases

  • Consult ACSASS for an Aboriginal child.
  • Consult your supervisor when considering a case transfer.
  • Complete the Case transfer checklist.
  • Complete a case transfer summary.
  • Ensure CRIS and paper file are up to date.
  • Address any outstanding case issues.

Transfer during intake phase

  • Establish that the report is being made to the appropriate division. A division must accept a report regarding a transient family if the family is residing in the division at the time of the report.
  • Do not transfer the case if assessment indicates it will be closed from intake.
  • Negotiate a transfer as soon as possible when assessment reveals the child resides in another area or division and the case is proceeding to investigation. Comply with mandatory two- and 14-day key performance indicators.
  • Complete the intake record. This is sufficient to facilitate a transfer at intake. Complete a case transfer summary case note, referring the receiving division to the intake record.

Transfer during investigation phase

  • Consider case transfer if the family relocates during the investigation and no protection application has been made. If the case is to be transferred, do not delay, as practitioners may have limited knowledge of immediate safety until completion of the investigation.

Transfer during protective intervention phase

If protective concerns have been substantiated a case plan will be prepared.

  • Do not transfer a case if the decision is to close the case promptly following substantiation.
  • If a case has just been substantiated and the intention is to intervene by agreement, the transferring division must at least begin a draft a case plan before transferring the case. The transferring and receiving divisions must cooperate to comply with case plan preparation policy. 

Depending on timing, either the transferring or receiving division needs to endorse the first version of the case plan and provide a copy to the child and parents within 21 days of the substantiation decision having been made.

  • At any other time in this phase, the case plan and actions table are to be current before transferring a case.
  •  If a protection application has been issued, do not transfer a case until after the first court hearing (regardless of whether there is a contest and providing there is no further court activity within ten working days).The protection and disposition reports are to be completed before transfer.
  • Advise the child and family of the transfer.

Transfer during protection order phase

  • Ensure the case plan and actions table are current before transferring a case. A case plan review is not required.
  • If no case plan exists, develop one before transferring a case. If transfer occurs immediately after the granting of a new protection order, the transferring division is still responsible for the statutory case plan. Work with the receiving division to develop the case plan.
  • Advise the child and family of the transfer.
  • Do not transfer a case:
    • within 12 weeks of a scheduled annual review of the statutory case plan
    • less than 12 weeks before the scheduled expiry of the protection order
    • if an application has been or is about to be made for a revocation of the order or seeking a different order.

If a decision is subject to an internal review, the case can only be transferred if Directors or Assistant Directors Child Protection from both divisions agree the transfer is in the child’s best interests and there are appropriate arrangements to ensure exchange of information between the divisions.

Supervisor or team manager tasks

  • Decide whether a case should be transferred, taking into consideration:
    • Whether the child’s relocation is permanent or intended to be permanent (transfer should not be considered in instances where a child temporarily relocates due to issues such as placement demand).
    • The phase of intervention, as particular considerations may apply.
    • Whether transfer of casework tasks (rather than case responsibility) is a viable short-term or long-term option.
    • Whether case responsibility or casework tasks can reasonably and effectively be carried out by the area with current case management responsibility. This may be relevant when distance is manageable, continuity of service delivery is of paramount importance, intervention is time limited or case closure is imminent.
    • The merit of transferring case responsibility in relation to sibling groups (if this will result in more than one case manager) and the impact this may have on continuity and consistency of case planning.

If case responsibility is held in different areas or divisions for different siblings, consider strategies that will mitigate the risk of service fragmentation for the children and family. For example, one case planner may take a lead role in coordinating and monitoring case planning across the sibling group and conducting joint case planning meetings with the parents.

  • Contact the relevant area manager to establish which team manager to negotiate the transfer with.
  • Negotiate transfer with the relevant team manager. For high-risk cases this is to occur as a matter of urgency to ensure access to appropriate support services. Consider seeking support from a practice leader to facilitate transfer to ensure safety.
  • The team manager in the receiving team or division will accept the CRIS transfer of the case on CRIS as soon as transfer negotiation between the divisions is completed.
  • Resolve any dispute about transfers according to the following timelines:

Phase

Transfer agreed, or decision elevated to area manager level

Transfer completed

Intake

Within two hours of request

Within two days of agreement

Investigation

Protective intervention

Within two days of request

Within two days of agreement

Protection order

Within five days of request

Within five days of agreement

 

Practice leader tasks

  • If requested by a team manager, negotiate transfer of high-risk cases to ensure access to appropriate support services.

Area manager or operations manager tasks

  • Resolve disputes regarding interdivisional transfers if a disagreement has not been resolved within the timeframes above.

 

Additional information

1