High-risk panels and schedules

Follow this procedure when it has been decided a high-risk client needs to be placed on the high-risk schedule or presented to the high-risk panel.

Introduction

High-risk schedules and panels assist with identification of vulnerable clients, decision-making, service integration and case planning.

Each division maintains local arrangements to identify the highest-risk infants (aged less than two years) and young people (generally aged 12 years and over, but sometimes as young as 10 years) within the divisional child protection program to ensure that:

  • each high-risk infant or young person has an effective multiservice case plan and care team
  • intervention and risk management are reviewed by a high-risk panel and documented by a senior manager at CPP6 level.

The decision to place a client on or remove a client from the high-risk schedule is made by the chair of the high-risk panel (CPP6) in consultation with the panel.

If an infant registered on the high-risk infant schedule turns two years and is assessed as still meeting the criteria of high-risk, they may remain on the high-risk schedule until planning and intervention has achieved sufficient safety to support their removal from the schedule.

The high-risk panel meets monthly or more often. It is chaired by the child protection operations manager or their delegate at CPP6 level. Records are provided to the Director, Child Protection.

For additional information see High-risk panels and schedules - advice.

Procedure

Case practitioner tasks

  • Consult your supervisor to determine if an infant aged less than two years or a young person aged 12 years or older should be placed on the high-risk schedule. In exceptional circumstances, children under the age of 12 years may be placed on the schedule when they display indicators typical of high-risk youth.
  • Ensure that the care team for all high-risk clients meets at least monthly.
    • The care team supports and oversees the day-to-day administration of the case plan and is a forum for consolidation of the multiservice view of the client.
    • The care team provides the platform for reporting to the high-risk panel.
  • Communicate with the CSO case manager, if case management is contracted, identifying actions and responsibilities and support the CSO case manager to report to the high-risk panel.
  • If the child is Aboriginal, invite ACSASS to the care team and high-risk panel meetings.
  • Create a detailed record for each child in CRIS, including using the high-risk schedule function (located in the planning section within the case practice component in CRIS). Record a child on the high-risk register as:
    • ‘acute’ – the highest risk and most vulnerable clients. All clients identified as acute must be discussed individually at each high-risk panel meeting
    • ‘high-risk’ or ‘maintenance’.
  • Enter a rationale on CRIS when moving clients on or off the schedule or changing the categorisation of risk level.
  • Enter a ‘high-risk alert’ in CRIS (from the 360 degree view page) for a client on the high-risk schedule.
  • Ensure that only the relevant part of the high-risk panel minutes relating to each client is placed on the respective client file. Do not upload the minutes in their entirety to CRIS.

Supervisor tasks

  • Provide ongoing supervision and consultation.
  • Focus on the immediate circumstances and direction of the case and the level of support available.
  • Proactively manage issues of vicarious trauma.
  • Make formal debriefing available to the practitioner whenever appropriate or requested.
  • Consider consultation with a practice leader or principal practitioner.
  • Ensure that only the relevant part of the high-risk panel minutes relating to each client is placed on the respective client file. Do not upload the minutes in their entirety to CRIS.

Director Child Protection tasks

  • Establish and maintain multisector high-risk panels with coverage of each divisional area.
  • Develop processes to identify and refer clients for registration on the high-risk schedule. 
  • The composition of panels will be determined at a divisional or area level as relevant to the client group and local service arrangements. Panels are chaired by the child protection operations manager or a senior practitioner at CPP6 level.
  • Take into consideration service delivery catchments, including case management service providers.
  • High-risk schedule panels should generally include, where appropriate:
    • child protection practitioner and team manager responsible for the registered client
    • youth justice
    • disability services
    • out-of-home care and case management services
    • mental health services 
    • drug and alcohol and other drugs treatment services
    • therapeutic treatment services
    • infant health services
    • ACSASS
    • Department of Education and Training
    • other programs or professionals as appropriate: such services may include Victoria Police, Secure Welfare Services, AHCPES, adult mental health services, adolescent/paediatric specialists - if a service has a relationship with a specific client or family, it may be appropriate for them to attend a care team meeting or other case planning forum.  
  • Monitor the operations of the high-risk panel and schedule and make sure they meet no less than monthly.

High-risk panel chair tasks

  • Determine whether to register clients on the high-risk schedule. Clients can be registered as required.
  • Seek endorsement of the child protection operations manager if removing a client from the high-risk schedule between panel meetings.
  • Convene the high-risk panel no less than monthly.
  • Ensure that each client categorised as ‘acute’ is discussed at the high-risk panel meeting.
  • Provide each member of the high-risk panel with the Privacy Statement for members of high-risk panels and written authorisation.
  • Ensure minutes are taken at each meeting that record decisions made. Endorse and distribute minutes to panel members, the Director Child Protection and Assistant Director Child Protection within two business days.
  • Provide a monthly report of the high-risk schedule to the Director Child Protection and Assistant Director Child Protection.

Child protection operations manager tasks

  • Endorse recommendations from the chair of the high-risk panel to remove a client from the high-risk schedule between panel meetings.
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