Interstate requests

Follow this procedure when managing interstate requests for reports, assessments and casework.

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Introduction

This procedure applies when:

  • interstate child protection reports are made within Australia or between Australia and New Zealand
  • requests for interstate carer assessments are made or received
  • requests for interstate casework are made or received.

For transfer of child protection orders or care and protection proceedings in a children’s court, practitioners should refer to Interstate and New Zealand transfers.

Requests for interstate assessments and casework tasks are not reports under the CYFA, but are recorded in CRIS as an intake type.

In all cases, practitioners should refer to Interstate protocol.

All requests coming into Victoria come via the department’s central office coordinating interstate liaison officer (CILO).

All requests leaving Victoria go to the coordinating interstate liaison officer (CILO) in the receiving state via the divisional ILO.

Procedure

Case practitioner tasks for an interstate report

Identifying Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children who are involved with child protection in Victoria is a practice requirement.

If the reporter (or other source) does not know if a child or sibling is Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, the child's Aboriginal status should be recorded as under assessment on the client file (CRIS) and further enquiries made later.

Practitioners are to proactively ask if each child and each parent is Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander.

Where either parent identifies as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, the child is to be recorded on CRIS as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, irrespective of whether the other parent or carer identified the child as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander.

  • Consult with ACSASS where it is known or believed that the child is Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander.

    • Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency (Lakidjeka) ACSASS (entire state except for the Mallee area) - (03) 9388 2488
    • Mallee District Aboriginal Services ACSASS (Mallee area only) - 0429223833 (daytime), 0427474863 (after hours)

Case practitioner tasks for an interstate request for assessment and case work

  • Register an interstate request for assessment or casework in CRIS as an ‘Intake – interstate request’ upon allocation from your team manager.
  • Ensure the acceptance letter (template available from the divisional ILO) is completed and signed by the team manager. Provide the letter to the divisional ILO to give to the ILO in the requesting state department.
  • Complete the assessment within six to eight weeks unless special circumstances exist. If an assessment cannot be completed within this timeframe, any costs are to be borne by child protection in Victoria.
  • Complete agreed tasks and provide advice to the interstate department about the outcome of the request. The case remains in intake while these activities are undertaken.

Case practitioner tasks for making an interstate request

  • Consult your supervisor to determine whether:
    • an interstate alert is required (if the interstate address of the child is unknown and a Centrelink check has been undertaken)
    • an interstate report is required (if the interstate address is known)
    • any other action is required.
  • Liaise with the divisional ILO to confirm that correct action is being undertaken and to activate endorsed actions.
  • If an interstate alert is required:
    • ask the divisional ILO to undertake a Centrelink check to verify the last known address for the child/family
    • complete the alert notification form and provide it to the divisional ILO to give to the departments in the other jurisdictions.
  • If an interstate report is required:
    • complete the interstate report form and provide it to the divisional ILO to give to the departments in the other jurisdictions.

Case practitioner tasks for requests by DHHS to another state for an interstate carer assessment or casework

  • Liaise with the divisional ILO about the request process and required case information.
  • The assessment will be completed within six to eight weeks unless special circumstances exist. If the assessment cannot be completed within this timeframe, any costs are to be borne by the department in the other jurisdiction.
  • If an assessment must be completed within four weeks, the matter may be subcontracted at the expense of the state making the request. This will only be done with the practitioner's knowledge and consent. You must seek your team manager's approval for payment before proceeding with the assessment.

CILO tasks

  • Allocate interstate requests for reports, assessment and casework to the relevant divisional ILO for action.

Divisional ILO tasks

  • Allocate interstate requests for reports, assessment and casework to the relevant team manager.
  • Provide template acceptance letters to practitioners on request.  These are available in Interstate transfers and requests forms.
  • Forward acceptance letters after they are signed by a team manager to the relevant coordinating ILO in the other jurisdiction.
  • If an assessment must be completed within four weeks, the matter may be subcontracted at the expense of the state making the request. Provide the ILO in the requesting state department a list of private assessors who would be able to complete the assessment. The interstate department will make the necessary arrangements.
  • Undertake a Centrelink check to verify the last known address for a child/family when required to do so in order to lodge an interstate alert.
  • Forward interstate alerts and reports to CILOs in other jurisdictions when required.

Supervisor tasks

  • Provide ongoing supervision and consultation.

Team manager tasks

  • Allocate interstate requests to practitioners on receipt of a request from your divisional ILO.
  • Endorse key decisions including:
    • classification of reports
    • acceptance of incoming interstate requests
    • priority and urgency of protection intervention reports
    • outcome of actions taken.
  • Approve payment for interstate assessments that are required to be undertaken in less than four weeks.
  • Sign relevant acceptance letter for incoming interstate requests.
  • Transfer cases to other teams.
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