New allegations

Follow this procedure when responding to a report regarding a child who is already subject to child protection involvement. 

Introduction

Reports of new allegations on open cases are treated similarly to new protective intervention reports. Within CRIS there is a separate module to record the report and as with protective intervention reports, practitioners are required to make an assessment about whether the child has or is likely to suffer significant harm and the source of that harm.

A new allegation on an open case constitutes a report under the CYFA. Reporters have the same protections as reporters of new intakes. The name of the person who made the report or any information likely to identify them must not be disclosed to anyone other than the Secretary or a community-based child and family service without the person’s written consent.

Procedure

Case practitioner tasks for new allegation (familial)

  • Register a new allegation of harm by a member of the child’s family on an open case as a ‘new allegation (familial)’ in CRIS, unless the case is in intake phase.
  • Report all allegations of sexual or physical abuse or serious neglect to the police.
  • Consult ACSASS for an Aboriginal child.
  • At intake phase – record the new allegation as a case note and include the information in your assessment.

At investigation phase

  • the new allegation is investigated concurrently with the initial report, with each area of concern identified in the report requiring assessment as to its status (such as confirmed and so on), and a substantiation decision being required. Record an outcome for both the initial report and the new allegation on CRIS.

At protective intervention or protection order phase

  • Consult your supervisor and determine next actions. If it is assessed that an investigation of the allegation is required, commence the investigation within the key performance indicator (KPI) timeframes and complete it within 28 days of the new allegation start date.
  • Record the outcome for the new allegation as:
    • 'Allegation confirmed – significant harm to child', or
    • 'Allegation not confirmed'. This decision closes the new allegation.
  • If an area of concern is confirmed:
    • decide if additional grounds are substantiated as a result
    • if an additional ground is substantiated complete the ‘Person assessed as responsible for harm’ in CRIS
    • if, in relation to an existing ground, an additional person is assessed as being responsible for harm, add them as a ‘Person assessed as responsible for harm’ in CRIS
    • review the case plan to include any new protective concerns, and any additional significant decisions concerning the child resulting from the additional concerns, and provide a copy to the child and parents within 14 days of endorsement
    • update the Actions table as required.

At closure phase

  • Consult your supervisor and determine if a child assessment is required. This should occur at the earliest possible time and within the key performance indicator (KPI) timeframes.

A new allegation outcome decision of 'Child assessment required' automatically moves the case to the investigation and assessment phase. This is a new episode of investigation and assessment. A substantiation decision can be recorded and the case moved to a further episode of protective intervention.

  • Complete CRIS requirements and record of activity, decisions and rationales.

Case practitioner tasks for new allegation (non-familial)

  • Register an allegation of harm by a carer or a community member against a current client as a ‘New allegation (non-familial)’ in CRIS.
  • Report all allegations of sexual or physical abuse or serious neglect to the police.
  • Consult ACSASS for an Aboriginal child.
  • Advise the quality of care coordinator if the child is in out-of-home care and the allegation relates to a carer. See procedure Quality of care concerns for tasks that must be undertaken.
  • Complete an Incident Report.
  • Follow procedure Sexual exploitation if you receive information that a child or young person has been sexually exploited.
  • Consult your supervisor to determine the response to an allegation of harm by a community member against a current client. Concerns must be investigated in a timely manner.

The process of responding to a new allegation of non-familial abuse is managed within the phase that the report is received. If the report is received in case closure, you do not need to move the case from this phase.

  • Record the outcome for the new allegation as either:
    • 'Allegation confirmed – significant harm to child', or
    • 'Allegation not confirmed'. This decision closes the new allegation.

The allegation is confirmed if a quality of care investigation or a child protection investigation substantiates abuse or neglect.

  • Complete CRIS requirements and record of activity, decisions and rationales.

Supervisor tasks

  • Determine how the allegation of harm should be investigated (if the allegation relates to anyone other than a carer of a child in out-of-home care).
  • If the child is in out-of-home care and the concern relates to a carer, follow procedure Quality of care concerns.
  • Ensure an Incident Report has been completed.
  • Provide ongoing supervision and support.

Team manager tasks

  • Endorse key decisions including:
    • investigation outcome
    • phase outcome
    • children’s court applications
    • move from closure to investigation phase.

Quality of care coordinator tasks

Practice leader tasks

  • Provide advice and endorse case closure decision for high-risk infants.
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