Completing the investigation following the first visit

Follow this procedure when completing the investigation after the first visit.

Introduction

After the first visit, the child protection practitioner continues to gather information from the family and other sources to:

  • clarify and corroborate information gathered in the first visit (and from other sources)
  • inform the investigation outcome in no concerns have yet been substantiated
  • complete investigation of outstanding areas of concern if some concerns were substantiated at the first visit.

Information gathering is based on the Best interests case practice model and relates to:

  • child safety
  • child development and wellbeing
  • parent/carer capability
  • family composition and dynamics
  • social and economic environment
  • community partnerships, resources and social networks.

Procedure

Case practitioner tasks

  • Review the investigation plan and:
    • identify incomplete information and additional actions needed to complete investigation of all areas of concern
    • obtain supervisor approval of the updated investigation plan, including when this is occurring alongside actions to implement a case plan.
  • Undertake further contact with the child and parents as per the investigation plan.
  • Contact other people as per the investigation plan and:
    • provide your name and contact details (and where appropriate or requested those of your supervisor)
    • explain your role and that information requested is for the purpose of investigating a report and that information may be included in a report to the Children’s Court
    • explain child protection confidentiality, disclosure and privacy processes.

You cannot disclose the identity of anyone who provides information except where a Children's Court or VCAT orders it, or with the person’s written consent.

Information provided during an investigation does not expose the information-giver to legal liability.

  • Authorise the person to receive information regarding the child protection investigation (if they are not already an authorised information holder).
  • Clarify the relationship the person has with the child and family, including their last contact, and obtain relevant information.
  • Inform the person that information relating to child protection involvement is not to be disclosed, other than when required in the best interests of the child.
  • Unless already undertaken during the first visit, ask parents if there are any existing or past court orders that may have implications for the child. If the parents state that there are existing orders, ask to see these orders and, if possible, obtain a copy for the child’s file.
  • If the parents are unable or unwilling to provide a copy of the alleged order, endeavour to verify the existence and content of the order by:
    • In the case of a Family Court order, contact the Family Court registry to seek confirmation that the order has been made, and clarify the dates and terms of the orders and any outstanding matters.
    • In the case of an intervention order, contact the registry of the court that made the order to clarify the terms, its currency and date of expiration.
    • In the case of a bail order or conditions, contact the police informant to clarify details of the order or conditions.
    • In the case of a parole order or conditions, contact the parole officer to clarify details of the order or conditions.
  • Make sure that the investigation plan actions are complete.
  • Complete CRIS requirements and record of activity, decisions and rationales.

Supervisor tasks

  • Provide ongoing supervision and consultation.
  • Approve significant decisions affecting the conduct of the investigation.  
  • Approve amendments to the investigation plan.

Team manager tasks

  • Endorse key decisions including:
    • applications to the Children’s Court. 

Additional information

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