Section 38 consultations

Follow this procedure when consulting with Child FIRST or registered family services.

Document ID number 1007, version 2, 18 April 2018.


Child and Family Information Referral and Support Teams (Child FIRST), or a registered family service, are able to consult with child protection at any time under CYFA Section 38.

The trial of Services Connect Partnerships includes staff and agencies registered as community-based child and family services and are included in this procedure.


Senior practitioner (community-based) tasks

  • Consult with Child FIRST or a registered family service when contacted by a registered family service about a child, unless the case is an open child protection case or circumstances require an immediate protection report to be made.
  • Register the consultation as a ‘s. 38 Consult’ in CRIS. Choose ‘s. 38 Consult’ from the drop down menu in the ‘Add case’ section found on the 360° page. The s. 38 consultation should provide a detailed summary of the consult including recommendations and any appropriate attachments. 
  • Close the consultation on the day you register it after all notes have been recorded.

It is important to enter all notes and close the s. 38 consultation in CRIS on the day it is registered.  If a report is received by intake or the AHCPES, they will be unable to record the report in CRIS while a s. 38 consultation is open.

  • Record each subsequent consultation as a newly created s. 38 consult. 
  • Consider whether the case should be discussed at the local catchment consultative panel.
  • Initiate a new report if the consultation raises significant concerns for a child’s safety. A s. 38 consult must be closed on CRIS before a new report can be registered.
  • If a request for information is received under the Family Violence Information Sharing Act 2017, refer to Family Violence Information Scheme decision trees and Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme for further information.