See procedure L17 Family Violence Portal Historical Search for tasks that must be undertaken.
Child protection practitioners can search the Victoria Police L17 Family Violence portal (the Portal) for historical family violence forms from August 2004.
Historical search functions can only be performed when there is a new report or new allegation of harm to child protection.
The search function relates to the child’s parents or other relevant family members.
Historical searches by child protection provide practitioners with information and evidence to add to the family violence essential information category as the historical search will provide information on perpetrator’s pattern and history of violence and information on victim survivors’ experiences of family violence.
The Portal is an electronic means for Victoria Police to make reports and referrals to Child Protection, specialist family violence services, Child FIRST, Men’s services and the Orange Door.
The Portal is a web-based system that receives Victoria Police L17 family violence forms and then sends the L17 forms to prescribed agencies including Child Protection.
For intake, the Portal provides:
- all L17’s referred to a service displayed in one list
- visibility of other services that have the same L17
- a consistent monitoring/management tool to:
- assign L17s to individual workers
- triage L17s
- keep track of actions
- an ability to edit client contact information and share information with other services for client safety
- an ability for services to copy information into their existing case management systems
- generate PDF
- refer L17 on to another service of the same type
- captures outcomes to improve planning and responses to family violence incidents.
The Portal now contains historical L17 records dating back to 1 August 2004, when the L17 family violence reports (previously known as the Victoria Police Family Violence Risk Assessment and Management form) were introduced.
Privacy considerations when accessing the L17 Family Violence Information Portal
Access to the Portal is governed by relevant state and federal government privacy legislation, including:
- Children, Youth and Families Act 2005
- Child Wellbeing and Safety Act 2005
- Family Violence Protection Act 2008
- Health Records Act 2001
- Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014
- Privacy Act 1988 (Cth).
The department may conduct routine auditing of department employees’ access to the Portal in order to identify security risks, including unauthorised access, accessing inappropriate material, misuse, viruses and prohibited or otherwise inappropriate activity. It is not necessary for the department to seek a user’s permission or otherwise further notify the user before such monitoring, auditing or reporting may occur.
The search function is logged and audited and should only be used to assist in informing the family violence risk assessment in relation to the Child Protection report.
Case note recording
The historical search is just one part of an overall risk assessment. Information gathered from the search is at a certain point in time and must not be relied upon as a single source for risk assessment.
The outcome of the historical search (including where there was no match) must be recorded in a case note. The information obtained from the historical search, as well as any other information available to Child Protection is to formulate a risk assessment and recorded in the case practice area of CRIS, in the ‘assessment’ tab.
The historical search assists Child Protection to: keep child/ren in view, hold perpetrators to account and work collaboratively with the affected family member. The historical search is critical to planning for worker safety.
The historical search is just one part of an overall risk assessment. Information gathered from the search is from a certain point in time and must not be relied upon as a single source for risk assessment. The historical search assists child protection to keep children in view, hold perpetrators to account and work collaboratively with the adult victim survivors. It is also critical to planning for worker safety.
The outcome of the historical search (including where there was no match) must be recorded in a case note.
Information in the case note must be titled clearly with the details and purpose of the search described in the document.
Case note recording example:
Case note title: L17 FV historical search outcome
Following the current report/new allegation relating to a FV incident, perpetrated by John Smith against Peggy Smith, worker undertook search on the L17 Portal to ascertain history of FV perpetrated by John Smith to form risk assessment.
OUTCOME OF SEARCH:
No match found OR
John Smith has been the respondent in 14 previous incidents in FV with (x number of) partner/s. Incidents include the use of:
Verbal abuse and threats to harm
A specific threat to kill in 2017
Physical assault in 11 of the 14 incidents, including facial fractures to the victim.
Children were present in (x number)
Previous intervention orders and or breaches
OTHER RISK FACTORS FOR PERPETRATOR IDENTIFIED ON L17S INCLUDE:
Drug and alcohol possible/likely on 6 of the 14 incidents
Multiple breaches of IVO
OTHER INFORMATION RELEVANT TO CHILD RISK ASSESSMENT:
Sam’s mother, Peggy, is the AFM in 8 of the 14 incidents where John Smith has been the perpetrator.
Peggy was noted to have had possible drug and alcohol in 4 of these incidents.
Peggy has been listed as the AFM in relation to 2 other partners (4 incidents), previously, involving physical and verbal violence.
In line with the SAFER child framework, information obtained from the historical search, as well as any other information available to Child Protection informs the risk assessment.
Information is sought about:
- the perpetrator’s pattern of coercive control, use of violence with previous partners
- the perpetrator’s pattern and history of family violence
- the frequency and nature of the violence, such as significant verbal violence, threats to kill
- the victim survivor’s previous experiences of family violence, specifically in the context of cumulative harm for the children
- previous MARAM assessments and risk ratings
- previous management plans.
Information relating to family violence concerns can be shared in line with the provisions in the Child Information Sharing Scheme (CISS) and the Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme (FVISS), which allow information to be shared without consent where appropriate (such as related to safety of a child or risk posed by a perpetrator of family violence).
In addition to the L17 portal search case note, information obtained from the L17 portal search, as well as any other info available, must also be stored in the essential information categories in CRIS.
Analysis occurs to determine how information obtained from the portal, as well as any other information such as MARAM assessments and risk ratings, may change the risk assessment. This informs judgements about increases or reductions in safety, whether changes need to be made to the safety plan, whether consultation with specialist family violence services is required and guides worker safety considerations.
Victoria Police may request from Child Protection any completed risk assessment or MARAM assessment where there is an indication of family violence.
Child Protection must provide this information to Victoria Police as soon as it is practicable in order to support Victoria Police’s application for a family violence intervention order in the Magistrates’ Court.
In these circumstances, Child Protection should request Victoria Police to advise of the outcome of their application.