See Receiving, registering and classifying a report for procedures that must be undertaken.
This advice provides additional information about recording intake outcomes in CRIS for:
- intake via report
- intake via conciliation counselling (irreconcilable differences)
- intake via court report request.
For information relating to all other intake type outcomes (listed below) as recorded on CRIS, refer to the specific procedure listed.
Intake is the phase through which new work to child protection flows (including re-reports and new allegations regarding previously reported children). At the end of the intake phase a decision must be made to either close the report or move it to the investigation phase.
CRIS has several outcome options for intake reports.
- insufficient information – no further action - close
- child and/or family concerns – advice or information - close
- significant concerns for the wellbeing of a child – refer to Child FIRST - close (see note below for specific requirements)
- child assessment requirement - move to investigation.
This classification should only be used where there is insufficient information to take any action, such as making enquiries to establish the identity or address of the child, and therefore cannot be classified in any other way.
If the reporter will not disclose the identity or address of the child or does not have these details, the practitioner may only be able to offer advice as to services that may be appropriate to support and assist the family and protect the child.
In situations where the reporter will not disclose the identity of the family or child, it is important to remind the person of their legal protection as the reporter and to encourage them divulge the identifying information if known. If the reporter will not divulge the information or does not have the information, child protection may not be able to investigate. Investigation may be possible on the basis of partial identifying information and where possible should always be undertaken if it is assessed that the child is at significant risk. For cases classified as ‘insufficient information,’ an intake risk assessment is not required.
Where the reporter held significant concern for a child's wellbeing or believed a child was in need of protection but, following consideration of the information they provided and any Victorian child protection history, and in consultation with a supervisor, it is assessed that the reported issues do not meet the threshold for further action of any kind by child protection, the report should be identified as requiring no further action on the day of intake and classified as a wellbeing report – advice to reporter only. No intake risk assessment is required.
If, following further seeking, sorting and storing information in the essential information categories, the intake practitioner, in consultation with a supervisor, has assessed that the concerns and needs of the family can be managed in the community and do not require any other statutory response, the intake practitioner may make a referral to Child FIRST, family services or a service agency (as defined in s. 3 CYFA) where this is warranted.
A senior child protection practitioner (community based) needs to be informed in instances where enhanced referrals are to be made to Child FIRST and The Orange Door.
This decision is ordinarily reached when there is significant concern for the wellbeing of the child but:
- it has been assessed that there is a lower level of presenting issues and involvement of community supports would be helpful to the family although not critical; and
- consultation with existing services and supports confirms this is an appropriate response.
Any referral made to Child FIRST/The Orange Door in this category is not contingent on allocation to a family service and thus the report may be closed at the time of referral (once Child Protection has received confirmation that the referral has been received, such as a read receipt or return email).
An intake risk assessment is required to determine the consequence of harm and probability of harm judgement and decision to refer to family services.
If the intake practitioner, in consultation with a supervisor, has assessed that the concerns and needs of the family are complex and require an enhanced approach via services and supports or specialised services, then the report will be referred to Child FIRST, family services or a service agency (as defined in s. 3 CYFA).
This decision is ordinarily reached when following an intake risk assessment when:
- there is significant concern for the wellbeing of the child, the consequence of harm is assessed as concerning or significant and the probability of harm is likely; and
- the concerns about harm or likely harm to the child's safety, stability and development is significant; but
- the involvement of community supports is assessed as the most appropriate action to address the concerns and prevent further involvement by child protection; and
- it may have been assessed that the family have a willingness and capacity to engage with services.
A senior child protection practitioner (community based) needs to be consulted in instances where referrals are to be made to Child FIRST and family services.
Any referral made to Child FIRST or family services under this category is contingent on allocation (within Child FIRST/family services) and thus the report is to remain open until the referral has been accepted by Child FIRST or family services or other action has been taken. Child FIRST or family services are required to provide a decision in writing on whether the referral is accepted within five working days of the referral being received from child protection.
The intake risk assessment can be generated in CRIS and included in the Child FIRST referral.
If, at the end of the intake action the intake risk assessment decision is that the report requires investigation, the intake risk assessment and decision must be endorsed prior to transferring to another child protection work unit.
The case will be moved to the investigation and assessment phase and may be transferred to another child protection work unit. The decision to classify a report as a protective intervention report should be made in a timely way, and any transfer for investigation should occur at the earliest possible time and within the key performance indicator (KPI) timeframes.
The key performance indicator (KPI) for matters requiring an urgent response is two days. The KPI for matters requiring a non-urgent response is 14 days.
CRIS requires that the intake phase be completed within 14 days. That is, the case must be moved to closure phase or investigation and assessment phase. A workflow message will be generated for the intake team manager to this effect. Where a case continues in intake phase for more than 14 days, a rationale is required to be recorded on the client file. A worklist message will be generated for the intake team manager to this effect.