This advice provides additional information about the function and purpose of the intake phase.
Document ID number 2004, version 4, 20 November 2021.
See Intake for policies and procedures related to this phase, and for actions that must be taken.
The intake phase commences with a report and concludes when the report is transferred for investigation or closed with or without the provision of advice or referral.
Intake involves receiving reports and determining the appropriate response, providing advice to reporters, helping children and families access support services and where appropriate making referrals.
Intake receives the following reports under the CYFA:
- report of significant concern about the wellbeing of a child (s. 28)
- report of a child in need of protection (s. 183)
- report about an unborn child (s. 29)
- report of a child in need of therapeutic treatment (s. 185)
- report or information that each permanent carer parent of a child subject to a permanent care order has died (s 325A). See procedure - Intake to manage a permanent care order.
At intake, child protection also receives and records reports and requests for assessments from interstate and New Zealand child protection programs, overseas statutory authorities via Legal Services (Hague Convention), Centrelink regarding youth homelessness, the Family Law Courts regarding children in need of protection, and applications for conciliation counselling (s. 260, CYFA).
As in all phases, the SAFER children framework is applied to intake practice activities.
The intake practitioner’s responsibilities include:
- engaging the reporter
- providing clear and accurate information regarding the child protection role and processes
- seeking and clarifying information from the reporter regarding:
- the nature and seriousness of their concerns
- the child and family, including identifying details and culture, including whether the child is Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander. Refer to Identifying Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children - for child protection practitioners (pdf, 68.5 KB).
- factors that would assist in planning an investigation, should this be required
- completing a search on the CRIS to see if there have been previous reports about the child, siblings, or the parents (when they were children).
- opening an electronic file or case (and if necessary paper file) to record in detail the report, consultations and assessments
- reviewing previous child protection involvements, including risk assessments, case plans, MARAM risk ratings, to inform the current intake risk assessment.
- completing an L17 portal search, where required, to understand pattern and history around police involvement relating to family violence.
- seeking and clarifying information from other agencies, services or professionals who may be involved with the family to corroborate or gather further information regarding the concerns identified in the report
- consulting with ACSASS where the child is Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
- attending or convening an intake case conference, where required and appropriate
- formulating an intake risk assessment, including the MARAM risk assessment and risk rating where required, based on all information sought and available
- determining the intake outcome decision and classifying the report, in consultation with the team manager
- completing the intake phase and
- making referrals to relevant services such as Child FIRST or the Orange Door as appropriate, where the case is to be closed
- advising professional reporters of the outcome of the report
- closing the case where required.
While Child Protection receives and responds to reports regarding significant concerns for a child’s wellbeing or the wellbeing of an unborn child after that child’s birth, the CYFA also enables Child FIRST to receive and respond to referrals regarding significant concerns for a child’s wellbeing or the wellbeing of an unborn child when that child is born.
If Child FIRST receives a referral where it considers the child may be in need of protection it must report the matter to child protection.