See procedure Decision on outcome of investigation for tasks that must be undertaken.
The protective investigation and assessment phase continues until a determination regarding substantiation can be made as per the provisions of s. 162, CYFA.
At the conclusion of the protective investigation, the practitioner completes a risk assessment to determine the consequence and likelihood of harm and in consultation with their team manager or more senior manager must determine whether significant harm to the child's safety or development is substantiated or not substantiated.
Possible outcomes of the investigation are:
- The protective concerns are not substantiated and the case is closed.
- The protective concerns are substantiated but were addressed prior to child protection involvement. In these instances the case will be substantiated and closed. The permanency objective will be family preservation and the case plan will constitute the closure plan and may make reference to services and supports as appropriate to the circumstances. An actions table will document the goals and tasks required to implement the case plan.
- The protective concerns are substantiated and protective intervention can occur by agreement. In these cases the permanency objective will be family preservation. The case plan will identify the protective concerns that need to be addressed, other significant decisions made by child protection concerning the child, and a review date. An actions table may be prepared to support the full understanding of the goals and tasks to implement the closure plan.
- The protective concerns are substantiated and the parents have not, or are unlikely to protect the child from harm and a protection application is issued. In these cases the permanency objective will depend on the circumstances and a case plan will be prepared while the matter is before the Court. See Investigation outcomes - advice.