Child Protection and digital platforms
This advice provides information on the digital platforms accessed by Child Protection and describes their purpose.
Document ID number 3075, version 1, 11 May 2022.
There are several digital platforms accessible to Child Protection to support their work with children and families and fulfil the statutory responsibilities of the program under the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005.
An overview of each platform is outlined below and provides links to further information and tasks related to the access and specific use of each platform for Child Protection.
Child protection practitioners are expected to use these platforms, as required, in their daily work. The use of each platform will be determined by the requirements of the phase of Child Protection intervention and in some circumstances, the order the child is subject to, and whether the order places the child in care.
Other roles in the department, such as central operational and policy roles, Kinship Engagement Workers and Permanent Care Workers, have access to the some of the platforms to support the role and function of the Child Protection program.
Client Relationship Information System (CRIS)
The Client Relationship Information System (CRIS) is the client information and case management system for the Child Protection program used by staff on a daily basis to record information about the client and is part of the integrated client case management systems for the department. Although CRIS is used by other program areas such as the Refugee Minor Program, this advice pertains only to the use of CRIS by Child Protection.
CRIS is used to create and maintain client records in relation to the specific interventions provided by the department, this can include but is not limited to:
- Create, sort and search case notes
- Create and generate client risk assessments
- Create and generate client plans and reports
- Create Court Reports
- Provide alerts about clients.
CRIS training is provided to all new practitioners entering the Child Protection program in relation to the use of CRIS and there is a ‘sandbox environment’ which allows an individual to practice using the system without affecting real data
CRIS guides also exist to assist practitioners in their practice and use of CRIS and can be found on the Child Protection manual.
The data in CRIS is protected with extensive security in place. All access of client records is monitored and may be subject to audit.
L17 Family Violence portal
The L17 Family Violence Portal (L17 portal or the Portal) is a web-based system that receives Victoria Police L17 family violence forms and sends them to prescribed agencies including Child Protection. This enables the Portal to be 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 contains historical L17 records dating back to 1 August 2004. Child Protection can search the Portal, the search function relates to the child’s parents or other relevant family members. Historical search functions can only be performed when there is a new report or new allegation of harm made to child protection.
Key links to information on the Child Protection manual on the L17 portal include:
Connect for Safety
Connect for Safety is an electronic platform that allows Child Protection practitioners to quickly identify whether any Child Protection information exists for a child, young person, or an adult related to them in any jurisdictional Child Protection program across Australia.
Connect for Safety will not display the full record held by another jurisdiction. It shows biographical information, and indigenous status, about children, young people, their family and persons known to them.
Connect for Safety allows practitioners to quickly establish whether a child or one of their family members has a Child Protection history in another state or territory. The objective of Connect for Safety is to improve the accuracy and speed of information exchange between jurisdictions with the aim to:
- minimise the number of child deaths where families known to Child Protection systems have crossed state and territory borders, and
- improve long-term outcomes for vulnerable children and young people whose families are known to more than one jurisdiction.
Mandatory training must be completed prior to accessing the platform and access to this training is through the Learning Management System in the Our People platform, and access is only available to Child Protection practitioners at a CPP3-6 level and Executive Officer can access child link if access is required in the course of their role and training has been completed.
Connect for Safety aligns with Strategy 3 of the Third Action Plan under the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009-2020 (National Framework) and recommendations 8.6, 8.7, 8.8 and 8.22 of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (Royal Commission), which called on governments to establish more efficient ways to share information across jurisdictional borders to better protect Australia’s children.
Child Link is a Victorian web-based platform that displays information about a child to authorised key professionals who have responsibility for child wellbeing and safety. Child Link will show limited but critical information, such as a child’s participation in key early childhood and education services, maternal child health and if they are, or have been, subject to a protection order. This information relates to Victoria only.
Mandatory training must be completed prior to accessing the platform.
In the department, Child Protection is the main user of the platform however other departmental staff in roles that support the Child protection program, e.g., central operational staff may access the platform.
For tasks associated with Child Link, see Child Link – procedure.
My Health Record
My Health Record is an online summary of an individual’s key health information. Records can be viewed securely online at any time and are personally controlled.
The role of Child Protection in relation to My Health Records varies and is dependent on the Children’s Court order the child is subject to. Full information can be found in the table at the following link - How Child Protection interacts with my Health Records.
The department can only access a child’s My Health Record when the child is in court ordered care and the Secretary has either parental responsibility for, or care of the child as defined by the My Health Records Act 2012 (Cth) and the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 (CYFA).
There is a training package on the department’s learning management system to support practitioners in their use of My Health Record. Only Child Protection practitioners have access to the platform.
Further information on My Health Record can be found on the Child Protection manual at the following links:
Considerations for good practice
Child protection practitioners and other departmental staff are expected to use digital platforms (many of which are not owned by the department) as required to do so in the course of their role. Each platform is governed by strict legislation and policy that outlines who can use it, the purpose of use and what can be done with the information obtained from the platform.
Departmental staff should never provide their log in details to any other individual, nor allow another individual to access a platform once a user has signed into the platform.
The owner of each platform can and will conduct routine auditing of individuals access to the platform in order to identify security risks, 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.
Any unauthorised access or inappropriate use (such as accessing profiles that are not relevant to the work of the practitioner) may lead to disciplinary action both internal and external to the department, depending on the nature of the breach and the platform the breach occurred on.
Should Child Protection practitioners have any questions about a digital platform, they should refer to the relevant practice or policy advice specific to that platform for further information.
Access to Connect for Safety, My Health Record and Child Link will be embedded into CRIS and will allow staff to access the additional platforms without leaving CRIS to support the efficiency of use.
- CRIS Sandbox
- CRIS guides
- L17 family violence portal - advice
- Connect for Safety Child Protection record search - advice
- Connect for Safety SharePoint site
- Child Link - policy
- Child Link - advice
- Child Link website
- How Child Protection interacts with My Health Record
- My Health Record and children in out-of-home care policy
- My Health Record and Child Protection - advice