Transfers between the After Hours Child Protection Emergency Service (AHCPES) and divisions are made in accordance with the After Hours Child Protection Emergency Service (AHCPES) – protocol.
Each morning, CRIS sends the following automated emails:
- To intake team managers regarding any new reports that have been received by AHCPES; and
- To divisional practitioners and their supervisors regarding contact that has occurred with AHCPES on existing cases.
AHCPES sends an email to the relevant area based email account alerting area based team managers about the transfer of a new after hours report that has required an urgent outreach visit.
Case management becomes the responsibility of the relevant child protection office on the next working day.
AHCPES tasks (can be completed by any AHCPES practitioner, Team Manager, Practice Manager or Area Operations Manager)
Transfer of new reports (no outreach visit) from AHCPES to divisional intake
- Place any new report, that has not been subject to an outreach visit on the relevant divisional intake transfer list.
- Where required, phone the relevant intake with details of complex or urgent matters. The decision to phone divisional offices will be made by AHCPES or at the request of a divisional worker.
Transfer of new reports (where an outreach visit has occurred) from AHCPES to areas
- Move the case from intake to investigation and assessment phase in CRIS.
- Place the new investigation on the relevant area based AHCPES transfer provider group.
- Alert the area management group via the relevant area-based email account about the transfer.
- If you initiated court action:
- prepare necessary legal documentation
- ensure case notes outline the reasons for the action taken and legal grounds for a protection application or breach
- brief the AHCPES court officer to attend (for metropolitan areas)
- complete relevant CRIS recording
- liaise with divisional staff regarding recommendations to the Court.
In cases where the child is an existing child protection client the division will have final decision-making responsibility regarding recommendations to the Court. The area-based practitioner should, unless otherwise negotiated, attend the court hearing.
For new reports AHCPES will have final decision-making responsibility regarding recommendations to the Court, including orders and conditions sought. Ordinarily, a divisional practitioner will also attend the initial hearing concerning new reports.
- Be available to attend subsequent court hearings to give evidence if required. Attendance must be negotiated with the AHCPES team manager.
- Negotiate with area-based staff regarding transportation of a child to court for new and existing clients or make arrangements for the child to give instructions to their legal representative should they choose not to attend court.
AHCPES team manager tasks
Consider requests for transfer to AHCPES with regard to the After Hours Child Protection Emergency Service (AHCPES) - protocol.
- Provide an outreach service only if:
- a child is at immediate risk
- the situation cannot wait for a divisional response the following day
- other methods of intervention, such as phone counselling, have been unsuccessful.
Intake team manager tasks
- Accept new cases from the transfer list by 9.30am the next business day via the prompt in the AHCPES workspace, which is required to be acknowledged by the allocated practitioner or the supervisor.
- If there is a dispute about which division should have case responsibility for a new report, commence any necessary investigation or contact with children and families while the dispute is being resolved.
Area case practitioner tasks
- Acknowledge prompt on the CRIS AHCPES workspace for existing cases where AHCPES activity has occurred.
Area Team Manager tasks (or Deputy Area Operations Manager)
- Accept new cases from the transfer list by 9.30am the next business day.
- Arrange for area-based CPP attendance at the Children’s Court for that day, for cases where legal intervention was initiated by AHCPES.
- Negotiate with AHCPES staff regarding transportation of a child to court for new and existing clients or make arrangements for the child to give instructions to their legal representative should they choose not to attend court.
- Provide at least five days’ notice to any AHCPES practitioner required to give evidence at a court hearing via a request to the AHCPES team manager.
Transfer from intake/areas to AHCPES
Intake or an area may request a transfer to AHCPES in response to information received late in the day (after 4.30 pm) when urgent action is required.
- Request a transfer to AHCPES (via the AHCPES team manager) in relation to a new report, a re-report regarding a previous client, a new allegation regarding an existing client, or an existing client in crisis only if:
- other methods of intervention (such as phone counselling) have been unsuccessful or are inappropriate,
- the situation cannot safely be left until the next working day, and
- the situation cannot be managed within core business hours (7 am–7 pm) by the division.
- Request a transfer to AHCPES if there is current activity in a case that may result in AHCPES being contacted by a third party (for example, if a child is currently being assessed by a mental health service, or police have been asked by the area to attend at an address, or execute a warrant).
When considering a request for a response by AHCPES, consider that it is preferable in most situations for an area practitioner who is known to the client or family to respond in the first instance.
It is not appropriate for AHCPES to become involved during a crisis where area practitioners are already involved. Generally, AHCPES will not accept a handover once a visit or intervention has already commenced by the area.
- Ensure CRIS case notes are up to date, including a summary of the current situation.
Request for AHCPES to execute a warrant
- Request the AHCPES team manager to execute a warrant when the situation requires that a warrant be executed outside normal business hours. The warrant must be obtained by the area prior to execution by AHCPES.
Placement agency on-call service tasks when placements breakdown
- Manage tasks associated with a placement breakdown.
- Liaise with AHCPES if necessary or to seek access to appropriate placement services. AHCPES may provide a telephone response or a coordination role.