Reviewing the risk assessment


Follow this procedure when undertaking a review risk assessment in protective intervention, protection order or closure phase.

Document ID number 1808, version 1, 20 November 2021.


A risk assessment is completed during the investigation phase with the decision to substantiate or not substantiate harm.

The practice of analysis and assessment of risk is ongoing throughout child protection involvement. All subsequent risk assessments are called a ‘review risk assessment’ in CRIS.

Regularly reviewing the risk assessment aims to determine whether providing the widest possible assistance to a child and family has created sufficient change to decrease the consequence and probability of harm. This also supports timely decision making for case planning.


Reviewing the risk assessment may happen at any point in an intervention and across all phases from investigation onwards.

It should occur when there is:

– a new report or allegation

– new information or evidence that is considered significant

– a new type of order made in the Children’s Court

– a change in the child’s case plan and permanency objective.

A review risk assessment is required at phase transition.

Case practitioner tasks

  • Continue to update the essential information categories and evidence-based factors as information and evidence is received.
  • Consider previous risk assessments and what has changed to increase or decrease protection and safety for the child.
  • Consider the timing and purpose of reviewing the risk assessment and link to one of the events noted.
  • Consider if parental change has occurred to a level that decreases consequence and probability of harm.
  • Consider if new information or evidence increases the consequence and probability of harm.
  • Incorporate any MARAM assessment information – this may be a MARAM assessment undertaken by child protection or an external agency.
  • Include information from other forms of assessment such as infant response, high risk youth and sexual exploitation.
  • Complete a review risk assessment to determine if the case is ready for closure
  • Complete a review risk assessment following receipt of a new report or allegation.
  • Consider reviewing the risk assessment at these events during the protective intervention or protection order phase (a CRIS prompt will appear encouraging, but not requiring, a review of the risk assessment):
    • case plan review to ensure the risk assessment and case plan align
    • change in case plan or permanency objective to ensure they align with the risk assessment
    • when issuing a protection application, new court application, or breach of current court order to ensure the risk assessment aligns with the decision to issue new court application
    • following a court event if the court outcome is not consistent with the risk assessment
    • change in court order such as family reunification order to family preservation order
    • when a new non familial allegation is received.
  • Consult with your supervisor about reviewing the risk assessment following these events in the protective intervention phase:
    • new significant information is received
    • following consultation with a specialist if new information is received that may change the risk assessment
    • change in service provision, such as a service ceasing involvement with a family
    • change in household composition, such as, birth of an infant, parent released from prison, new partner, death of parent/caregiver
    • VCAT review
    • case plan appeal to ensure the risk assessment reflects the decisions made for the child
    • court appeal to ensure the risk assessment reflects the decisions made for the child
    • in response to a critical incident
    • goals and tasks are complete or not complete within the set timeframe
    • there is a change in practitioner or team.

While it is not a CRIS requirement to complete a review risk assessment at the point of case transfer to another team, area or division, it is a requirement of the transfer guidelines and provides a solid overview of the current risks for the new team.

  • Consult with your supervisor when you review of the risk assessment identifies a change in the consequence of harm and/or probability of harm for the child/ren.

Supervisor tasks

  • Provide ongoing supervision and consultation.

Team manager tasks

  • Provide ongoing supervision and consultation.
  • Endorse any review risk assessments in CRIS once completed.