Disability and complex medical needs can significantly increase a child’s vulnerability. When risk of harm issues are evident, thorough consultation and information sharing with all specialist disability and/or medical services involved with a child is required. This includes NDIS funded supports where the child has, or may require, a NDIS plan.
See procedure Case management: NDIS and children with a disability and/or complex medical needs and the Practice guidelines for Child FIRST, The Orange Door, Integrated Family Services, Child Protection and Out-of-Home Care for further information about working with children with a disability who require NDIS supports.
Case practitioner tasks
Where the concerns relate to a child with complex medical needs residing in hospital
- Gather information from all relevant hospital staff and other medical professionals about the reported protective concerns and parental capacity to meet the child’s health needs where the report relates to a child residing in hospital due to complex medical needs.
Where the concerns relate to a child with a disability
Establish if there is an NDIS plan and what disability supports are funded
- Search clients name on CRIS and check the common client layer (CCL) to see if the child has a Disability Client Services Record. Link the records where the child has a Disability Client Services record. If a NDIS plan exists in the child’s Disability Client Services record, this information will be displayed automatically in Child Protection CRIS once the records are linked. For more information on linking Disability Client Service and Child Protection CRIS records see the Recording Disability and Complex Medical Needs Information CRIS Guide.
Where an NDIS plan is in place, and information is available about the funded NDIS supports being accessed by the family, including any support coordination services, contact these service providers directly to obtain information about the child’s disability/complex medical needs, engagement with services to inform an assessment of the protective concerns.
Support coordination is a funded NDIS service that provides NDIS participants with more intensive support to implement NDIS plans. Support Coordinators will be able to access information about a parent or child’s NDIS plan, including what services are being accessed and how frequently.
- Where a NDIS plan is place and you do not have access to information about funded NDIS supports (including whether a Support Coordinator is funded), complete a NDIS Information Request Form. The NDIS Information Request Form can be used to seek information from the NDIS without consent of the participant or their representative. Part 4E of the form must refer to why this information from the NDIA is required to formulate a risk assessment for a child.
- When completing the form include information about:
- Why consent cannot be obtained; advise intake do not make contact with the child, parents or other relatives during the intake phase for the purpose of gathering information to assess the risk to the child.Information about the NDIS registered providers working with the family are not known and therefore cannot contacted directly for information.
- specific details about what information is required from the NDIA, this may include:
- copies of the NDIS plan or a medical or disability assessment.
- the names of current and past funded supports.
- current funding allocation and how frequently it is being utilised.
Support coordination is a funded NDIS service that provides people with more intensive support to implement NDIS plans.
- Once the NDIS funded supports have been confirmed, consult with the service providers (including the NDIS Support Coordinator if one is funded in the NDIS plan) and any other identified medical professionals as required about the child’s disability/complex medical needs, engagement with services and their views about the reported protective concerns.
- Record information about the child’s disability/complex medical needs in CRIS. For more information on recording disability and/or complex medical needs, see the Recording Disability and Complex Medical Needs Information CRIS Guide.
- If the reporter is a parent with a child who has a NDIS plan and is requesting respite or a care placement due to their child’s or another child’s disability needs, and no other protective concerns are identified, advise the reporter they may seek possible short term accommodation through the NDIS Support Coordinator (if funded in the child’s NDIS plan), or Local Area Coordinator (children aged 7 – 18), or local Early Childhood Partner (children aged 0 – 6). Once you have provided this advice, classify the report as Wellbeing Advice Only and, in consultation with Team Manager, progress the case to closure.
After hours disability crisis response for children who are NDIS participants
- Where a child is a NDIS participant and a disability-related crisis occurs outside of business hours (5pm-9am weekdays, weekends and public holidays), After Hours Child Protection Emergency Service (AHCPES) can contact the NDIS After Hours Crisis Response Service. Further information is available from the AHCPES NDIS After Hours Crisis Response Service advice.
Where an NDIS plan does not exist
- Contact any known disability and/or medical services, as well as any other known relevant service for information about the child’s disability and/or complex medical needs, engagement with services and their views about the reported concerns where more information about the reported protective concerns is required to formulate a risk assessment.
- Where the reporter is requesting access to the NDIS for their child or another child, provide them with the contact details of the Local Area Coordinator (children aged 7 – 18) or local Early Childhood Partner (children aged 0 – 6) to enable referral where required.
Local Area Coordinators (children aged 7 – 18), and local Early Childhood Partners (children aged 0 – 6) are local NDIS services that support people access the NDIS and help NDIS participants develop and implement their NDIS plans. The NDIS website has contact information for all Local Area Coordinators and Early Childhood Partners in Victoria.
- Record information about the child’s disability/complex medical needs in CRIS. See the Recording Disability and Complex Medical Needs Information CRIS Guide for more information.
Unborn children with identified disability or complex medical needs:
- Refer to the Unborn child report procedure if the report is about a mother who will likely give birth to a child with complex medical needs and/or disability and may encounter difficulties providing the requisite level of care to that child.
- Disability and complex medical needs - advice
- MOU with the Public Advocate
- Practice guidelines for Child FIRST, The Orange Door, Integrated Family Services, Child Protection and Out-of-Home Care
- Leaving care - advice
- Positive practice framework: A guide for behaviour support practitioners
- NDIS website
- Recording Disability and Complex Medical Needs Information CRIS Guide- DHHS intranet
- NDIS consent to exchange information - form
- NDIS information request - form
- Information Sharing Protocol between the NDIA and Australian State and Territory Agencies
- AHCPES NDIS After Hours Crisis Response Service advice