Follow this policy when managing access and use of Child Link in Child Protection.

Document ID number 1902, version 2, 3 June 2022.

Please note, Child Link is currently only available to nominated Child Protection staff in Frankston, Bendigo and Intake and supporting operational roles in central office as part of the initial pilot. Bendigo and District Aboriginal Co-operative (BDAC) also has access. All Child Protection practitioners will have access to Child Link by the end of 2024.

Introduction

For tasks associated with Child Link, see Child Link - procedure.

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.

Further detailed information on Child Link can be found at Child Link – advice and the Child Link website.

Policy

Child Link is endorsed for use by the Child Protection program in Victoria, across all phases, to support the process of seeking information and engagement with children and their families throughout Child Protection intervention.

Child Protection are expected to use Child Link as part of their usual business activities. Child Link is one tool to be used and does not replace direct contact with education and health professionals.

Child Link users

Departmental staff

Child Protection practitioners (CPP3 - CPP6) and Executive Officers will have access to Child Link. This includes all outposted Child Protection practitioners.

Kinship engagement workers and permanent care workers (CYF3-CYF6) will have access to Child Link due to their role in supporting Child Protection and the work they undertake with Child Protection clients, their families and carers.

A number of central office roles will also have access to Child Link for the purpose of supporting and assisting with frontline operational work, for example, the information sharing team. Further information on Child Link users can be found in the instrument of delegation and revocation.

Case practice support workers (CPP2), administrative support workers in Child Protection, students and VAC employees will not have access to Child Link.

Aboriginal Children in Aboriginal Care

Aboriginal Children in Aboriginal Care (ACAC) providers will have access to Child Link for children whom they have been authorised by the Secretary under section 18 of the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005.

Contracted case managers

A small number of contracted case managers in Community Service Organisations (CSOs) and Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) will have access to Child Link. However, this will not occur until approximately 2024 following the gradual rollout of the platform to users.

Children, families and carers

Children, families and carers do not have access to Child Link. Information can be provided to children, families and carers about the information contained within Child Link where safe and appropriate to do so.

Authorising Child Link users

The department is responsible for authorising and onboarding all staff who will have access to Child Link, and offboarding staff when they no longer require access. This role is known as the active authoriser All departmental active authorisers for Child Link will be in a senior role (CPP5/CYF5/VPS5 and above). Some departmental staff will be both an active authoriser and user of Child Link.

ACAC providers will be responsible for authorising and onboarding, as will CSOs and ACCOs when they get access in the future. They are also responsible for monitoring appropriate usage of their staff using Child Link as per relevant service agreements with the department and similar to their role with CRIS/CRISSP access.

Child Link Secretary’s guidelines

The Child Link Secretary’s guidelines detail Child Link’s operational, access and usage policies including:

  • how information on Child Link is managed
  • who can access Child Link and what information can be shared
  • mandatory and considered removal of access of Child Link users
  • how authorised organisations can use Child Link to support the safety and wellbeing needs of children in their professional care. 

Privacy and information security

Security and privacy are core to the design of Child Link and strict safeguards are in place to protect information. 

Only authorised users can access Child Link following the completion of mandatory requirements including a working with children check and successful completion of compulsory training.

 Like the Client Relationship Information System (CRIS) and Client Relationship Information System for Service Providers (CRISSP), an audit is maintained of who has accessed Child Link and therefore practitioners must confirm they have the legal authority and legitimate work purpose to access a child’s profile on Child Link prior to doing so.

Any suspected inappropriate access of Child Link will result in an investigation by the Department of Education and Training, the owners of the Child Link platform, in addition to internal departmental processes being followed.

See Breaches of privacy for further information.

Related procedures

  • Child Link - procedure

Additional information

Practice Dictionary Definition

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