Care teams

Follow this procedure when establishing and participating in a care team for children in out-of-home care.

Document ID number 1103, version 4, 14 August 2019.


A care team is required for every child in out-of-home care, except for permanent care and adoptive placements.

A care team is defined as the group of people who jointly care for a child while the child is in out-of-home care.

The CSO or ACCO providing the placement is responsible for establishing and leading the care team.

Child protection is responsible for establishing and leading the care team if:

  • the placement is provided by the department
  • a kinship placement is not receiving case contracted support from a CSO or ACCO.

See Care teams - advice for additional information.


Case practitioner tasks

  • Actively participate in the care team for all children in court-ordered placements except for permanent care and adoption placements, or when case management is contracted to a CSO or ACCO.
  • Support the CSO or ACCO care managers and others involved in the day-to-day care of the child by ensuring:
    • all necessary statutory authorisations are obtained (including consent for health and education assessments and interventions)
    • information needed to provide good care is shared with all care team members
    • collaborative care arrangements (including contact (access) arrangements) are made in the best interests of the child.
  • Monitor the effective working of the care team when case management is contracted to a CSO or ACCO.
  • Share information about the child's case plan with the care team.
  • Actively support the care team to contribute to safety planning and/or behavior support planning for young people with high risk behaviors and are aware of their roles and responsibilities within the safety and/or behavior support plan (see High-risk youth procedure for more information on behaviour support plans and safety plans).
  • Provide information about any safety plans and/or behavior support plans to the service provider so the LAC records and Care and Placement Plan can be updated. 

Participate in the care team process and consider the care team's views in the development of the child's case plan. Any care management concerns that are unable to be resolved by the care team must be referred to the case planner for resolution. In certain cases, such as a high-risk child who is in crisis or is experiencing unstable placement arrangements, the case management process may require greater child protection direction and more frequent meetings. In such cases the case planner will determine whether day-to-day care management processes  are led by child protection, including in cases where case management has previously been contracted to a CSO or ACCO.

Care team member tasks

  • Make the arrangements for the child’s day-to-day care.
  • Engage the child in an age-appropriate manner to ensure they have a say and are informed about the arrangements being made for their day-to-day care.
  • Encourage the child’s parents to be part of their child’s care team, unless this is not safe or practical – until they are actually reunified or is no longer appropriate.
  • Manage the contact arrangements for the child with their parents, siblings and extended family.
  • Obtain, utilise and update the essential information about the child that is needed by all care team members using the Looking After Children Essential Information Record.
  • Assess and respond to the changing needs of the child in care and monitor the outcomes for the child using the Looking After Children Assessment and Action Records.
  • Develop, implement and review the child’s care and placement plan using the Looking After Children Care and Placement Plan or the 15+ Care and Transition Plan and the Looking After Children Review of the Care and Placement Plan.
  • Develop, implement  and review cultural plans for Aboriginal children.
  • Support the implementation of positive cultural connections for children from culturally and linguistically diverse groups.
  • Manage day-to-day liaison with pre-schools or schools and participate in student support groups for school aged children. This may include facilitating education assessments and deciding which member(s) of the care team will be directly involved in developing the child’s individual education plan with the school.
  • Obtain and compile information needed by the child’s GP, mental health worker or any other specialist undertaking health assessments for the child.
  • Ensure initial health checks are conducted within four weeks of entry to care and any necessary follow up assessments or health reviews occur.  Implement any recommendations arising from these health assessments.
  • Support the child to maintain positive connections and relationships with their family, friends, school, community and culture and/or support the child to reconnect and rebuild their network of relationships.
  • Support the child to experience the ‘ordinary plenty’ of a good life by developing their interests and enabling them to participate in a range of community activities.
  • Monitor and respond to all incident reports including tracking history and patterns of incident reports.
  • Undertake any actions needed for the good care of the child is taken if the child is affected by any adverse events, whether directly or indirectly, including critical incidents.
  • Plan for and prepare the child to return home or to move to another placement if required and ensure up-to-date care records are transferred to the new care team where applicable.
  • Plan for and prepare the young person to leave care and make a successful transition to adulthood if not returning home.

Case planner tasks

  • Resolve disputes between care team members in the best interests of the child.