Review of a decision to place at a secure welfare service

Follow this procedure when a request to review a placement at SWS has been lodged.
Document ID number 1110, version 3, 17 July 2020.

A child or a parent may request a review of the decision to place a child in secure welfare service.


Case practitioner tasks

  • If a child or parent requests a review of this decision, assist them to complete the 'Request for a review of a child protection decision' form where possible, without delay.

The absence of this form does not affect the entitlement of a person to an internal review under s. 331 of the CYFA. The young person will remain at the secure welfare service while the review is completed or until the determined exit date, whichever is sooner.

  • Promptly provide the request for review, through your line management, to the area upon receiving it.
  • Ensure the reviewing officer has the information they need to consider the request without delay.
  • Arrange an advocate to assist the young person with the review where necessary. A suitable advocate may be a legal representative, but can also be any person able to advocate specifically on behalf of the young person.

Area executive director tasks

  • Review the placement decision, taking into consideration all relevant information, including the file, the assessments of the child protection practitioner, other professionals and secure welfare staff, the purpose of the placement and the proposed exit plan.
  • Consider the young person’s presentation and any observed changes while at the secure welfare service. The process will include a meeting (or phone conversation) with the young person and where relevant, any other person, such as an advocate.
  • Prioritise the review, with an outcome to be determined without avoidable delay, and always within two business days of the request being received by the department.
  • Consult with the director, child protection or area operations manager at your discretion.
  • Communicate the outcome to the young person by the next business day after making your decision (or within 24 hours in relation to a placement of less than 72 hours duration). Provide advice about the right to seek a review of case planning decisions by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). Communicate the outcome to the care team within two business days. These communications can be delegated.
  • Document the outcome and rationale on CRIS.