Closing a case
Follow this procedure when a case is ready to be closed.
Document ID number 1032, version 9, 18 March 2022.
For further information see Closure phase - advice.
This procedure describes the process to follow when finalising and closing a case.
Following a decision to close the case, it is moved to ‘closure phase’ in CRIS. Actions are defined by the circumstances of the case, including the immediately preceding phase.
Case practitioner tasks (for cases beyond intake phase)
- Confirm the reviewed risk assessment is complete on CRIS, detailing safety and protection for the child and decreased consequences and probability of future harm is evident.
- Visit the client and family to discuss the closure decision and process – the client should be seen no more than 10 days before case closure.
- Share any safety plans and the closure plan – the final version of the case plan – with the family and any relevant services.
- If relevant, share the MARAM assessment or risk assessment with key services involved in managing the risk.
- Write to clients and their parents confirming the closure decision.
- Confirm and communicate the continuing roles and responsibilities of services, family members and all parties.
- Arrange a case closure meeting where there are multiple services involved and, where required, confirm lead case management responsibility after child protection involvement ceases.
- Store any safety plans and closure plans in CRIS.
- Confirm that policy and protocol requirements relevant to the case have been met and if they have not, undertake relevant action for:
- Aboriginal children – consult with ACSASS when considering closing a case.
- Reports about children in contact with a sex offender (NCOS/ANCOR reports) – see procedure Child in contact with a sex offender.
- Where a young person is 16 years 9 months or more but not yet 18 years of age and has a significant or complex disability or complex medical needs – see procedure Case management: Children with a disability and/or complex medical needs and NDIS procedure. This applies when an investigation has been completed, whether substantiated or not, and at any phase following investigation phase.
- Where the MARAM risk rating is serious risk or serious risk and requires immediate protection, a case conference or closure meeting should be held with key services to confirm the risk management approach. Record the agreed risk management approach in CRIS as part of the review of the risk assessment and closure plan.
- Following this case conference, if differing views remain between Child Protection and another service regarding the decision for Child Protection to close, escalate the matter to the Area Principal Practitioner for review. Consideration may also be given to referring the matter to the Statewide Family Violence Principal Practitioner for consultation and further advice.
For further information about addition requirements for Aboriginal children see procedure Additional requirements for Aboriginal children
- Check that financial issues are resolved and submit cease carer payment documents if required.
- Complete the financial notification to support ongoing payment where a permanent care order has been made.
Flexible funding can be provided to permanent carers to help meet the additional needs of a child in their care, beyond those met by the carer allowance and over available funding sources. The funding is specific to the child and should promote the child’s attachment and continuity of care, and help address issues which may be a result of abuse and neglect.
- Where flexible funding has been approved as part of the permanent care case plan to be provided after the order is made, arrange for this financial support to be provided prior to closing the case. If future payments by the department will be required provide the permanent care parent with written instructions setting out how they are to seek reimbursement. See the Permanent care manual for further information.
- Review the case to make sure that relevant exit planning is complete and sufficient:
- leaving care plan
- permanency of care arrangements / transition to permanent care
- long-term care planning.
- Review protocol requirements and make sure allied programs and key services are informed before case closure:
- individual and family support
- mental health and other treatment services.
- Notify CPLO and the Children’s Court if required.
- Complete CRIS requirements, including:
- checking that all documents are finalised/issued
- updating the essential information categories
- reviewing any restrictions on the case and assessing whether they can be removed, or documenting a rationale if they should remain
- documenting records of activity, decisions and rationales.
- Review the paper file and make certain that original documents to be retained are filed if required.
- Complete administrative requirements for paper file storage if required.
- Provide ongoing supervision and consultation.
- Approve the case closure plan.
Team manager tasks
- Endorse any outstanding review risk assessments.
- Endorse case closure document.
- Endorse the case closure plan.
- Set all documents to final.
- Close file on CRIS.
- Endorse key decisions and case closure for a report about a child in contact with a sex offender a young person with a significant or complex disability or complex medical needs aged 16 years 9 months or more when child protection involvement will cease before 18 years of age.
Area Principle Practitioner
- Resolve decision regarding whether or not Child Protection is to close a case where the MARAM risk rating is ‘serious risk’ or ‘serious risk and requires immediate protection’ where differing views remain between Child Protection and another service.
Statewide Family Violence Principal Practitioner
- Upon referral, provide consultation and further advice on the decision to close a case where there is a current MARAM risk rating of serious or serious and requires immediate protection.