For further information see Closure phase-advice.
Case closure is the final part of child protection involvement.
Cases can be moved to closure from intake, investigation, protective intervention or protective order phases.
An intake risk assessment, risk assessment or review risk assessment will be completed and endorsed to support the decision to close the case.
The case is then moved to closure phase in CRIS.
It is appropriate to close a case when child protection involvement is either no longer possible, or no longer necessary.
Case closure happens when any of the following occurs:
- a report has not been classified as a protective intervention report, and necessary actions during intake phase are complete
- despite taking all reasonable steps it is not possible to complete an investigation
- following a risk assessment, a protective intervention report is not substantiated
- protective intervention by agreement is concluded with protective concerns being sufficiently addressed
- further protective intervention is not possible and follow-up is complete
- a protection application has been issued, but no protection order is made
- a Children’s Court order ends and no further order is made
- the child has relocated interstate and transfer of all legal responsibility tasks and functions have been finalised
- an undertaking or permanent care order has been made by the Children’s Court
- an adoption order has been made by the County or Supreme Court
- the child attains 18 years, marries, or dies.
The case closure phase aims to:
- finalise case practice, implement exit plans and confirm sufficient protection, care and support will continue, through implementation of any safety plan and negotiating a closure plan
- articulate how protection and safety has increased and the consequence of harm has decreased, or other rationale for closing the case
- share any safety or closure plans with relevant services and the family
- complete necessary procedures associated with ending child protection involvement including contacting and advising clients, services and others
- reviewing all restrictions on the case, and either removing or documenting the rationale for them to remain in place
- meet policy and protocol requirements
- finalise case documentation and CRIS actions.
The decision to close a case is a significant decision and must be endorsed by the case planner via review risk assessment.
Cases involving re-reports, high-risk clients, clients in contact with a sex offender or young people with a disability or complex medical needs may only be closed once the review risk assessment has been completed and endorsed, and additional endorsement has been provided, as set out in procedures on these topics.
Case closure decisions and activities are timely, centred on the best interests of the client and informed by the SAFER children framework.