This procedure applies when:
- interstate child protection reports are made within Australia or between Australia and New Zealand
- requests for interstate carer assessments are made or received
- requests for interstate casework are made or received.
For transfer of child protection orders or care and protection proceedings in a children’s court, practitioners should refer to Interstate and New Zealand transfers.
Requests for interstate assessments and casework tasks are not reports under the Children, Youth, and Families Act 2005 (CYFA), but are recorded in CRIS as an intake type.
In all cases, practitioners should refer to Interstate Child Protection Protocol Australia and New Zealand.
All requests coming into Victoria and leaving Victoria are coordinated via the interstate liaison team.
Case practitioner tasks for an interstate report
- Register an interstate report in CRIS as an intake report upon receipt from the interstate liaison team.
- Record the interstate department as the reporter.
- Confirm whether the child or the family is Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, Maori or from a culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) community. For direction on how to ask, refer to 'Identifying Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children - for child protection practitioners (pdf, 68.5 KB)
Identifying Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children who are involved with child protection in Victoria is a practice requirement.
If the reporter (or other source) does not know if a child or sibling is Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, the child's Aboriginal status should be recorded as under assessment on the client file (CRIS) and further enquiries made later.
Practitioners are to proactively ask if each child and either of their parent is Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander.
Where either parent identifies as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, the child is to be recorded on CRIS as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, irrespective of whether the other parent or carer identified the child as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander.
Consult with ACSASS where it is known or believed that the child is Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander.
- Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency (Lakidjeka) ACSASS (entire state except for the Mallee area) - (03) 9388 2488
- Mallee District Aboriginal Services ACSASS (Mallee area only) - 0429223833 (daytime), 0427474863 (after hours)
Case practitioner tasks for an interstate request for assessment and case work assistance
- Review the intake interstate request as registered by the interstate liaison officer and review the acceptance letter has been completed and signed by the team manager. Complete the assessment within eight weeks unless special circumstances exist. If an assessment cannot be completed within this timeframe, both states should make every effort to agree to an extension.
Case practitioner tasks for making an interstate request
- Consult your supervisor to determine whether:
- an interstate alert is required (if the interstate address of the child is unknown and a Services Australia request has been undertaken)
- an interstate report is required (if the interstate address is known)
- a Connect for Safety (C4S) search is required in accordance with the terms and conditions of C4S access Connect for Safety Child Protection record search
- any other action is required.
- Liaise with the interstate liaison team to confirm that correct action is being undertaken and to activate endorsed actions.
- If an interstate alert is required:
- complete the interstate notification or alert form 'request for interstate notification or alert from Victoria' and provide it to the interstate liaison team to give to the departments in the other jurisdictions.
- If an interstate report is required:
- complete the interstate report form and provide it to the divisional ILO to give to the departments in the other jurisdictions.
Case practitioner tasks for requests by DFFH to another state for an interstate carer assessment or casework assistance
- Consult with the divisional interstate liaison team about the request process and required case information.
- Assessment to be completed within eight weeks unless special circumstances exist. If the assessment cannot be completed within this timeframe, both states should make every effort to agree to an extension. If this is not possible, and an urgent assessment is required, the interstate liaison officers from both states will determine whether an appropriately qualified practitioner can be contracted with any costs to be borne by the department. The child protection practitioner must seek their team manager’s approval for payment before proceeding with the assessment.
- If the receiving state does not have capacity to provide casework assistance but is able to contract one of its funded organisations to provide the casework assistance on its behalf at its own expense, this should be discussed prior to the request being accepted or declined.
Divisional Interstate Liaison Team tasks
- Allocate interstate requests for reports, assessment and casework to the relevant team manager.
- Provide template acceptance letters to practitioners on request. These are available in Interstate liaison - Forms and secure documents.
- Forward acceptance letters after they are signed by a team manager to the relevant coordinating ILO in the other jurisdiction.
- Complete agreed tasks and provide advice to the interstate department about the outcome of the request. The case remains in intake while these activities are undertaken.
- Forward acceptance letters after they are signed by a team manager to the relevant interstate liaison officer in the other jurisdiction.
- If an assessment must be completed within four weeks, the matter may be subcontracted at the expense of the state making the request. Provide the interstate liaison officer in the requesting state department a list of private assessors who would be able to complete the assessment. The interstate department will make the necessary arrangements.
- Provide ongoing supervision and consultation.
Team manager tasks
- Review, complete and sign the acceptance letter to the interstate liaison team between four and six weeks to give to the interstate liaison officer in the requesting state department.
- Allocate interstate requests to child protection practitioners on receipt of a request from the interstate liaison officer.
- Endorse key decisions including:
- classification of reports
- acceptance of incoming interstate requests
- priority and urgency of protection intervention reports
- outcome of actions taken.
- Approve payment for interstate assessments that are required to be undertaken in less than four weeks.
- Sign relevant acceptance letter for incoming interstate requests.
- Transfer cases to other teams.