Investigation policy

Follow this policy when undertaking an investigation.

Document ID number 1016, version 2, 1 March 2016.


An investigation establishes if a child is in need of protection as defined by s. 162 CYFA.

 An investigation determines:

  • the extent and nature of reported concerns, or any other concerns
  • whether the child has suffered or is likely to suffer significant harm
  • whether the parents have protected or are likely to protect the child from harm
  • whether statutory intervention is needed to meet the best interests of the child
  • whether other interventions are needed to assist the family.


An investigation starts when a report is classified as a protective intervention report. It concludes when a decision is made on whether the report is substantiated.

Each investigation must have:

  • a written investigation plan
  • direct contact with the child
  • a decision on whether or not the report is substantiated.

Initial contact with the child must be attempted within 14 days of the report (or within two days for prioritised cases).

The outcome of the investigation is to be determined within 28 days of the report.

Significant decisions including the substantiation decision must be endorsed by a team manager or above.

Procedures under this policy