Follow this procedure when managing cases where protective concerns have been substantiated and there is no protection order in place.

Document ID number 1023, version 3, 25 May 2017.


For further information see Protective intervention phase-advice.

This procedure outlines the tasks required when working with a family where protective concerns have been substantiated and either no legal action has been taken or legal action has been initiated, but a protection order is yet to be made.

It focuses on:

  • ongoing risk assessment and case planning
  • assisting parents to address protective concerns
  • specialist assessment and service engagement
  • therapeutic intervention to redress substantiated harm
  • decision making about applications and recommendations to the Children’s Court.

A case plan is to be prepared for a child if a protective intervener is satisfied on reasonable grounds that the child is in need of protection, that is, at the point of substantiation. A case plan is to include a permanency objective and a review date, and is to be reviewed by that date and at least every twelve months, or sooner in some circumstances.


Case practitioner tasks

  • Prepare and review the child’s case plan as required. See Case plan preparation and review.
    • Ensure the permanency objective is consistent with the child’s legal status or, where relevant, the recommended order.
    • Engage with the child, family and other significant parties to develop the case plan for the child, and use the actions table to set out the goals and tasks needed to address the substantiated protective concerns and implement the case plan. Refer to advice Working with adult perpetrators of family violence for information on engaging, interviewing and working with perpetrators.
    • Refer for family-led decision making where required or appropriate.

This is a critical period for the family during which decisions need to be made about what needs to change to ensure safety for the child. See  Case planning - advice for additional information.

  • Review the case file to understand substantiated protective concerns, case history, the child and family circumstances and the service network.
  • For an Aboriginal child in court ordered out-of-home care, address the child’s cultural support needs in the case plan and how significant decisions made concerning the child reflect, and are consistent with, the child’s cultural support needs; and provide or arrange for a cultural plan to be provided to the child.
  • Undertake case management activities, using the actions table to maintain momentum and to implement the case plan, including:
    • regular contact with the child and family
    • risk assessment
    • service referral, interagency communication and joint planning
    • arranging specialist assessments
    • coordinating or attending a case conference.
  • Advise the child and family of all significant decisions and of their right to appeal the case plan
  • Review the case plan and seek endorsement if changes are required. Update the actions table to reflect progress, or lack thereof, towards the permanency objective. Identify goals and tasks for further action in consultation with your supervisor. See Case plan implementation.
  • Where there are family violence concerns consider consulting the specialist family violence worker or child protection senior practitioner (family violence). See procedure Planning for children’s safety where there is family violence.
  • Respond to changes in circumstances, including critical incidents, new information or escalation of risk, in consultation with your supervisor.
  • Formulate a recommendation about whether the case should be closed or a protection application issued.  

If a protection application is made, the case remains in the protective intervention phase until a protection order is made by the Children’s Court. 

  • Once an order is made, the case moves to protection order phase.
  • If child protection involvement is no longer required, move the case to closure phase. See Closing a case.
  • Record activity, decisions and rationales and complete CRIS fields.
  • Undertake case transfer where required according to relevant procedure. See Case transfer policy.

Supervisor tasks

  • Provide ongoing supervision and consultation.
  • Chair case management meetings as required

Team manager tasks

  • Endorse decision to issue a protection application.
  • Chair case planning meetings if held.
  • Endorse the case plan.
  • Explain case plan decisions to children and their families on request.

Practice Dictionary Definition