Protective intervention is the period of intervention with a child and family following the substantiation of a report and ending when a protection order is made or the case is closed without a protection order.
This includes the period following a protection application before a final order is made.
Assessment, service engagement and case management in this phase focuses on establishing ongoing protection and supporting the best interests of the child without seeking a protection order where possible.
A case plan must be formulated and prepared (that is endorsed) and provided to the child and parents within 21 days of the substantiation decision being made.
The case plan is a succinct, high level plan. It sets out the protective concerns for the child, because determining the protective concerns is a significant decision. It also covers significant decisions regarding: current care arrangements; contact; cultural support; education, employment or childcare; health care; and developmental support.
Child protection does not have the authority to make plans or decisions for parents. The Court may include conditions to be observed by parents on an order, and these are provided with a case plan. Parents may make decisions about how they will respond to the protective concerns identified by child protection, and a parent’s decision may be reflected briefly in the case plan, with their agreement.
An actions table specifying intervention goals, tasks and timelines to achieve the case plan is to be maintained to support implementing the case plan.
Assessment and intervention is based on the SAFER children framework and should be concluded within 90 days of the date of the report, wherever possible.
To achieve key goals, protective intervention may continue up to 120 days from the report with the approval of a team manager, or up to 150 days with the endorsement of a deputy area operations manager, child protection subject to fortnightly review by a supervisor.
A case must not remain open longer than 150 days without a protection application unless approved by the area operations manager or director, child protection.