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Reporting Risk of Harm to DoCS. The Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998.

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Presentation Transcript
the children and young persons care and protection act 1998
The Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998
  • provides the statutory basis for DoCS to provide care and protection services for children and young persons, including the assessment and investigation of reported cases of children and young persons suspected of being at risk of harm.
definitions
Definitions

·“child” is defined as meaning a person who is under the age of 16 years;

·“young person” is defined as meaning a person who is aged 16 years or above but who is under the age of 18 years.

what must be reported
What must be reported?
  • Children under 16 years of age, who are suspected of being at “risk of harm” must be reported to DoCS.
what is meant by risk of harm
What is meant by “risk of harm” ?

Current concerns exist for the safety, welfare or well-being of the child or young person because of :

  • the child’s or young person’s basic physical or psychological needs are not being met or are at risk of not being met
  • the parents/caregivers have not arranged for the child or young person to receive necessary medical care
  • the child or young person has been, or is at risk of being, physically or sexually abused or ill-treated
  • the child or young person is living in a household where there have been incidents of domestic violence
  • that the child or young person has suffered or is at risk of suffering serious psychological harm.
what are reasonable grounds
What are “reasonable grounds”
  • when a student speaks about being abused or assaulted
  • when someone else informs a member of staff that he or she suspects abuse
  • where a child tells a member of staff that they know someone who has been sexually abused
  • when a member of staff observes a particular child’s behaviour, physical appearance, condition or behaviour.
what is mandatorily reportable to docs
What is mandatorily reportable to DoCS?
  • The CYP(CP)Act requires that a child (a person under 16 years of age) who is suspected on reasonable grounds of being at risk of harm ( as specified in s.23 of the Act) must be reported to DoCS.
what about reporting students over 16 years of age
What about reporting students over 16 years of age ?
  • any person who has reasonable grounds to suspect that a student who is 16 or 17 years of age, who is at risk of harm, may make a report to DoCS

CEO Policy requires a report to be made.

who is mandated to report to docs
Who is mandated to report to DoCS ?

The mandatory provisions in s.27 of the CYP(CP)Act apply to:

  • ·school principals
  • ·school deputy
  • ·school teachers
  • ·early childhood teachers
  • ·school counsellors
  • ·school social workers

CEO policy requires all school staff to report risk of harm to the school principal.

legal protection for reporters to docs
Legal protection for reporters to DoCS
  • Section 29 of the CYP(CP)Act provides protection for persons who make reports to DoCS.
  • Any person who makes a report or furnishes information to DoCS in good faith and with reasonable care, is protected
slide12
Reports to DoCS

are to be made

on the DoCS Helpline

- 13 36 27

what information does docs need from you
What information does DoCS need from you?
  • to understand the reasons why you believe there is risk of harm
  • the type of risk of harm
  • some facts about this belief
  • an indication of the urgency.
what information does docs need from you cont
What information does DoCS need from you? (cont)

DoCS needs:

as much detail as you have on the child and family to help them make the best possible assessment about what action is in the child’s or young person’s best interests.

NB - Keep in mind that siblings, even though they are not at school, may also be at risk and need to be reported – especially babies or young children.

relevant information
Relevant information….
  • School staff have access to valuable contextual information
    • it is often not easy for DoCS to gain this information from families.
  • School staff can ask contextual questions
      • “How are things at home?”
      • “How do you get on with …..?”
      • “What happened?”
      • ‘What do you mean by…..?”
  • School staff should not ask investigative questions particularly after concerns about risk of harm are established

eg.“Who?” ‘Where?” “When?” “How many times?” questions.

docs follow up of reports
DoCS follow-up of reports

What you should get from DoCS

  • A sense that they have understood and recorded your concerns
  • A feedback letter that provides general information about what will happen to the information you have provided to DoCS.
the role of the school
The role of the School

School staff have a role:

  • to provide ongoing support to the student within the role of the school
  • to monitor the situation for more information about risk of harm and make a new report if there are further concerns
  • to follow up reports if concerns about the student continue.
where concerns continue
Where concerns continue…
  • If the case has been referred to the local DoCS centre and there has been no response, phone and ask:
      • Has the case been allocated?
      • What follow up can be expected?
  • If you believe this response compromises the safety of the student, phone the Manager Casework (identified in the feedback letter) or the Manager Client Services
  • If there is still no action, liaise with the area administrators.
slide19
Research shows that the support most valued by children and young people is when they believe that their teachers
  • care about them
  • would treat them fairly and
  • would give them active and practical support if they were faced with a problem.

(Commission for Children and Young People (CCYP) Report on Children Who Have No one to Turn To, 2002)

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