To guide Department of Communities, Child Protection and Family Support division child protection workers in referral and review processes relating to the Child Protection Income Management (CPIM) and Voluntary Income Management (VIM) measures.
CPIM and VIM Income Management measures are available in the metropolitan districts, Peel, East Kimberley and West Kimberley districts, except in Kununurra or Wyndham during the Cashless Debit trial in these two areas.
CPIM is a compulsory form of income management which aims to assist a parent/person with parental responsibility meet their child’s basic needs, or assist a young person meet their needs by:
Only individuals in receipt of an eligible income support payment can be placed on CPIM, for a period of three to 12 months.
For the duration of CPIM, 70 per cent of the individual’s fortnightly payments, and any advances and lump sum payments are placed on a BasicsCard and can only be spent on essential priority items. Income managed funds cannot be spent on alcohol, home-brew kits, tobacco, pornography or gambling products or services. There is no restriction on the way the remaining 30 per cent of the individual’s payment is spent.
Child protection workers should refer to the following web pages for further information:
DHS (Centrelink) Income Management Contact Officers (IMCO):
Child neglect cases
Refer to Chapter 2.2: Neglect for factors to consider when assessing neglect.
CPIM can also be considered for an individual or other family members (who receive an eligible income support payment) staying in the home of a parent, carer or individual on CPIM, where their use of financial resources:
The child protection worker should explain to the individual how CPIM contributes to the overall safety plan for the child and be given the opportunity to support this part of the plan. However, if their use of financial resources continues to impact negatively on the family, then CPIM can be applied to that individual (for a minimum period of three months) while he or she lives in the house. To record this in Assist, add the individual to the ‘Family Group’, as ‘an associate member’ and document the reasons for the referral.
CPIM must cease if the individual leaves the house earlier than the end date.
Concerns for an unborn child
A pregnant woman, or the father of the unborn child, can be referred for CPIM where Communities has assessed that:
Multiple presentations for financial assistance
When an individual or family presents on multiple occasions for financial assistance within a short period of time, consideration should be given to referring them to CPIM or VIM, to assist them in managing their income support payment to meet their priority needs.
At-risk young people
A child protection worker providing support to an at-risk young person should consider CPIM as a strategy to assist them to manage their income support payment.
Note: CEO refers to the Chief Executive Officer of the Department of Communities.
All of the following criteria must be present to refer an individual to CPIM:
Vulnerable young people in the CEO's care
As part of leaving care planning, a young person receiving an eligible income support payment can be referred to CPIM (or encouraged to accept a referral or self-refer for VIM) to assist them to save for, and live independently.
Any individual in receipt of an eligible income support payment, living in a district where income management is available, can contact DHS directly to be placed on VIM. Fifty percent of their regular fortnightly payments, and any advances and lump sum payments are allocated to the BasicsCard to buy priority items. There is no restriction on the way the remaining 50 percent of the payment is spent. DHS provides the same level of assistance to the individual on VIM as they do to an individual on CPIM.
Individuals must remain on VIM for a period of 13 weeks, after this they can exit at any time.
Where appropriate, child protection workers should discuss VIM with their clients, explaining how this measure could assist them in managing their budgeting and finances, and/or improving the wellbeing of their children and themselves.
VIM with client consent to exchange information
If VIM is part of the case plan, or if the individual wants the child protection worker to be informed about them being on VIM, the client can sign a Consent to Release Information, Voluntary Income Management form - this allows the exchange of the following information between Child Protection and Family Support division and DHS:
Child protection workers can make enquiries about these three matters through the DHS Income Management Contact Officer (IMCO) in their area. The signed consent form should be emailed to the relevant IMCO (see above).
For directions on how to refer a client to VIM with consent, refer to UGG Taskcard 6 – Referring a client for Voluntary Income Management (in related resources).
Child Protection and Family Support division's role
To refer a client to CPIM, the child protection worker must:
To obtain an UGG password to make these referrals, Department staff can complete and sign the form: UGG Security, Privacy and Confidential Undertaking (DHS) (in related resources), and email it to email@example.com. Alternatively, ring.
Once a client is on CPIM, the child protection worker can also:
Child protection workers should continue to monitor the impact of CPIM on the child and family, and respond to DHS IMCO’s end-date reviews.
Child protection workers should also contact the DHS IMCO when changes in the individual’s circumstances impact on CPIM (for example, a change of address). No specific form is required.
Department of Human Services’ role
DHS will conduct an initial ‘allocation’ interview with the client after receiving a referral notice from Communities to:
The DHS IMCO may occasionally contact the child protection worker to notify of changes to the client’s situation.
Placing a case on the Monitored List
Cases involving CPIM can be placed on the Monitored List where the case requires periodic review and there are workload issues.
Where we are not providing any services other than the referral to CPIM, then the case should be closed (see below).
Where the case is to be closed (that is, there is sufficient safety for the child and no further review or active role for us) but the case plan recommends that the individual remain on CPIM until the designated end date (where, for example, CPIM is having positive effects on the child and the family needs to establish or maintain ongoing stability), then child protection workers must:
When contacted by DHS for a CPIM review, duty officers must check the case plan and Objective for information about our involvement with the individual on CPIM, including information in case closure notes and any recent duty interactions.
Where we have not received any further concerns or information, the duty officer should advise DHS that CPIM should continue to the end date as planned, and
Where there have been some recent duty interactions and these indicate the need to extend or change CPIM, the duty officer should follow the current duty and intake process, including carrying out a SWA (if appropriate). Duty officers should determine whether CPIM should be extended or ceased before the end date, and advise DHS of the decision.
If the individual objects to CPIM, he or she can contact us to seek a review of the decision (see below).
The DHS IMCO will contact the case manager to review each individual on CPIM one month prior to the end-date, to confirm whether CPIM will cease or be extended.
DHS should speak with the case manager where the case is open or has been placed on the Monitored List or with the duty officer if the case has been closed (see above) or where case management has changed, (for example the case has passed to the parent support team), the current case manager should perform the review (and where necessary, seek the views of the child protection worker who referred the client to CPIM).
CPIM will cease:
To cease (revoke) CPIM before the end date, the child protection workers must:
To extend CPIM, child protection workers should:
Transferring a CPIM case to district where CPIM is not available
Where a family on CPIM intends to relocate to a district where income management is not available, that is Southwest, Great Southern, Goldfields, Wheatbelt, Murchison and Pilbara districts, consideration should be given to ceasing CPIM or VIM prior to case transfer.
If the preferred option is for the individual to stay on CPIM, the child protection worker can discuss with the DHS IMCO whether arrangements can be made for the client to access their money at the new location. If so, we should advise the IMCO in writing of the change in circumstances and contact details of the new case manager.