To guide child protection workers in responding to standard of care concerns for a child in the care of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in relation to approved Department and community sector agency foster, family and significant other carers (carers) and, in principle, to community sector agency employees undertaking direct care work.
The Department has a two tiered response to standard of care concerns and safety and wellbeing concerns for children in the CEO's care relating to approved carers.
Tier 2: Carer Investigation is detailed in Chapter 2.1: Responding to safety and wellbeing concerns for children in the care of the CEO against approved carers. Child protection workers (CPWs) should refer to this entry when an approved carer is the person alleged responsible in a safety and wellbeing assessment, or where there are repeated, unresolved standard of care concerns.
Standard of care concerns are acts or situations that indicate that a carer has failed to meet the competencies, but significant harm or risk of significant harm has not occurred.
The Carer Standard of Care Assessment is undertaken when:
The focus should be on addressing the concern, rather than investigating it.
Standard of care concerns may include:
If there are multiple or chronic standard of care concerns or if previous standard of care concerns have not been addressed, then a Carer Investigation may be appropriate.
A Carer Standard of Care Assessment must be allocated by the district director to an appropriate senior officer, and where possible, to the senior child protection worker placement services.
Consultation and action required includes:
The following action is undertaken by the senior officer who has been allocated the Carer Standard of Care Assessment:
These procedures are consistent with and informed by the Department for Child Protection and Family Support Non-Government Placement Agencies Protocol (in related resources).
The following action is undertaken by the CPW identifying the concern and the community sector agency (the agency):
Form 461 Duty of Care Report - Carer Standard of Care Assessment (in related resources) must be completed within 30 days and forwarded to the district director for approval. Any extension of the reporting timeframe should be approved by the district director.
The findings of Standard of Care Assessments will be collated by DoCU and may contribute to recommendations made to the CEO for systems development and improving practice standards.
For further details refer to Chapter 3.1: Supporting carers, and/or Chapter 2.1: Responding to safety and wellbeing concerns for children in the care of the CEO against approved carers.