To inform child protection workers of their role and responsibilities in relation to a child and/or parent with disability, including a child in the CEO's care.
Note: CEO refers to the Chief Executive Officer of the Department of Communities, Child Protection and Family Support division (Communities).
 To be eligible for the NDIS Perth Hills, children must have been resident or in placement on 1 July 2014. Children who arrive after that date may be eligible under the exceptional circumstances criteria. Refer to related resources for the eligibility requirements for both the My Way and NDIS Perth Hills trial site schemes.
Child Protection and Family Support
and Disability Services Commission divisions have a shared responsibility to:
The respective roles, responsibilities, and funding arrangements for children with disability living in family and non-family based placements are set out in the Strategic
Bilateral Memorandum of Understanding between the Department for Child
Protection and the Disability Services Commission and its associated Operational Procedures (SBMOU) (in related resources).
The SBMOU outlines the key roles and responsibilities of both divisions and provides guidance in relation to the following matters:
Child protection workers must understand and implement the directions set out in the SBMOU when working with a child and/or parent with disability. Refer to the SBMOU when the above matters arise.
Child Protection and Family Support division partners with My Way and NDIS in terms of joint roles and responsibilities. However, the service responses by the two disability bodies differ slightly, and case workers need to be aware of these differences.
Overall, each scheme operates on the basis of funding being “reviewable and renewable” on an annual basis. Any funding provided must meet the criteria of being both “reasonable and necessary”.
Where a child or parent has disability that affects their ability to communicate, child protection workers must use appropriate language and/or communication methods that can be understood. The following options could be considered:
Where the child and/or parents with disability are an open case with us, or part of an intake process, we will meet the costs of communication support and the involvement of specialist personnel with knowledge about the disability.
Child protection workers may need to allocate additional time to allow for the use of appropriate communication methods.
For further information refer to the Language and Interpreter Services Information Sheet (in related resources).
Disability Services division, My Way and NDIS services and funding
Disability Services, My Way and NDIS provide a range of direct services and support, and funds community sector agencies to provide services to people with disabilities, their families and carers. These agencies process direct applications based on relative priority need and available resources. For more information refer to the following in related resources:
The senior intensive support officers (SISOs) in Service Standards and Contracting are available to support and guide child protection workers in their relationship with Disability Services. This position is responsible for liaising with Disability Services and contracting community sector services for children in the CEO’s care who have disability.
Before applying for funding from Disability Services through the Combined Application Process (CAP) for children in the CEO's care, child protection workers should seek support from the SISO – telephone (08) 9222 2874.
The SISO is available for consultation before children enter the CEO's care and during the leaving care process for children in the CEO's care with disability. For more information on the process for leaving care planning for children with disability, refer to Chapter 3.4: Leaving the CEO’s care.
Child protection workers should refer to Disability
Issues (in related resources) when gathering and assessing information in cases where a child or parent may have disability.
When child protection workers are assessing the parenting capacity of parents who have disability in conjunction with Disability Services, they should:
When assessing a child protection concern where a parent has an intellectual disability, child protection workers must consider the impact of:
Complicating factors are issues that are identified that may make a case more difficult, for example, mental health issues or alcohol and drug use. These are not the actual abuse or neglect, but make the abuse worse, or stop the parents addressing the danger. Child protection workers should seek further information to assess if it is a danger or worry.
Child protection workers may need to consult with their team leader or senior practice development officer to distinguish if the complicating factor is a danger/worry. Refer to Chapter 2.2: Signs of Safety – child protection practice framework for further information.
Where a complaint is lodged in respect of an active joint case the Complaints Management Unit (CMU) investigate the component of the complaint that relates to our role. As part of the intake process, CMU assess and, where appropriate, redirect complaints to Disability Services.