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3.2.13 Termination of pregnancy

Last Modified: 02-Aug-2018 Review Date: 29-Oct-2010

Purpose

To inform child protection workers about the consent procedures required for the termination of a pregnancy for a child in the CEO's care.

Practice Requirements

  • Under s.127 Children and Community Serviecs Act 2004 the Executive Director State-wide and South East and State-wide and South West have delegated authority to provide consent for the termination of a pregnancy for a child in the CEO’s care.
  • Child protection workers must check that the child is aware of all options, alternatives and possible consequences of a termination of a pregnancy.
  • If termination of pregnancy is the course of action to be pursued, the child must provide her consent for the termination in writing.
  • If possible, child protection workers must attempt to obtain and record the child's parents' views and wishes. If there is some reason why their views cannot or should not be obtained, the child protection worker must record the reason for this.
  • Where a child protection worker’s religious or moral ethics preclude them from assisting the child with obtaining the termination of pregnancy, they must discuss this with their team leader to resolve any case management issues.
  • Decisions to seek consent for the termination of a pregnancy represent a significant and critical event in the life of the child and her family. For this reason, submissions must be quality assured and endorsed by the team leader and district director. In highly contentious cases, consult with Child Protection Legal Services, the Directors  Professional Practice Unit or a senior practice development officer.
  • Where these decisions involve Aboriginal children, the Aboriginal practice leader (or other relevant Aboriginal officer) must be consulted for advice on culturally appropriate practice.
  • Where these decisions involve children with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CaLD) backgrounds, the Principle Policy and Planning Officer - Cultural Diversity (or other senior CaLD officer) must be consulted to ensure culturally appropriate practice.
Process Maps

Not applicable

Procedures

  • 1. Contact with the surgeon/GP
  • 2. Information given on any medical conditions
  • 3. Consideration of the child’s wishes and views
  • 4. Seek the views and wishes of the parent
  • 5. Contact with the child’s carer
  • 6. Completion of forms
  • 7. Approval process
  • 8. Recording
  • 1. Contact with the surgeon/GP

    Child protection workers should contact the surgeon or general practitioner (GP) to request a report on:

    • the type of operation required
    • expected outcomes
    • possible ramifications and consequences of surgery
    • possible ramifications and consequences if the surgery is not performed, and 
    • why the termination is necessary.
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    2. Information given on any medical conditions

    Child protection workers must inform the surgeon or GP of any medical conditions (for example allergies, possible genetic implications, etc.) and request that the surgeon or GP alert other appropriate medical personnel.

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    3. Consideration of the child’s wishes and views

    In most cases, the child’s informed consent is required in writing before a termination of pregnancy can be performed.  The child must be referred for counselling before a final decision is made.

    Child protection workers should consider the wishes and views of the child and provide information in a manner and language that the child can understand.

    In situations involving a child with disabilities, child protection workers must undertake an assessment to determine the child’s needs and best interests. Consultation should occur with Disability Services Commission and/or any other agency involved with the child.

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    4. Seek the views and wishes of the parent

    Child protection workers should make reasonable attempts, where appropriate, to contact the child’s parents to seek their views and wishes, and involve them in the process.

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    5. Contact with the child’s carer

    Child protection workers should also make contact with the child's carer to involve them in the process.

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    6. Completion of forms

    Child protection workers should refer to Assist User Guides - Templates Relating to Children in Care template.  Select 'Termination of Pregnancy' from the 'templates' tab in the child's '360 degree view'.  Enter all relevant details to the template submission for approval.

    Child protection workers must also complete a:

    • Form 134 Consent for Anaesthetics and Operative Procedures for Children in Care where the CEO has parental authority to consent  
    • Form 269 Letter to Medical Practitioner - covering letter to the surgeon, hospital or GP advising of any medical conditions and requesting that other appropriate medical personnel are also advised of these (a copy must be saved into the child's case file).

    Child protection workers must obtain the child’s written consent for the termination procedure (if possible). This should be forwarded with the submission.

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    7. Approval process

    Child protection workers submit the documentation to their team leader.  The team leader checks, considers, endorses and submits the documentation to the district director for consideration.

    The district director considers the submission and, if appropriate, endorses it and forwards the documentation to the relevant Executive Director State-wide and South East or State-wide and South West for consideration and approval.

    The Executive Director considers the submission and approves, if appropriate, and signs Form 134 Consent Form and Form 269 covering letter.

    The executive assistant forwards the signed letter and Consent Form to the surgeon, hospital or GP by fax. The executive assistant makes a copy of the covering letter and consent form and scans and returns the copies and the other documentation to the child protection worker in the district office.

    The executive assistant posts the original signed letter and consent form to the surgeon, hospital or GP.

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    8. Recording

    Child protection workers must scan and save the documents onto the case file and record the relevant details in the child's Quarterly Care Review in Assist.

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