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3.4.20 Quarterly care reports

Last Modified: 03-Jan-2019 Review Date: 01-Oct-2017

Purpose

This entry explains the requirement for child protection workers to visit children in the CEO's care on a quarterly basis at minimum, and produce a report of the visit.

Note: CEO refers to the Chief Executive Officer of the Department of Communities.

Practice Requirements

 
  • Quarterly Care Reports are required for all children in the CEO’s care. Child protection workers must meet with the child alone at least once every three months to assess their wellbeing, build relationships, determine how they are progressing in care, and hear their views and wishes.
  • The written report must confirm that the child and his or her carers have been seen and spoken with at least once in the last quarter. It must document all significant issues in the child’s life and the strategies to manage these issues and address any concerns expressed.
  • Child protection workers are responsible for completing Quarterly Care Reports - this cannot be undertaken by staff from other agencies that may be providing care for the child.
  • According to the principle of child participation, children should be consulted privately in a neutral setting to discuss their circumstances and wishes as part of the preparation of the report.
  • Child protection workers must update the Quarterly Care Review (QCR) in Assist on a quarterly basis at minimum, and have it approved by the team leader or district director.

 

Process Maps

Not applicable

Procedures

  • Development of the Quarterly Care Report
  • Preparation for a care planning meeting may suffice as a Quarterly Care Report
  • The QCR and the Quarterly Care Report
  • Step by step procedures
  • Development of the Quarterly Care Report

    The case manager within the case management district is usually the person responsible for undertaking the quarterly visits and recording the Quarterly Care Report. However, where a district office maintains management of a case (that is, does not transfer the case) but requests another district office to supervise the placement arrangement of a child because of the location of the child, then the visits and Quarterly Care Report would normally be completed by the district office supervising the child’s placement.

    Where Child Protection and Family Support division is supervising a child from another state, it is recommended that a Quarterly Care Report be completed to provide a summary report of the child's progress that is forwarded to the child protection worker in the state with legal responsibility for the child.

    Child protection workers must consider the current and future cultural needs of all children in the CEO’s care when undertaking the quarterly visits and record the outcomes in the QCR in Assist under the Identity and Culture dimension.

    If the child is of Aboriginal descent, child protection workers should refer to the existing cultural plan and other relevant cultural information to inform the discussion. It may be appropriate for the Aboriginal practice leader (or other relevant Aboriginal officer) to be consulted prior to the visit.

    Where a child has a culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) background, specific language and cultural needs must be considered.  Where possible, this information should be obtained from the child’s family and community.  Additional cultural information is available through the CaLD SharePoint Resource Library (link in related resources).

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    Preparation for a care planning meeting may suffice as a Quarterly Care Report

    When a child protection worker visits a child as preparation for the development or modification of a provisional care plan or care plan, a separate Quarterly Care Report is not required if the child has been visited within one month before or after the due date of the Quarterly Care Report.

    The information normally required in a Quarterly Care Report should be recorded by the child protection worker in the QCR in Assist, which will auto-populate once approved to the provisional care plan or care plan, or modified care plan. The Chair of the meeting should note that the information from the quarterly visit informed the planning.

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    The QCR and the Quarterly Care Report

    Child protection workers must update the QCR in Assist on a quarterly basis as a minimum and have it approved (by the team leader or district director). It is possible to approve the QCR at other times as required.  

    Each dimension in the QCR contains practice prompts for recording (which are not visible in the published Quarterly Care Report).  Once the QCR is approved, it will generate a Quarterly Care Report that will publish to the case file.

    Refer to the Assist User Guide – Quarterly Care Review  (in related resources) for guidance on how to navigate to the QCR and record information.

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    Step by step procedures

    Step 1

    Plan the visit to the child:

    • give notice to the child and carers of your visit
    • consider the child's age and development, including disability 
    • plan where you are going to meet privately with the child
    • review the current care plan or provisional care plan
    • organisie an interpreter if needed
    • consider whether having someone else with you would make the child more at ease, for example an Aboriginal practice leader, and
    • any CaLD condiserations.

    Step 2

    Visit the child.  It is generally expected that the child protection worker will see the child on their own when undertaking a quarterly visit. The child should be told they can tell or ask you things if they want to, and these will be written in their report. Child protection workers should ask questions that will help to check that the child feels safe and has the things they need. The discussion should cover all nine dimensions of care.

    Planning for birthday or Christmas gifts (or for another occasion if more culturally appropriate) for children in the CEO’s care may also be discussed with the child and his or her carer during this visit.  Refer to Gifts for Children in the CEO’s Care in related resources for more information.

    Step 3

    Following the meeting, record details in the QCR in Assist – using the practice prompts under each dimension of care – and request approval from the team leader (or district director). On approval, Assist will generate a Quarterly Care Report that will publish to the case file.

    Step 4

    If controversial matters or issues of serious concern are raised during the visit, report them to the team leader immediately and record them in the QCR in Assist before requesting approval. The team leader should inform the district director immediately. The district director forwards a copy of the Quarterly Care Report to the relevant Executive Director (Metropolitan or Country Services) and contacts them to discuss their concerns.

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