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3.1.10 Revocation of a carer's approval (foster, family or significant other)

Last Modified: 06-Feb-2019 Review Date: 01-Oct-2018

Purpose

To guide child protection workers in the role and process of revoking a foster, family or significant other carer's approval.

Practice Requirements

 
  • The CEO may revoke a foster carer's approval (foster, family or significant other carer) if not satisfied that the individual meets the five competencies set out in the Children and Community Services Regulations 2006 (the Regulations):
    • The carer is able to provide care for a child in a way that promotes the wellbeing of the child, the child's family and interpersonal relationships, and protects the child from harm
    • The carer is able to provide a safe living environment for a child
    • The carer is able to work cooperatively with officers, a child's family and other people when providing care for a child
    • The carer is able to take responsibility for the development of his or her competency and skills as a carer, and
    • The carer is a person of good character and repute.
  • The CEO may also revoke approval if the carer receives an Interim Negative Notice or Negative Notice under the Working with Children (Criminal Record Checking) Act 2004 or they obtained approval improperly.
  • Communities must give written notice to the approved carer stating the reasons for the proposed revocation.
  • The written notice must advise the carer that they are entitled to make representations to the CEO in respect of the proposed revocation within 28 days of receipt of the proposed revocation.
  • Concerns that lead to the revocation of approval as a carer must be assessed and action taken to ensure the safety of children placed with the carer and the carers' own children.

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

Process Maps

Refer to Revocation of a Foster Carer’s Approval (in related resources).

Procedures

  • Preliminary
  • Notification of revocation
  • Decision regarding revocation
  • Withdrawal by a carer
  • Preliminary

    The CEO may revoke the approval of a carer if he or she does not continue to meet all of the five competencies and/or other matters as set out in the above practice requirements. Revocation of approval records the carer as unable to meet the competencies to provide care and may affect any future applications or assessments. 

    Sound evidence must be documented for the revocation of approval of a carer.

    Concerns that led to the submission for revocation of approval as a carer must be assessed and action taken to ensure the safety of any child placed with the carer and/or the carer's children.

    Examples of reasons for revocation of approval could include:

    • acts of violence, child maltreatment, exploitation, deprivation of liberty,  unreasonable discipline,  and criminal charges against the carer and/or significant others within the carer's family - especially charges involving physical violence, those of a sexual nature, or use of illegal substances
    • issue of a Negative Notice or Interim Negative Notice against the carer 
    • any reasonable grounds to believe that the approval to be a carer was obtained improperly, or 
    • persistent actions which are contrary to and undermine quality care principles and case planning decisions.

    When a child protection worker involved in a case believes that there are grounds to revoke a carer's approval, the child protection worker and their team leader should consult with the senior child protection worker placement services (SCPWPS) to clarify procedures and identify information that needs to be gathered.  The grounds for revocation of approval should always relate to the carer no longer meeting the required competencies or other matters set out in the Regulations. The SCPWPS may contact the Child and Carer Connection Hub for further advice.

    The child protection worker, in consultation with the SCPWPS, must prepare Form 518 - Submission for the Proposed Revocation of a Foster Carer's Approval (in related resources) for endorsement by the district director. The submission must be accompanied by any supporting documents, for instance:

    • a relevant safety and wellbeing assessment (SWA)
    • SWA outcome report, and
    • any other reports from other work units that are relevant to the revocation, such as the Duty of Care Unit.

    The submission (Form 518) must be a summary, not a repeat, of all information in the supporting documentation provided.

    The carer must be advised:

    • if the district director recommends that the carer's approval be revoked
    • of the revocation process, and
    • that it may take several months before a final decision is made.

    An alert must be recorded in Assist to inform that proceedings are under way for approval of revocation.

    The district director forwards the submission (Form 518) together with supporting documentation to the relevant Director Service Delivery for approval. The Director Service Delivery quality assures the information.

    If the Director Service Delivery forms the belief that revocation of approval cannot be upheld, a clear rationale for this decision must be recorded and communicated to the relevant district director. The district director must then advise the carer and removet the alert previously recorded in Assist.

    If the submission is approved, the Director Service  Delivery sends it to the relevant Executive Director for noting and forwards it to General Counsel (General Law Unit). The submission must not be sent directly to the Assistant Director General.

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    Notification of revocation

    If it is proposed that the carer's approval be revoked, the General Law Unit will draft a notice - Form 521 - Initial Notice of Proposal to Revoke Foster Carer Approval (in related resources) to the carer. This notice must:

    • be drafted in a template
    • identify the grounds on which the proposed revocation of approval is based
    • invite the carer to make representations to the CEO in respect of the proposed revocation within 28 days after receipt of the notice
    • identify timeframes in which the carer can expect a response following any representation made within 28 days - that is, when the decision will be made, and 
    • include information to assist the carer with a response to the Assistant Director General, and include contact details of the Office of the Assistant Director General.

    General Counsel forwards the submission and notice to the Assistant Director General for approval and signature.  If approved and signed, the General Law Unit arranges for the notice to be sent via registered post to the carer. A copy of the notice is forwarded to the relevant district director and Executive Director.

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    Decision regarding revocation

    The General Law Unit receives a registered post confirmation when the carer receives the notice. 

    Once 28 days have passed since receipt of the registered post confirmation, the General Law Unit enquires with the Assistant Director General’s office (and, if necessary, the district office) to determine whether the carer has made a written response to the proposed revocation.

    The carer provides a written response

    If the carer makes a written response to the proposed revocation, the district director must make a recommendation using Form 519 Advice of Revocation Letter or Form 520 Advice of No Revocation Letter (in related resources), and forward it to General Counsel (General Law Unit) together with the carer's response.  The General Law Unit will prepare a briefing to the Assistant Director General and forward it together with the letter (either Form 519 or Form 521) to the carer for the Assistant Director General's consideration.

    The carer does not provide a written response

    If the carer makes no written response to the proposed revocation letter, the General Law Unit drafts Form 519 Advice of Revocation Letter for the Assistant Director General's consideration.

    Advice letter is sent to the carer

    Once the letter (either Form 519 or 520) is signed, the General Law Unit arranges to forward the letter via registered post to the carer. A copy is sent to the relevant district director and Executive Director.

    Once the letter has been sent to the carer, and if the revocation takes effect, the district director must record this information in Assist.  In cases where the revocation of approval does not proceed, the district director must remove the alert in Assist.

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    Withdrawal by a carer

    A carer may choose to withdraw their services for a range of personal and family reasons. A withdrawal must be voluntary and should be in writing from the carer. A carer's approval cannot be unilaterally withdrawn by Communities.

    If Communities is no longer satisfied that the carer meets the competencies (or the other reasons for revocation exist), the formal revocation process should occur unless the foster carer asks and Communities agrees to their withdrawal. 

    The SCPWPS must record withdrawals in Assist and, wherever possible, arrange and complete an exit interview with the carer.  ​If an agreed withdrawal occurs after the revocation process has commenced, it may be appropriate to record an alert in Assist. 

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