To guide child protection workers in the process of making an insurance claim through the Insurance Commission of Western Australia (ICWA) for the Department's general, family or significant other foster carers and voluntary non-government placement agency foster carers who provide care in their home for a child in the CEO's care.
Note: CEO refers to the Department of Communities' Chief Executive Officer, and care arrangement refers to child placement.
Eligibility of Department and volunteer non-government agency foster carers
All approved Department carers, non-government placement agency foster carers who provide volunteer care in their own home, foster carers with 'Group Home Carer' status, and any person permanently residing with the foster carer or foster carer with 'Group Home Carer' status have insurance cover with ICWA.
The cover includes any event that has resulted from specific incidents (defined events) caused by the actions of a child in the CEO's care placed by Department. General wear and tear is defined as damage that naturally and inevitably occurs as a result of normal use or aging, and is not included as part of this cover.
The ICWA policy excludes non-government placement agencies where foster carers are in a paid arrangement to care for children in the CEO’s care.
Non-government placement agencies that provide 'fee for service' care arrangements need to contact the Department's Client Support Services on 9222 2555 to determine eligibility.
Includes property of every description (excluding motor vehicles and their accessories) owned by or in the care, custody and control of the foster carer that is lost or damaged as the result of fire, wilful or malicious acts, theft or attempted theft, vandalism or accidental damage caused by a child in the CEO’s care or the child’s natural family. This does not include property of the non-government organisation.
Includes the legal liability of the foster carer as a result of an occurrence caused by a child in the CEO’s care or the child’s natural family.
Includes any claim made against the foster carer arising from any negligent act, error or omission committed or alleged to have been committed in respect of a child in the CEO’s care whilst the child is placed with the foster carer and notified to ICWA.
Includes motor vehicles and their accessories owned by, or in the care, custody or control of the foster carer, lost or damaged as the result of fire, wilful or malicious acts, theft or attempted theft, vandalism or accidental damage caused by a child in the CEO’s care or the child’s natural family.
This includes the legal liability of the foster carer as a result of an accident arising out of the use of the motor vehicle and caused by the child or child’s natural family.
Includes any bodily injury sustained by a foster carer that resulted directly from caring for a child in the CEO’s care whilst the child was placed with them.
This includes illness directly resulting from medical or surgical treatment rendered necessary by the injury within twelve calendar months from the date of the accident when the bodily injury occurred.
This does not include injury to any staff of the agency.
Department approved carers must inform the child's child protection worker about the details immediately following an incident that may result in an insurance claim. Non-government agency foster carers must inform the relevant placement agency. The non-government placement agency must advise the child's child protection worker about the details of the incident in writing when informed of the incident.
You should advise the foster carer that the Department is not responsible for arranging for quotes and/or repairs. The foster carer must advise the repairer when arranging the quote that the incident will be an insurance claim through ICWA, and ask that the quote be made out in the foster carer’s name.
The carer or non-government placement agency should obtain two quotes for the damage and/or repairs. Quotes may include brochures giving the purchase price of a comparable item. The foster carer or non-government placement agency should retain the receipts if immediate repair and/or replacement is necessary. Any damaged items should be retained until the child protection worker has visited and insurance claim forms have been completed.
You must view any damage, ascertain the facts of the incident and implement strategies so that re-occurrence of such incidents is minimised.
You need to determine whether an Incident Notification is required. Refer to Chapter 4.2: Notification of death, serious injury or critical incident.
Insurance claim forms are available via e-mail from Client Support Services. Insurance claim forms should be printed as required, as forms are updated from time to time.
You must complete the insurance claim form, providing full details of the incident and the full name, address and date of birth of the primary foster carer. Details of the child, including name, identification, date of birth and the dates of the care arrangement with the foster carer should be attached to the insurance claim form. All sections of the insurance claim form must be completed in full.
You have the authority to sign the form. A separate insurance claim is required for each incident if more than one incident occurred within a short timeframe.
You must forward the completed insurance claim form and any quotes or receipts to the coordinator Client Support Services for quality assurance of the claim and liaison with ICWA. You must forward the insurance claim within 30 days of the date of the incident.
Client Support Services will check that the documentation is complete and strategies are in place to meet duty of care requirements and avoid further insurance claims.
Client Support Services will forward the insurance claim form and all documentation to ICWA for their assessment of liability under the cover provided to the Department. Any forms sent directly to ICWA by a foster carer, child protection worker or non-government placement agency will be returned to Client Support Services for quality assurance.
The Insurance Commission of WA will assess the insurance claim using the parameters of a commercial insurance provider and will deal directly with the foster carer. You should inform the foster carer or non-government placement agency that insurance claims are subject to the insurer's assessment and payment will not necessarily be paid at a new for old rate. The time taken to assess the insurance claim will depend on the claim itself and the insurer’s workload.
If ICWA assess that the claim will not be paid, they will liaise with the coordinator Client Support Services who will, in turn, inform the Department carer or non-government placement agency. Child protection workers will receive copies of any correspondence.