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3.4.5 Child history folder and child history file

Last Modified: 14-Nov-2018 Review Date: 05-Apr-2021

Purpose

To guide child protection workers in the requirement that every child in the CEO's care has an accurate and up to date Child History Folder (hardcopy) and Child History File (Objective).

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

Practice Requirements

 
  • Under the Children and Community Services Act 2004 (the Act), the CEO must ensure that records are kept for every child who is or has been in the CEO's care. The records must contain information prescribed under r.5 of the Children and Community Services Regulations 2006 (the Regulations).
  • Child protection workers must compile and maintain information for children in the CEO's care in a Child History Folder (hardcopy) and in a virtual (Objective) file known as the Child History File.
  • Child protection workers must record and store information so that it is easily retrievable when the folder needs to be passed on to the child when he or she leaves the CEO's care.
Process Maps

Not applicable

Procedures

  • The contents of the Child History Folder and the Child History File
  • Management of documents in the Child History Folder
  • Transfer of information
  • The contents of the Child History Folder and the Child History File

    The Child History Folder and corresponding Child History File should contain the child's care needs, history, development and progress.  This includes information and personal items (known as 'prescribed personal materials' under the Regulations) that parents and other members of a child's family would normally keep and pass on.

    The prescribed personal materials that must be placed in both files in accordance with the Regulations are: 

    • the child’s birth certificate and/or information to the extent that such information is available
    • a copy of the protection order(s)
    • the child’s passport, where applicable
    • photographs of the child (excluding photographs of the child that depict harm or are of a forensic nature)
    • a copy of the child’s care plan or provisional care plan and any modifications to it
    • information about the child’s health, including a copy of any medical or immunisation records (that is, those records normally provided to parents by health services that a young person will need regarding their health history when they turn 18 years of age.  Reports provided as part of a safety and wellbeing assessment or from the Perth Children's Hospital Child Protection Unit must not be placed in these files)
    • information about the child's education, including a copy of any school reports
    • information about the child’s cultural, ethnic, religious and family background to the extent that such information is available
    • a copy of the writ, consent judgement or notice of discontinuance for any child who has or had a legal claim against Communities, and
    • any other information considered by the CEO to be relevant to the child.

    When a child leaves the CEO's care

    Under s.97(1) of the Act, when a child leaves the CEO's care, he or she must be given any personal material held by the Department.  These personal materials that must be given to the child are prescribed in s.21B Children and Community Services Regulations 2006.  'Prescribed personal materials' include: 

    • school test results and other material relating to the child's education (such as awards, certificates, yearbooks, portfolios and artwork)
    • records and personal effects relating to the child's participation in recreational or extra-curricular activities (such as awards, medals, trophies and certificates)
    • the child's Medicare Card and Health Care Card
    • the child's dental records
    • the child's immunisation records
    • the child's Tax File Number
    • documents relating to the child's financial assets (such as bank account and trust account information and any cards linked to such accounts)
    • the child's learners' permit, driver's licence and any other identification documents
    • the child's family tree or genogram
    • gifts, letters and photographs received from the child's relatives, friends and carers
    • the child's placement history, and
    • documents or material relating to the child's religious identity (such as a baptism or confirmation certificate).

     

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    Management of documents in the Child History Folder

    All physical documents placed in the Child History Folder must be in reverse chronological order. Staples, paper clips and other fasteners must be removed and the original birth certificate should be placed in a plastic sleeve.

    The inside cover of the folder includes a contents list where information about the documents being placed in the folder should be listed for quick reference.

    An electronic version of the Child History Folder (the Child History File) must be created in Objective, and a copy of all material placed in the folder must be scanned and placed in the file.

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    Transfer of information

    When case management is transferred

    Where case management of a child in the CEO's care is transferred to another child protection worker, either in the same district or to another district, the Child History Folder and any archived paper files must be transferred to the new child protection worker.

    When a child leaves the CEO's care

    Child protection workers must:

    • establish a process for handing over the contents of the Child History Folder to the child as part of the planning for transition from the CEO's care. 
    • check that the Department has kept a complete copy of the documents in the Child History File in Objective. 

    The team leader must approve this process. 

    Under s.97(1) of the Act when a child leaves the CEO's care, he or she must be given any personal material held by the Department.  The personal materials that must be given to the child are prescribed in s.21B Children and Community Services Regulations 2006.  'Prescribed personal materials' include: 

    • school test results and other material relating to the child's education (such as awards, certificates, yearbooks, portfolios and artwork)
    • records and personal effects relating to the child's participation in recreational or extra-curricular activities (such as awards, medals, trophies and certificates)
    • the child's Medicare Card and Health Care Card
    • the child's dental records
    • the child's immunisation records
    • the child's Tax File Number
    • documents relating to the child's financial assets (such as bank account and trust account information and any cards linked to such accounts)
    • the child's learners' permit, driver's licence and any other identification documents
    • the child's family tree or genogram
    • gifts, letters and photographs received from the child's relatives, friends and carers
    • the child's placement history, and
    • documents or material relating to the child's religious identity (such as a baptism or confirmation certificate).

     For more information, refer to Chapter 3.4: Leaving the CEO’s care and the related resource Transferring a Child’s Personal Belongings.

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