This entry is intended to inform child protection workers about:
Child protection workers must record information related to their clients and interactions between clients and the Department into our information systems and Objective within 48 hours, where practical.
All workers are responsible for publishing documents in edit or draft states in Objective client files within a reasonable timeframe. This is necessary to guarantee that authorised users can access client documentation when required and to meet organisational needs.
When recording information, child protection workers must separate and clearly identify facts, professional opinions, and information received from a reporter/client. Child protection workers' interpretations of information must be recorded as either their 'professional opinion' or as an 'assessment of circumstances'.
It is a record keeping requirement that records are legible to the reader. It is strongly recommended that handwritten information be typed. If handwritten notes must be scanned as a document into Objective, the text must be printed and legible.
If the information recorded includes opinions or observations, the source of these must be identified. The weight placed on these, and conclusions drawn, should also be recorded. Precise quotes should be identified using quotation marks.
Information must be correct and cross-checked, wherever possible, with the client and/or the reporter to confirm its accuracy. A record of this action should also be placed on the client file.
Information of corporate value needs to be filed:
Document naming standards
Document names should contain enough information about the content to allow any authorised officer to locate the document and access its information by glancing down the file or using a keyword search.
Child protection workers should note the following:
Incoming correspondence (paper documents) must be scanned to the global folder within 48 hours of being received (where possible) as follows:
More information is available in the Administration Manual entry Scanning of client source documents and Born digital documents - stays digital documents, and in the Scanning of Client Records Policy above.
Client files must have the ability to be sorted in chronological order of case events. This relies on documents being given the correct 'Document Date'. This is usually the date the information relates to, for example, the date on a letter or medical report, or the date an email was sent or received. It may also correspond to the date an event took place, for example, when a urinalysis sample was taken, a domestic violence report was made to police, or the date of an interview, a meeting, or a contact visit.
Note: The document date is not the date that the document was filed.
Case closures, transfers and periods of staff leave
Case managers who prepare a case file for closure or transfer, or who are going on a period of leave, must make sure that the client file is up-to-date and meets required standards. This prevents requests for remedial or other action being forwarded to the worker or district when the case has been closed or transferred.
Clients have the right to dispute information on their client files, and should have the opportunity for incorrect personal information to be amended. This may be by recording an informal discussion on file as a case note, or by providing a written statement correcting the record for attachment to the relevant file.
Child protection workers and their clients should identify the information that needs amending. Any changes must be endorsed by the district director or team leader before information is amended.
When agreement cannot be reached, this must be documented and recorded on the client's file. The client should be advised of their avenues of redress, either through the complaints management process or through Freedom of Information.
If the client is unhappy with the decision, he or she has the right to appeal to the Information Commissioner.
Access to sensitive or privileged client information can be restricted by creating Staff in Confidence File Dividers.
Staff in Confidence information, held in a virtual client file in Objective, can only be viewed by nominated and relevant Communities' staff.
Staff in Confidence File Dividers are only created in situations where valid and legitimate justification has been provided, for example, in an investigation involving a case worker and their management of a case, or when applied to sensitive documents relating to a carer registration when the carer is a Communities' employee.
All requests for the creation of a Staff in Confidence File Divider must be completed on the Staff in Confidence File Divider Creation and request for access form (in related resources) and follow the process outlined in the Staff in Confidence Restriction of Access to Client Information (in related resources).
Access to the relevant electronic systems is requested by completing an 'Access Request' via Form 094 Access to Network and Client Information Systems (in related resources).
Users who need to view or manage client information, or who are taking on higher duties (for example, as acting team leader) must also complete Form 094, specifying the level of access they need.
Any access to the Department's electronic client systems higher than ‘read only’ is granted after successful completion of the appropriate Assist and/or Objective training.
All employees must complete the online Recordkeeping Awareness Training.
As an interim measure 'Approval for Enquiry' or 'Read Only' access to the Department's electronic document and client management systems may be granted if evidence of enrolment in the next available training is provided when the request for access is made.