To advise child protection workers of the practice requirements associated with the provision of placement services under s.32(1)(a) of the Children and Community Services Act 2004 (the Act).
Note: CEO refers to the Chief Executive Officer of the Department of Communities (The Department).
There are two typical scenarios where a placement service under s.32(1)(a) of the Act may be provided:
1. The first is when a person who is not the child’s parent and does not have parental responsibility, seeks support in the form of a placement. For example, a grandparent who has the primary role of caring for a child requests a respite arrangement.
If there are no protective concerns it may be appropriate to provide a placement service. However, this only applies if the parent is not contactable. Before considering a placement service for the child, Communities must make efforts to contact the parents with a view to implementing a negotiated placement agreement. Refer to Chapter 3.4: Negotiated placement agreements (NPA). If the parent cannot be contacted a placement service may be entered into with the carer as a means of providing support, and
2. The second likely situation includes circumstances where the child’s parents are currently caring for the child (an adolescent), but there is significant parent-adolescent conflict. The adolescent may be refusing to remain in, or return to parental care, or the parent(s) refuse to have the child home, but are not willing to enter into a NPA. In these circumstances, it may be necessary to provide a placement service for the adolescent. This should be undertaken as a last resort and is not appropriate for a child under 15 years old.
An assessment of the child's wellbeing, capacity and wishes should determine the type of placement arrangement required. For example, a young person may be able to live independently with support services, or it may be appropriate to place an Aboriginal or culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) young person in their community with supports rather than with a foster carer. A referral and discussion with the senior child protection worker placement services (SCPWPS) should occur when attempting to identify the most appropriate placement arrangement for the child.
Child protection workers must adhere to s.81 of the Act before making a placement arrangement for an Aboriginal child.
A care plan is required for a child in the CEO’s care under a placement service under s.32(1)(a) of the Act. This needs to occur within 30 working days of the child entering the placement arrangement. Refer to Chapter 3.4: Care planning - provisional care plans, care plans and Viewpoint.
The child should also be visited on a minimum three monthly basis - refer to Chapter 3.4: Quarterly care reports.