IF WE CONTACT YOU ABOUT YOUR CHILD
If a report is made about your child, it is the Department’s responsibility to undertake further steps to clarify, or assess concerns reported in relation to your child’s safety or wellbeing. The Department’s preference, where possible, is to work with you to meet the safety and care needs of your child.
When Field Workers contact or visit you
It is the responsibility of departmental officers, called Field Workers, to contact you by telephone or visit your home to talk with you and other family members, in order to get a better understanding of your family’s circumstances.
Field Workers are required to:
- introduce themselves and explain their reason for contacting you;
- show their identity card, issued by the Department, when visiting your home;
- explain their role and outline the Department’s child protection responsibilities;
- obtain your permission before speaking to your child/ren, in most instances;
- contact you as soon as possible in circumstances where they have already spoken to your child without your consent.
Field Workers may:
- talk with you and other members of the family;
- talk with your child in an age-appropriate way about the concern that has been raised;
- learn about your family’s strengths;
- assess the risk of your child being harmed;
- arrange access to an interpreter, if required;
- discuss what supports might assist you in caring for your child and/or providing a safer environment.
Field Workers may also request your permission to talk to other people who are responsible for your child’s welfare, or play an important role in his or her life, such as:
- family friends
- child care workers.
What happens next?