THE DEPARTMENT'S RESPONSE WHEN A CONCERN IS REPORTED
After receiving a concern about a child, the Department will check its records to ascertain if the child or family has had previous contact with the Department. The Department may contact the child’s parent and the child. Further enquiries may also be made to services or individuals who may have had contact with the child.
The Department will assess the information gathered and make a decision about the most appropriate response. The Department’s range of responses include:
- taking no further action
- referring the child or family to support services
- providing family support services
- undertaking a child protection investigation
- working with the family to keep the child safe
- applying to the Children’s Court for a protection order if the Department forms a view that the child is in need of protection. (For further details, refer to Fact Sheet: What is a protection order).
The Department’s preference, where possible, is to work with the family to meet the safety and care needs of their child.
The Department’s assessment takes into account the diversity of family values and culture however, the best interests of the child, including his/her safety, is the paramount consideration.