Department of Human Services

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12. Acronyms and glossary



Case Management Framework


Child Abuse Report Line


Culturally and Linguistically Diverse


Department for Child Protection


Department of Human Services


Early Intervention Research Directorate, Department of Human Services

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Family Safety Meeting


High Risk Infant


Information Sharing Guidelines


Refer Other Agency


Refer State Authority


Safer Family Services, Department of Human Services


Unborn Child Concern

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Alternate response

Alternative response is a DCP action for a non-investigative response which provides an avenue for a referral to internal DCP services, for example Kanggarendi, Aboriginal Families Project, APY Lands Team and Multicultural Services. It also allows a referral to State Authority for the purpose of a warm referral. DCP can then use a closure code on C3MS, and the service opens an alternative response case to continue recording work with the family.

Assertive engagement

Assertive engagement takes a proactive approach to delivering support. It challenges the idea that a client is always responsible for engaging with services and instead requires that the practitioner persistently and consistently approach the client to build a relationship, to engage them in critical conversations around risk, capacity and functioning, and to continue to offer support.

Child Protection Assessment Framework

The child assessment risk triangle places the infant/child at the centre of the assessment; it considers the infant child’s needs and strengths, the parent/caregiver capacity and strengths, and the family and environment context.

Case plan

A case plan is prepared by a case manager (preferably in conjunction with the client) and is based on a psychosocial assessment of the client, which includes safety, risks and strengths. It clearly articulates how and when needs and goals will be addressed through the process of case management.

Case notes / case recording

Case notes and recordings are written evidence of the history of engagement, assessment, planning, service delivery/coordination and review for the agency/ practitioner with the client. They provide the flow and rationale for key decisions or changes to case plans and demonstrate the outcomes of intervention. Importantly, case records are a source of family history for children and young people, who may later request access information on their family’s story.

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Case worker

A case worker is a worker allocated to provide specific services that support the overall direction of the case plan. They work in close liaison with the client.


Decision-making responds to the unique needs of the child, recognising connection to culture and family, including critical child developmental timelines. Where possible, practitioners actively listen and encourage children to exercise their personal agency and play a significant part in the decision making.

Cultural capability

Services recognise the long history of Aboriginal connection with land and the impact past practices continue to have in community.

Cultural capability is evident at both organisational and service delivery levels, informing decision making and work practices.

Early help and support

To create a first point of contact for anyone seeking advice and assistance if they have concerns about a child, young person or their family’s safety and wellbeing.

Family Safety Framework

Developed to improve integrated service responses to families experiencing domestic violence who are at high risk of serious injury or death.

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Inter-generational trauma

The trauma that a person carries through their life and passes onto their next generation of family.


Relationship-based social work is based on a supportive and understanding relationship with the client as the key resource.

It does this by addressing the identified problem, and by meaningfully engaging, mobilising and developing both supportive and problem-solving networks, to enhance and foster resilience.

Refer Other Agency

If DCP determines an agency that is not a state authority is better able to respond to a child protection matter and the organisation agrees to accept it, then it is referred to that agency. 24hr responses cannot be referred.

Refer State Authority

Government departments and local councils are considered state authorities, as are any NGOs that receive funding from state or local government to provide services to young people and their families. If DCP determines that it is more appropriate for a state authority to respond to a child protection report, the report may be referred to that authority for a response. This must be done in agreement with the authority. 24hr response intakes cannot be referred.

Restorative practice

Restorative practice is a strength-based practice that seeks to repair relationships that have been damaged.

It empowers families to influence and participate in decision making that will produce positive outcomes for their children.

Restorative practice engages families and enables change by working with families rather than services doing to them, or for them.

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Priority groups for Safer Family Services

Priority groups include:

  • young parents (mothers under 20 and fathers under 25 at the birth of their first child)
  • vulnerable adolescents at risk of having children who will go on to enter the child protection system
  • Aboriginal families with multiple needs
  • families of infants at risk in the first 1,000 days.

Trauma-responsive practice

A strengths-based framework grounded in recognising, understanding and responding to the impact of trauma, emphasising physical, psychological, and emotional safety, and creating opportunities for clients to rebuild a sense of control and empowerment.

Trans-generational trauma

Occurs when the grief and loss from one generation is passed to future generations.

Toxic stress

Toxic stress in children, stemming from abuse, neglect, exposure to violence, and/or the stresses of poverty, is a risk to healthy development and its underlying brain function and may increase the risk of a variety of chronic diseases later in life (SNAICC, 2019).

Warm referral

‘Warm referral’ has varying meanings according to the service context. Within Department for Child Protection (DCP), it describes a joint home visit from DCP and Safer Family Services practitioners.

For Safer Family Services programs, it is supporting client and agency to connect by contacting an agency prior to the client. This ensures the receiving agency has all the information required in order to accept the referral and provide the client with the services they require.

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Page last updated : 20 Dec 2021

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