Department of Human Services

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10. Building effective partnership and collaboration

Child protection is a complex issue and, as such, an integrated community and cross-agency case management response offers the best opportunity for addressing child safety concerns and supporting families to care for their children. Safer Family Services is committed to building respectful and enduring partnerships and working in ways that:

  • communicate with children, families and others in a way that is entirely respectful; for Aboriginal families, this includes acknowledging diversity in child rearing practices and kinship systems
  • reduce service duplication or gaps, avoiding the need for children and adults who care for them, to retell their ‘story’
  • respect and invest in enhancing our cultural responsiveness and practice, by building respectful relationships including with culturally specific services and working alongside our Aboriginal practitioners with cultural expertise
  • are accountable, transparent, purposeful and timely with a shared understanding, reducing case drift and increasing the likelihood of children remaining safely within their families
  • share information that promotes children’s safety and strengthens the family’s capacity to care for their children.

Case conferences (with child and family attending) need to be outcome-driven – generally the purpose of a case conference includes:

  • ensuring child and family involvement, including a cultural representative (if appropriate)
  • reviewing the child and family situation, agency assessments and progress towards case plan goals
  • discussing issues, concerns or gaps in current service delivery (from the child, family and agency perspectives)
  • feedback from the child and family members regarding service experience and expectations moving forward
  • developing actions (and timeframes) that support the case plan and agree on the roles each agency has in achieving next steps to ensure the child and family support any new direction
  • listening to child and family feedback and ensure it is captured and reflected in new case plans.

Case conferences without the child or family present should only be called under special circumstances, specifically if it relates to the safety of the child. Safer Family Services works under the principles of the Information Sharing Guidelines.

Page last updated : 25 Nov 2021

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