Department of Human Services

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9.5 Monitoring

Key outcomes

  • review progress and re-strategise
  • flexible and responsive to change
  • regular case/family conferences as required
  • celebrate wins, affirming and validating safety and strength within the child and family
  • plan for transitions or exit stage

Monitoring case plan activities with the child, family and relevant kinship connections helps to identify progress, prioritise next steps and ensure efficiency in achieving goals. When working with Aboriginal children, family and kinship networks, recognise that timeframes may need to be extended. This will be determined by the child and family’s previous involvement with services, and their very personal healing journey.

Monitoring case plans is an ongoing and proactive process; it requires constant re-engagement with the child, pivotal family and kinship connections and community contacts, and informing other service providers on progress, gaps and areas that may require change.

Case plan reviews should be conducted every three months with the child and family. Line managers will review a case plan with supervision. Consistent service approaches and accountability to children, families and communities is part of reflective and continuous improvement practices.

A review will determine:

  • how is the child travelling with the plan? Are they able to express what’s changed, what is different and how they feel?
  • any reassessments needed and which partners need to be involved
  • whether identified goals remain current
  • whether all strategies are adequately resourced and all partners are contributing towards goal achievement
  • additional opportunity to build a relationship with the child and family – can the child’s voice be captured more substantially (if required)?
  • if decision making has helped towards identified goals and the impact of goal achievements
  • has risk been reduced and from whose perspective? Is there agreement? What is the child saying about this? What are key kinship connections and community contacts saying?

Ensure that monitoring and review includes accurate and timely case notes on all activities undertaken and clients’ responses to them. Our commitment is to ensure a culture of continuous improvement within SFS. The use of internal audits on client files is also beneficial to agency case management standards and quality assurance processes.

Review progress and re-strategise

Engage and support the child and family with acknowledgement of their capacity, growth, insight and motivation. Fundamentally intervention is to mitigate child risk, keep child with their family and build family capacity and improve connection (to support, culture and/or community) to reducing isolation.

Stay curious! About the effectiveness of plans and how emerging information might impact, from your perspective and those of the child, family, extended support system or community. Update and/or refine goals, strategies and objectives to meet the child and family needs, and ensure goals are realistic and achievable. Consider the involvement of additional agencies or supports if necessary.

Identify barriers and respond to change

The monitoring process may identify gaps or barriers to progressing objectives of the case plan. Work with the client and other service providers to identify the challenges/barriers and openly problem solve:

  • Is the goal still relevant?
  • Has the situation changed?
  • What new information may need to be considered?

Systemic critical thinking delivers best responses for addressing barriers experienced by the client. Creativity and persistent, working within the client’s capacity (building resilience and confidence) and agency’s resources.

Celebrate milestones

Celebrate achievements towards goals, successes and acknowledge the efforts of all involved. Ensure the client is at the centre of celebrations and acknowledgement.

Review agency involvement and possible transition or exit strategy

Review if service plan and interventions are still the most suitable/appropriate and if another agency should be the lead in case managing services. Discuss all transitions/ exit strategies with line manager as per governance arrangements.

Cultural considerations for Aboriginal clients

Are goals still relevant and a priority for the client and worker, has child risk reduced? What are some other priorities that will maintain motivation towards this goal? Continue to remain connected to the child and family and demonstrate that you are committed to working with them to make outcomes happen. Understand the long-term oppression and impact of intergenerational trauma and its influence on the child, family and community contact’s confidence and capacity.

Make sure the goals and tasks are developed in a way that works for the community. That the child, family and relevant kinship members can relate to? Ensure cultural consultation has been part of the process or seek co- working with an Aboriginal peer within your team or relevant service that is connected to and understands the child’s nation.

Practice point: monitoring

Providing support and validating good outcomes, while challenging parents or kinship carers on neglectful or other unsafe child rearing practices, is a constant tension for practitioners and the care team.

Clear, transparent and consistent messaging focused on the child’s safety, including exploring additional supports as required by the family, will contribute to maintaining this outcome.

Page last updated : 25 Nov 2021

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