Department of Human Services

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9.6 Evaluation, transition or exit

Key outcomes

  • document all rationale for transition, exit or evaluation
  • ensure the child, family and other service partners contribute to the transition, evaluation or exit plan
  • evaluate progress and outcomes – what’s left to be progressed, why and by whom?
  • identify continuous improvement opportunities.

Evaluation is important for:

  • measuring achievements against the plan
  • reflecting on elements of the engagement process with the child, family and other agencies
  • developing evidence informed practice
  • reviewing service demands
  • recognising service gaps, strengths and opportunities from the child, family and agency perspective.

Transitions and exits are a natural part of the intervention process. Discussions early in the engagement stage help children and families to understand the parameters of the service intervention. For some children, young people and families, this is a motivating factor, especially for families who have experienced oppressive practices which have contributed negatively to their confidence and resilience.

Case transfers within Safer Family Services (SFS) will ideally be led by the child’s developmental, social and emotional needs within the context of their family. For Aboriginal, CALD or refugee children and families, consideration of previous service experiences, trauma history and the relationship established with the current practitioner will be part of the consultation with the line manager supervision. These consultations and final decision making will be clearly case noted by the practitioner and endorsed by the line manager.

Transfers can be prompted by other factors such as workforce shortages. Consultation and agreement is required with program line managers before the client/family and other external partners (Department for Child Protection, school sites or NGOs) are informed of the transfer.

In accordance with SFS clinical governance, exits from program interventions must be decisions reached in consultation with / under the supervision of your direct line manager.

Recognition of achievements and planning next steps

Include the child and family in the process of evaluation, transition and exit, and be clear about why transition or exit is appropriate currently. Did the child or family initiate transition; if so, why?

Plan the next steps carefully and ensure there is appropriate support in place for a successful transition. Make sure the child, family and other services involved are clear about timeframes and the opportunity for re-engagement if needed in the future.

Reflect with your line manager and learn from the challenges and successes.

Use evaluation to strengthen ongoing practice and partnership

Evaluation might include:

  • timing of assessment, or carrying out the assessment
  • tools/form/techniques used, and life domains assessed
  • any gaps in systems supports or issues
  • cultural responses and relevance of service tools and techniques
  • the relevance of the information gathered to support case interventions.

Reviewing/ reflecting on practice is part of clinical supervision:

  • what were some of the challenges (if any) with engaging the child/family? How were these resolved? What would you do differently?
  • is the child safer now within the family? Has the child and family’s wellbeing and resilience improved?
  • were cultural connections respected and strengthened during intervention? How was this supported by you and cultural consultants?
  • what was new learning for you or others (For example, co-workers)?

Continuous improvement is about reviewing processes, practices and interventions to improve future service response and practices.

Recognition of contributions of all parties

Recognise the efforts, contributions and support of the child, family and each partner.

Transfer of cases internal to SFS

Practitioners are required to consult line managers for approval to transfer. The practitioner is to ensure all assessment and case plans are up to date, including cultural consultations etc. The line manager ensures all documentation is completed prior to transfer, including identification of elevated child protection risks at the time of transfer (timing of transfers must prioritise and support protective factors for the child).

Exit or ending conversation

Children and other participants in the case plan should be aware of the service ending and have an opportunity to reflect and confirm with the practitioner protective capacity and support that has been put in place.

Cultural considerations for Aboriginal clients

If a transition to a new worker or service occurs, ensure the transition happens slowly over several engagements with both workers if this is required by the child and family. The pace of transitions should be determined on a case-by-case basis according to the child and family’s needs. Make sure the new worker has access to information on the history of involvement, levels of engagement and planning for the future. The original worker should provide follow-up after the transition has formally occurred to check on the client’s wellbeing and provide reassurance about the new worker’s involvement.

Practice point: evaluation, transition or exit

Transitions and endings in case management are critical in ensuring that children and families remain connected to services. Exits from services should be completed comprehensively to ensure children and families feel confident to re-connect should they need to. Recognise that endings for children (in particular) can be a time of increased anxiety or concern. For adults with trauma histories, there may be a sense of loss and grief.

Page last updated : 25 Nov 2021

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