Care and Protection Services

Introduction

Care and Protection services is responsible for facilitating coordination across government for the care and protection of children and young people. Care and Protection services and an After Hours service, provide a continuum of service delivery to children and young people considered ‘at risk’ of serious harm.

Care and Protection Services is authorised to collect  personal information under the Children and Young People Act 2008 to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children and young people in the ACT. The information collected may be disclosed to government and non government agencies (including but not limited to the Australian Federal Police, ACT Children’s Court, the Family Court, Health and Education Directorates and community organisations) to assist in ensuring the safety and wellbeing of children and young people.  Information identifying a person making a child protection report is treated with the highest confidentiality and will not be disclosed except where a Court orders the disclosure. 

Services

Centralised Intake Service - Are you concerned about a child? refer to Reporting Child Abuse, Keeping Children and Young People Safe

Keeping Children and Young People Safe [PDF 159KB] [Word 122KB] [Designer PDF 263KB]
To obtain copies of the Keeping Children and Young People Safe publication please contact Learning and Community Education on (02) 6207 1382.

Mandated Reporters

Ph: 1300 556 728
Fax: 6205 0641
Email: childprotection@act.gov.au

Email Child Protection Reports

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General Public

Ph: 1300 556 729
Fax: 6205 0648

After Hours Crisis Services

Ph: 1300 556 729

Contact Numbers for Care and Protection

Centralised Intake Service
Ph: 62076956
Fax: 6205 0648

Mandated Reporters
Ph: 1300 556 728
Fax: 6205 0641

General Public After Hours
Ph: 1300 556 729
Fax: 6205 0648

Crisis Service
1300 556 729

Family Work Team
Ph: 6207 1466
Fax: 6205 5684

Care Orders Team
Ph: 62071069
Fax: 62071020

Adoptions and Permanent Care
Ph: 6207 1335
Fax: 6207 8888

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Care and Protection Services (CPS) is the statutory child protection agency which services the ACT region. CPS is situated within the Office for Children Youth and Family Support which is an area of the ACT Community Services Directorate.

Care and Protection Services has legislative responsibility for facilitating coordination across government for the care and protection of children and young people believed to be at risk of harm. Key tasks involve assessing risk and working with families and other professionals to resolve issues that compromise child safety and wellbeing. Care and Protection Services provides a continuum of service delivery to children and young people considered ‘at risk’ of serious abuse and harm.

CPS appraises reports of concern from the public which relate to the safety and well-being of children. Concerns may be related to

  1. Physical abuse
  2. Emotional abuse (including exposure to family violence)
  3. Sexual Abuse
  4. Neglect

In some instances, CPS make applications to the ACT Children’s Court for care and protection orders and maintain an ongoing role with children and young people in foster, kinship or residential care placements. CPS work is underpinned by legislation. Case management practice in a Child Protection context includes updating and maintaining client information, in the form of written reports and electronic case notes.

CPS consists of several operational areas which work together to achieve better outcomes for children and young people. These operational areas consist of:

  1. Centralised Intake Service (including After Hours Crisis Service)
  2. Response Intervention Team
  3. Care Orders Team
  4. Practice Support Unit
  5. Integrated Court Service

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Centralised Intake Service (CIS)

CIS is responsible for taking reports from members of the public and mandated reporters. As well as taking reports, CIS staff assesses the need for a appraisal response including the urgency rating. A large component of CIS work involves an initial safety visit to the family in order to complete the risk assessment. An outcome of this may include an assessment and support intervention or referral to the Response Intervention Team for appraisal.

CIS also consists of an After Hours Crisis Team who services the community after work hours and on weekends. This team work according to immediate crisis.

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Response Intervention Team (RIT)

The main focus of RIT is appraising child protection reports and providing ongoing case management. RIT's intervention can be voluntary and, work with children/young people and their families can be for a defined period of time. An integral part of RIT’s intervention is linking families with services and addressing risk issues. Alternatively, the work of the team can be more intrusive and involve court orders if the risk of abuse and harm warrants.

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Care Orders Team (COT)

COT works with children and young people who are on final court orders. Children on orders can live at home or in foster care, kinship care or residential care. Care Orders staff work closely with non-government agencies particularly foster care agencies to ensure good outcomes for children who can’t live with their families. COT has a responsibility to undertake tasks such as cultural care plans, leaving care plans and annual reviews.

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Practice Support Unit (PSU)

The Practice Support Unit is an established unit formed to support the work of frontline operational staff within CPS. The unit covers areas such as:

  1. Policy and practice development for both organisational and operational areas
  2. Policy development for both organisational and practice areas
  3. Co ordination and preparation responses for ministerial, complaints and government requests
  4. Projects related to the ongoing improvement of service provision within CPS

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Integrated Court Service (ICS)

The Integrated Court Service is responsible for making applications for care and protection orders in the ACT Children’s Court. ICS staff represents CPS in ongoing court matters which are either held as Case Management Conferences or before a Magistrate. ICS also represent the department in the Children’s Court for Youth Justice matters. ICS is staffed by both Solicitors and Court Officers.

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