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Roles and responsibilities

Child protection practitioners have a specific statutory role that includes: 

  • providing advice and consultation to people who report concerns about children and young people 
  • assessing children and families where a child may be at risk of significant harm 
  • making applications to, and attending, the Children’s Court of Victoria 
  • engaging and working with children and families to promote safety, stability and development of the child, and to strengthen family capacity. 

To ensure timely assessment of reports, practitioners may function in teams assigned specific tasks.

The teams and their functions are: 


As a member of the Intake team, you will handle incoming telephone reports of alleged child abuse or neglect, or reports where there is a perceived risk of significant harm to a child.

As the first point of contact, you will be responsible for assessing risk, triaging reports and recommending a course of action, such as whether a report is investigated further or referred to a supporting organisation.

These decisions will be made in consultation with a more experienced practitioner who will be your team leader.

The core function of the Intake team is to:

  • receive reports about children when there is concern that they are in need of protection
  • conduct an initial risk assessment based on report details
  • attend intake case conferences, where required
  • conduct follow-up phone calls with professionals to verify and gather information about reports
  • determine the priority classification and triage reports
  • refer cases, where applicable, to community service organisations
  • consult with relevant Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) to inform risk assessment.

Investigation and response

As a member of the investigation and response team you will interview children and their families to determine whether the allegations of abuse can be substantiated and determine, in conjunction with the family, what supports may be needed to change the situation for them and the children.

You will work closely with professionals and families to gather relevant information, understand the situation and enact plans to address identified concerns based on the level and type of protection required. You will do this using the risk assessment framework.

The core function of the Investigation and Response team is to:

  • directly investigate reports about children where there is concern that they are in need of protection
  • assess the likelihood of harm to the child
  • work closely with the Aboriginal Specialist Consultation and Advice Service (ACSASS) to engage with families in a culturally sensitive way
  • establish whether abuse allegations are substantiated
  • work with a family for a few months (or for an extended period where required and authorised) following reporting to make a more comprehensive assessment, develop a community plan or effect a referral to a community service organisation, where risk assignment is deferred.
  • determine if children's court action is required, and if so work with the legal team and your team manager to initiate legal intervention and prepare reports for the court.

Case management

After an initial investigation, cases that continue to require Child Protection intervention are managed by members of the Case Management team.

Members of this team work with the family and Children’s Court to support the protection and best interests of the children. This can include attending court and writing court reports.

The core function of the Case management team is to:

  • initiate and supervises children's court protection orders
  • continually assess the ongoing risk to the child or young person by developing and implementing case plans, including stability plans based on the best interests case practice model
  • meet court requirements, which may include writing reports, acting as an applicant in the children's court and giving evidence
  • develop reunification plans and supervise access
  • where required, assist to ensure that the child has a stable out-of-home care placement
  • work with ACCOs to ensure Aboriginal children remain connected to their culture and receive appropriate services
  • network with community service organisations and provide some community education to the CSO sector
  • negotiate the transfer of case management to community agencies.

Contracted case management

  • monitor and review the implementation of case plans via quarterly reports and liaison visits to agencies
  • provide consultancy to agencies, including education on the statutory processes and responsibilities
  • maintain statutory responsibilities for all cases, for example, case planning, reviews, court applications and other legislated requirements.

After Hours Child Protection Services (statewide)

The After-Hours Child Protection Service (AHCPS) is a state-wide service based in metropolitan Melbourne.

All urgent child protection matters that are received outside core business hours, at weekends or on public holidays, are responded to and managed by this service.

In this team, you will receive and assess new reports of alleged child abuse or neglect and conduct urgent visits to assess the risk and safety of a child whilst operating on a rotating roster that includes day, afternoon and night shifts.

The core function of the AHCPS team is to:

  • respond to reports about children where there is concern that they are in need of protection
  • gather detailed information and negotiate to manage reports
  • co-ordinate, manage and directly respond with telephone advice
  • undertake investigations and develop plans to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children and young people
  • visit children or families in urgent cases where harm or likelihood of harm requires immediate Child Protection involvement
  • manage requests from divisions for out-of-hours tasks for children who are already subject to Child Protection intervention
  • transfer new reports to the relevant division on the next working day
  • provide an after hours placement function for children and young people requiring out of home placement.

As a member of this team you are eligible for penalty rates and increased leave.

Rural After Hours Services

Rural After Hours Services (RAHS) teams are part of the After Hours Services (Statewide) service across the state.

Members of these teams conduct urgent rural area visits to respond to cases where existing and new Child Protection clients are at significant risk and require an urgent out of hours response.

Practitioners conducting this response will consult with team managers throughout the outreach regarding key decisions.

In this team, you will enjoy a critical, fast-paced environment whilst working part-time hours during the day and on call during weeknights, weekends and public holidays.

RAHS teams are located in the North, West, South and East regional areas.

The core function of the RAHS team is to:

  • respond to reports about children where there is concern that they are in need of protection
  • undertake investigations and develop plans to ensure the immediate safety and wellbeing of children and young people
  • visit children or families in urgent cases where harm or likelihood of harm requires immediate Child Protection involvement
  • initiate and prepare matters for the Children's Court
  • work closely with other professionals such as police, family violence services, Aboriginal Controlled Community Organisations (ACCO) and medical professionals to share information and conduct a shared approach to risk.

As a member of this team you are eligible for a standby (on-call) allowance for each time period you are on standby, regardless of whether you are called out on an outreach visit, as well as additional overtime rates for hours worked when called out on outreach visits.

Streetwork Outreach Service

The Streetwork Outreach Service (SOS) team specialises in the targeted support of high-risk youth outside of core business hours. As a member of this team, you will:

  • provide after-hours case management to young people already managed by Child Protection
  • receive referrals from the AHCPS (Statewide) for young people requiring a specialised adolescent service
  • be involved outreach to attempt to locate young people or to disrupt exploitation
  • assess and provide advice on suitability for bail placement
  • provide support and information about the remand process and court proceedings
  • assist young people with bail accommodation.