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Elements and Performance Criteria

  1. Establish client need and/or risk
  2. Develop a case management plan
  3. Implement case plan
  4. Establish review and evaluation systems
  5. Plan and participate in case conferences or protection meetings
  6. Work with agencies to meet client needs
  7. Undertake case closure

Required Skills

This describes the essential skills and knowledge and their level required for this unit

Essential knowledge

The candidate must be able to demonstrate essential knowledge required to effectively do the task outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit manage the task and manage contingencies in the context of the identified work role

These include

Understanding of legal implications and responsibilities of statutory work

Understanding of state and federal jurisdictions including all courts within the jurisdictions

Detailed understanding of child protection policy and procedures including interagency protocols

Detailed understanding of legislation relevant to child protection including Family Court protocols and practice and policy guidelines including legal definitions of abuse

Understanding of risk assessment comprehensive psychosocial assessment and family assessment

Understanding of indicators of harm types of harm definitions and dynamics of harm

Understanding of theories on vulnerability and resilience of children

Understanding of the change process

Understanding of stages of child development

Understanding of workings of court legal systems and legal processes

Understanding of legal implications of material collected through interviews

Understanding of family dynamics in different cultures

Understanding of recording and reporting systems

Understanding of how to access interpreters for clients and their families who are from a nonEnglish speaking background or who are hearing or speech impaired

Essential skills

It is critical that the candidate demonstrate the ability to

Interpret and apply legislation policies and procedures and standards and statutory obligations

Respond to and manage crisis

Develop and assess actions appropriate for intervention

Collect and assess information

Document plans

Apply all aspects of a structured case management framework to statutory child protection work

In addition the candidate must be able to effectively do the task outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit manage the task and manage contingencies in the context of the identified work role

These include the ability to

Use communication techniques such as active listening reflection summarising questions and statements gaining agreement on actions and explaining outcomes

Use solution focused interviewing techniques

Interview and engage children young people and their families in communication exchange

Effectively and impartially collect and analyse information according to risk assessment framework or models

Articulate rationale for decisionmaking

Interpret legalese into language understood by client and significant others

Set boundaries for roles and actions

Demonstrate empathy and rapport building

Use age appropriate language and questioning techniques

Utilise conflict resolution skills

Manage grief and change processes

Engage and establish a professional relationship with children and young people

Monitor own level of stress and implement stress management strategies

Work appropriately with cross cultural issues

Prepare court reports

Present factual nonemotive information succinctly

Demonstrate appropriate use of supervision and consultation

Maintain documentation as required including effective use of relevant information technology in line with occupational health and safety OHS guidelines

Evidence Required

The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the Performance Criteria Required Skills and Knowledge the Range Statement and the Assessment Guidelines for this Training Package

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate this unit of competency

The individual being assessed must provide evidence of specified essential knowledge as well as skills

This unit of competence must be assessed in the workplace within a statutory child protection authority and under the normal range of workplace conditions

Assessment must include the normal range of workplace situations

Access and equity considerations

All workers in community services should be aware of access equity and human rights issues in relation to their own area of work

All workers should develop their ability to work in a culturally diverse environment

In recognition of particular issues facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities workers should be aware of cultural historical and current issues impacting on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Assessors and trainers must take into account relevant access and equity issues in particular relating to factors impacting on Aboriginal andor Torres Strait Islander clients and communities

Context of and specific resources for assessment

This unit can be assessed independently however holistic assessment practice with other community services units of competency is encouraged

Resources required for assessment include access to

an appropriate workplace where assessment can take place or simulation of realistic workplace setting

Method of assessment

Assessment may include observation questioning and evidence gathered from the workplace environment

Workplace evidence can be testimonials portfolios or copies of completed workplace records documentation

Evidence will be determined by selection from the Range Statement justified in terms of work requirements work roles and responsibilities and occupational specialisations

Evidence for assessment of competence may be gathered by appropriate combination of the following

demonstration of competency within the working environment in undertaking case management in a statutory child protection environment

assessment should be in the workplace however where there is not an opportunity to cover all relevant aspects in the work environment the remainder should be assessed through realistic simulations projects previous relevant experience or oral questioning on what if scenarios

observation of processes and procedures oral andor written questions on essential knowledge and skills and consideration of required attitudes

where performance is not directly observed andor is required to be demonstrated over a period of time andor in a number of locations any evidence should be authenticated by colleagues supervisors clients or other appropriate persons

review of any workplace documentation produced by the candidate related to case management in a statutory child protection environment

Range Statement

The Range Statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Add any essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts.

The contexts for establishing a case plan could include:

A result of a notification/report

A result of a risk assessment

A result of a placement in out of home care

A result of a court order

A result of a contract to provide a service

Part of a case planning meeting or conference

Establishment of a case plan will be carried out within requirements established by:

Commonwealth and state legislation

Relevant international conventions

Organisation policy and procedures

Relevant program standards

Inter-agency protocols/guidelines

Development of a case plan includes:

Working collaboratively with the client and all stakeholders

Identifying priority needs/target needs/risks

Identifying and building on client strengths and/or protective factors

Setting goals which are negotiated with the client

Identifying strategies and actions, roles and responsibilities, timeframes and review

Documentation using formats and procedures

Client need includes:

Developmental needs (physical, social, cultural, emotional and psychological)


Early intervention/prevention

Supports in parenting

Practical e.g. housing, income

Stakeholders include:

Child or young person


Significant others



Supervisor and organisation

Court and legal practitioners


Information may include:

All official documentation relating to client, full family history, developmental and medical history

All available records, anecdotal material and individual interviews

Client can include:


Young person/people



Significant others

Foster cares

Case management principles can include:

Taking the least intrusive intervention necessary to ensure safety and support protection

Safety, welfare and well being of child or young person is paramount consideration

Using a strengths-based, partnership approach in practice

Intervention is planned and purposeful

Working in partnership with other service providers

Consideration of culture, disability, language, religion, sexuality and any special needs in service provision

Children and young people placed away from home are entitled to special protection and assistance

Self determination of aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities

Recognition of the importance of maintaining significant relationships and cultural identity of a child or young person when they cannot live with their family

Working quickly to resolve permanency by planning placement stability and continuity of relationships

Ethical practice

Accountability for decisions and actions

Child centred practice includes:

Engaging in direct work with children and young people

Providing an advocacy role on behalf of children and young people

Understanding the different, and range, of stages of development (including attachment) and how that can inform intervention and planning

Ensuring that the child or young person is an active participant throughout the case management process

Recognising that children and young people are part of families and communities

Safeguarding children can not be separated from promoting their welfare

The role of prevention and early implementation strategies in protecting and supporting children

Family focus includes:

Recognition that parenting can be stressful and challenging

Recognition of the impact of poverty and disadvantage on families

Recognition of the potential impact of statutory intervention on families

Recognition of the complex issues facing the family

Exercising effective communication skills includes:

Identifying and evaluating what is occurring within an interaction in a non-judgemental way

Making decision about appropriate words, behaviour, posture

Using active listening

Using clarifying, summarising questions

Putting together a response that is culturally appropriate

Expressing an individual perspective

Expressing own philosophy, ideology and background and exploring the impact of this on the communication

Exploring and unpacking problems

Reflective listening

Providing sufficient time to enable stories to be told

Provide summarising and reflective response in conflict situations

Complex cases can include the presence of a number of complicating factors including:

Multiple abuse/injuries

Ritual abuse

Life threatening/high risk situations

Multiple difficulties present in family

Intellectual or psychiatric disabled clients

Chronic and serious substance abuse/addiction

Family/domestic violence

A wide range of other services involved which requires coordination

Involvement of protective and custodial agencies in the family over a lengthy period

Cases with high public/political sensitivity requiring sensitive and experienced case investigation and management

Poverty including poor housing, inadequate and limited educational, health and social facilities, and high risk communities/neighbourhoods

Case plan may include:

Assessment/investigation plan

Support and management plan

Out of home care plan

Restoration/reunification plan

Protection plan

Meetings may include:

Case conferences

Protection planning meetings

Family group conferences

Alternate dispute resolution

Cultural considerations include:

Indigenous and ethnic considerations

Power relationship structures

Rituals, beliefs, hierarchies and practices

Community politics


Parenting practice and family dynamics

Contracts for service provision include:

Responsibilities of service/agency

Referral service/agency and client are articulated, documented, endorsed and explained to the client and relevant stakeholders

Agreement is sought from client and stakeholders about roles, responsibilities, timelines, actions, milestones and outcomes

Procedures used in crisis situations include:

Ensuring security and safety of all relevant parties including protection and custodial issues and the level of intervention required

Appropriate crisis services such as counselling, respite care, debriefing

Support and prevention strategies includes:

Provision of information

Early intervention and prevention services

Financial and practical benefits

Rights of appeal mechanisms may include:

Those operating within all state departments, service provider organisations and external bodies

Record information relating to a case plan includes:

Computer report, hand written, electronic, on file, etc

Feedback mechanisms include:

Communicating daily with child, young person, family, significant other, about meeting of needs, participating within a case conference, recording observations about progress on activities

Each contact with client is recorded and includes:

Telephone contact, face-to-face interviews, contact with service provider about the client, letters, anecdotal information received from others, enquiries conducted by the worker to other agencies e.g. schools, doctors etc

Relevant supporting information includes:

Example reports e.g. medical, school, family assessment, out of home care history, intake forms, referees, financial assistance record etc