Following organisational and legislative requirements
How do you follow organisational and legislative requirements in responding to indicators of actual or potential risk of abuse, neglect or harm?
Sometimes crisis or other situations arise when it is not possible or appropriate for you or your agency to deal with them internally and you require the intervention of authorities and/or emergency services. One of these situations would be when you are responding to indicators of actual or potential risk of abuse, neglect or harm.
You need to work within the parameters of accepted standards, such as:
- State coordinating bodies (e.g. SCAN Teams and Crisis Response Teams)
- interagency agreements and guidelines (e.g. Funding Service Agreements)
- protocols defined in legislation
- organisational procedures.
The following strategies will support you to increase your knowledge and understanding of your responsibilities:
- Current legislation
Obtain a copy of the legislation that informs your role and what some of your agency’s policies are based on. Discuss how the legislation underpins the work of your agency with your supervisor.
- Agency procedures
Read the Policies and Procedures Manual of your agency which details work practice guidelines in line with relevant legislation and regulations.
Keep up-to-date with the latest publications, for example, those produced by the Department of Child Safety, the Australian Social Workers, Legal Aid, and QCOSS (Queensland Council of Social Service).
Use all opportunities offered to you to consult with others (including involvement in formal supervision sessions with your supervisor and/or mentor) about your legal and workplace responsibilities and obligations. It may be that your agency is under a Service Agreement with the Department of Child Safety and you need to consult with the relevant Departmental liaison officer.
It is important to realise that you are not alone in making these kinds of major decisions. You have a number of people in authority you can call on to support you to respond in the most appropriate way.