Glossary

The following statements are provided to clarify the meanings of terms as they are used in these procedures.

Terms

A list of meanings of terms, as they are used in these procedures.

Apprentice

Including a probationary apprentice, means a person who is employed either to:

  1. undertake work-based training in a vocation which is a declared trade pursuant to the Apprenticeship and Traineeship Act, 2001 or,
  2. undertake work-based training as a trainee apprentice who is a party to a trainee apprenticeship established in a vocation which is a declared trade pursuant to the Apprenticeship and Traineeship Act, 2001.

Behaviours that cause psychological harm

Include acts by a parent, caregiver or other person that damage the cognitive and emotional development of a child or young person.

Carer

Is a person who, while not a parent of the child, has day to day care of the child. A carer may provide the care with or without fee or reward. Carers may be relatives, friends or acquaintances of a parent, residential care workers, child care workers, youth workers, nursing staff and foster carers.

Case management responsibility

Is the process of assessment, planning, implementation, monitoring and review that aims to strengthen families and decrease risks to children and young persons in order to optimise their outcomes through integrated and coordinated service delivery. Case management of children and young people in out of home care may be the responsibility of Family and Community Services or another agency.

Case manager

Refers to a worker from Family and Community Services or another agency including a non-government agency, who is appointed as the case manager following a risk of harm report. The role of the case manager is to coordinate the interagency intervention until risk of harm concerns have been resolved.

Case meetings

Are held to facilitate information sharing, case review, decision making and interagency coordination. The specific purpose of a meeting will depend on the particular type of plan or action required.

Case plan

Refers to the central tool in case management. It is a document which sets out what action will be taken to enhance the child or young person’s safety, welfare and wellbeing. The case plan identifies goals, objectives and tasks with clearly identified responsibilities and time-frames that are realistic and achievable within available resources.

Case planning

Is an interactive process, involving the participation of the child or young person, their parent/carer, and service providers that are critical to the case planning process. The focus is on developing the goal/s of intervention and identifying strategies to meet the care and protection needs of the child or young person.

Child

Is defined as a person under the age of 16 years.

Child abuse/child maltreatment

These terms are used interchangeably. Child abuse is the term commonly used to describe different types of maltreatment inflicted on a child or young person. It includes assault (including sexual assault), ill treatment, neglect and exposing the child or young person to behaviour that might cause psychological harm. Child abuse can be a criminal offence under the Crimes Act 1900.

Child Wellbeing and Child Protection – NSW Interagency Guidelines provide the framework for a coordinated and comprehensive response to child protection and wellbeing and sets out, in practical terms, the ways that agencies should collaborate in their work with children and young people.

Class of children or young people

Refers to more than one child or young person who may be at risk of harm because of their association with a person or situation identified as posing a risk of harm through abuse or neglect.

Counsellor

Refers to a school counsellor who is employed by the department. School psychologists are also employed by the department and undertake a similar role.

Domestic violence

Is violence, abuse and intimidatory behaviour perpetrated by one person against another in a personal, intimate relationship. It is partnership violence that includes violence perpetrated when couples are separated or divorced. The acts of domestic violence are mainly but not only perpetrated by men against women within heterosexual relationships but can also occur within same sex relationships.

Domestic violence occurs between two people where one has power over the other causing fear, physical and/or psychological harm. Domestic violence can have a profound effect on children and young people. Children and young people may experience harm, by being in the presence of or by being exposed to violence in the parental relationship, by becoming the victims of violence or a combination of the two.

Female genital mutilation (FGM)

According to the World Health Organisation definition, FGM comprises all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the female external genitalia and/or injury to female genital organs for cultural or other non-therapeutic reasons. For more information see NSW Health.

Forced underage marriage

Is when an underage person is married without freely and fully consenting. They may not understand the nature and effect of the marriage ceremony or they have been coerced, threatened or deceived, or because of emotional pressure from their family, threats of or actual physical harm, or being tricked into marrying someone. For more information, see My Blue Sky.

Investigating (as opposed to clarifying)

Investigating concerns that have been identified as meeting the threshold for suspected risk of significant harm is the responsibility of Family and Community Services and/or the NSW Police Force.

In some situations where concerns have arisen, it may be appropriate to ask clarifying questions to assist in making decisions or in using the Mandatory Reporter Guide. Clarification is separate from investigation and should be undertaken with open ended questions (for example, what happened then?’, ‘tell me about that’, ‘what do you mean by…?) to establish enough information about the concern(s) to determine an appropriate course of action.

Joint Investigation Response Team (JIRT)

Specially trained police and case workers (Family and Community Services) and NSW Health (where relevant) conduct joint investigations when a report to the Child Protection Helpline involves a criminal act.

The Mandatory Reporter Guide has been developed to assist mandatory reporters to determine whether their concerns about the safety, welfare or wellbeing of a child or young person meet the risk of significant harm threshold for reporting children and young people at risk in NSW to the Child Protection Helpline

Neglect

Is the failure to provide the basic physical and emotional necessities of life. Neglect may be an ongoing situation and can be caused by a repeated failure to meet the child’s or young person’s basic physical and psychological needs.

Physical abuse or ill-treatment

Is assault, non-accidental injury and/or physical harm to a child or young person by a parent, caregiver, another person responsible for the child or young person, or older child. It includes harm or injuries which are caused by excessive discipline, beating or shaking, bruising, lacerations or welts, burns, fractures or dislocation, female genital mutilation and attempted suffocation or strangulation.

Psychological harm

Refers to harm resulting from abusive behaviours that damage the cognitive or emotional development of a child or young person. Psychological harm includes emotional deprivation and trauma and the serious impairment of a child’s or a young person’s social, emotional, cognitive or intellectual development and/or disturbance of a child’s or a young person’s behaviour.

Psychological needs

Refers to the social, emotional, cognitive or intellectual needs of a child or young person.

Reasonable grounds

Are grounds which would cause a reasonable person to form a judgement of risk of harm, having regard to the circumstances of the individual case including the nature and seriousness of the allegations made, the age and physical condition of the child, any corroborative evidence which exists, and other relevant information.

Report, risk of significant harm

Is a report made to Family and Community Services, via the Helpline or the online ChildStory Reporter Community, to convey a concern about a child or young person who may be at risk of significant harm due to the circumstances outlined in Reporting to Family and Community Services or as indicated through use of the Mandatory Reporter Guide.

School psychologists

School psychologists are employed by the department and undertake a similar role to school counsellors.

‘Screened in’

Is when the Child Protection Helpline receives a report and the Helpline makes an assessment and determination that the report meets the threshold of risk of significant harm.

‘Screened out’

Is when the Child Protection Helpline receives a report and the Helpline makes an assessment and determination that the report does not meet the threshold of risk of significant harm.

Serious psychological harm

Is the result of the abusive or neglectful behaviours of a parent, caregiver or other person. A child or young person can suffer serious psychological harm from acts of psychological abuse or the accumulation of psychologically abusive behaviours, chronic neglect, or exposure to situations such as ongoing or severe physical abuse, domestic violence or sexual abuse.

Sexual abuse or ill treatment

Of a child or young person refers to any sexual act or sexual threat imposed on a child or young person. Adults or adolescents or older children, who sexually abuse children or young people, exploit their dependency and immaturity. Coercion that may be physical or psychological is intrinsic to child sexual abuse and differentiates child sexual abuse from consensual peer sexual activity.

Young person

Is defined as a person aged 16 years or above, but under the age of 18 years.

Staff

Refers to any person who is a permanent, temporary, casual or part-time employee of the department, including Adult Migrant English Service, Adult and Community Education and Early Childhood Education Directorate whether they are in child-related employment or not.

Statutory out of home care

The care of the child or young person who is in the parental responsibility of the Minister for Family and Community Services, or a non-related person, residing at a place other than their usual home, and by a person other than their parent, as a result of a Children’s Court Order that lasts for more than 14 days, or because they are a protected person.

Trainee

Means a person who is employed to undertake work-based training in a vocation which is a declared calling pursuant to the Apprenticeship and Traineeship Act, 2001.

Workplace manager

Means the designated member of staff in charge of the establishment and includes any person acting or relieving as the person in charge of the establishment.



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