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Service Agreement Information Kit for Funded Organisations

4.3 Incident reporting

Department of Health and Human Services

Who does this policy apply to?

The former Department of Human Services Critical Client Incident Management Instruction and the former Department of Health Incident Reporting Instruction applies to services directly delivered or funded by the Department of Health and Human Services including families and children, youth justice, housing and homelessness, disability services, alcohol and drug treatment services, mental health community support services, home and community care, aged care, carer support programs and registered community health centres providing community and women’s health programs.

Policy purpose

The instructions outline the management and reporting requirements for incidents or alleged incidents that involve or impact upon clients during service delivery.

Legislation and /or regulation

Nil

Organisation requirements

Reporting of client incidents as defined in the instructions is compulsory.

For critical client incident management and reporting applicable to the Department of Health and Human Services funded organisations, refer to incident management and reporting guidance relevant to the former Department of Human Services and the former Department of Health on the Funded Agency Channel's Incident reporting (external link, opens in a new window) web page.

For further information

Department of Health and Human Services (human services)

Karen Stewart, Acting Manager, Quality and Oversight, Safeguarding and Disability Supports Branch, Community Services Programs and Design Division
Telephone: (03) 9096 8018
Email: karen.stewart@dhhs.vic.gov.au

Department of Health and Human Services (health)

Shane Quinn, Manager, Regions and Regional Strategy, Service Design and Operations Division
Telephone: (03) 9096 0506
Email: shane.quinn@dhhs.vic.gov.au 

Offence for failure to disclose child sexual abuse

The offence for failure to disclose child sexual abuse to the police came into effect on 27 October 2014.

Further information about the offence and how to report is available on the human services New criminal offences to improve responses to child sexual abuse (external link, opens in a new window) web page.

New offence for failure to protect children from the risk of sexual abuse

The new offence for 'failure to protect' a child from a risk of sexual abuse commenced on 1 July 2015.

A fact sheet about the offence is available to download from the human services New criminal offences to improve responses to child sexual abuse (external link, opens in a new window) web page. Alternatively, you can email childsafestandards@dhhs.vic.gov.au

Department of Education and Training

Approved child care and licensed children’s services

Licensed Children's Services are required to comply with incident reporting requirements as set out in the relevant Acts and Regulations.

From 1 January 2012, the National Quality Framework applies to family day care, long day care, outside school hours care services and preschools (kindergartens) across Australia. These services must meet the requirements of the:

  • Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010 (National Law)
  • Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011 (National Regulations)

These services are referred to as education and care services.

All limited hours and short term licensed services, a small number of other services that currently hold a standard licence including budget-based services not funded for the Child Care Benefit, occasional care, early childhood intervention, and mobile services, and a small number of school holiday care programs, will continue to be required to operate under the

  • Victorian Children’s Services Act 1996 (Victorian Act)
  • Victorian Children’s Services Regulations 2009 (Victorian Regulations)

Other Early Childhood Services and Programs

Other Early Childhood Services and Programs do not operate under the National Quality Framework or the Children’s Services Act 1996.  They include the Aboriginal Early Years Services, Early Childhood Intervention Services, access and participation to funded kindergarten program and services including Access to Early Learning, Maternal and Child Health Services, Parenting Services, Best Start and the Children’s Facilities Capital Program. 

Reporting Incidents

Funded organisations are required to call the Early Childhood Performance and Planning Adviser (PAPA) in the Regional Offices (external link, opens in a new window), if:

  • the occurrence of an incident is not within the scope of the department’s Quality Assessment and Regulatory Division’s (QARD) framework; or
  • the incident occurred in a service or program that is outside QARD’s scope; or
  • the incident occurred in the provision of Other Early Childhood Services and Programs.

Funded organisations and the relevant PAPA will discuss the appropriate reporting process and response, on a case by case basis.  For more information, refer to the former Department of Human Service web page on Critical client incident reporting (external link, opens in a new window).

Offences relating to the sexual abuse of children

The following criminal offences were introduced to improve responses within organisations and the community to child sexual abuse.

DET staff and all staff associated with organisations funded by DET should be aware of, and comply with relevant legislation, standards, screening and program requirements, and policies on preventing, reporting and responding to child sexual abuse.

Offence for failure to disclose child sexual abuse

The offence for failure to disclose child sexual abuse to the police came into effect on 27 October 2014.

Offence for failure to protect children from the risk of sexual abuse

The offence for 'failure to protect' a child from a risk of sexual abuse commenced on 1 July 2015.

Further information about these offences and the reporting process are available on the former Department of Human Services’ New criminal offences to improve responses to child sexual abuse (external link, opens in a new window) web page. 

Alternatively, you can email childsafestandards@dhhs.vic.gov.au

For further information

Florence Kaur, Senior Policy Officer, System Quality Unit,  Strategy and Integration Division, Early Childhood and School Education Group
Telephone: 03 9651 3242
Email: kaur.florence.g@edumail.vic.gov.au