Assessment process

The information below details the steps in the assessment process for Authorised clinicians.

Receipt of assessment order by the Children’s Court Clinic

Upon receipt of the Assessment Order, the Application for Assessment Order and the File of Documents, the Children’s Court Clinic Director will determine whether, under Section 58 of the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998, the clinic is able to undertake the assessment.

If the referral is appropriate, the Director will refer the report request to the most suitable Authorised Clinician. The Director may also inform the court whether it is more appropriate for the report to be prepared by another agency or practitioner.

Inability to undertake assessments

If the Director is unable to locate a suitable Authorised Clinician to undertake the assessment report or is of the opinion that it is more appropriate for the assessment report to be prepared by another person, the Director will inform the court that the Clinic is unable to conduct the assessment.

Referral to the Authorised Clinician

The Children’s Court Clinic Director, or delegate, will contact the Authorised Clinician and confirm the assessment referral. Following the agreed referral, the clinic will send all relevant documents to the AC.

Referrals to the Authorised Clinician will include copies of the Application for Assessment Order and the File of Documents.

Arranging for the assessment interview

The Authorised Clinician will contact the client/s and arrange all appointments for the assessment within 72 hours of receiving the documents from the clinic.

At the time of making the appointment, the Authorised Clinician is to ask the client/s if they require assistance to get to the appointment. If the client requires assistance to get to the appointment, the AC should complete a Request for Travel Assistance form and fax it to the relevant Community Services caseworker. This form has the details of the time and place of the appointment and a section for approval or otherwise by the Community Services manager.

The caseworker will make arrangements to assist the client to attend the appointment.

The AC will also arrange for interpreters if necessary, with the Community Relations Commission Interpreter Service.

Non-attendance of appointments

If, after reconfirming the appointment 24 hours prior, the client/s do not attend the appointment, the Authorised Clinician may decide to reschedule the appointment or complete a Nil Report form. If a Nil Report is to be submitted, the Authorised Clinician is to contact the Director who will then send the Children’s Court the Nil Report form. When a Nil Report has been submitted the Children's Court Clinic will take no further action in the matter unless a new Assessment Order is made.

Delayed report

If the Authorised Clinician reschedules the appointment and it means that the completion of the report will be substantially delayed, the Children’s Court Clinic will notify the Children’s Court of the delay by sending a Delayed Report form to the court.

Authorised Clinician’s assessment report

Upon completing the assessment report, the Authorised Clinician is required to submit the report by email to the Children’s Court Clinic.

Confidentiality notice

The Authorised Clinician will complete the Confidentiality Notice form, placing it at the front of the report, regardless of whether there are confidentiality issues or not. The judicial officer completes the bottom of the Confidentiality Notice to determine who may receive a copy of the report.

Review and submission of the report

The Director of the Children’s Court Clinic, or delegate, will review all assessment reports prior to submitting them to court. The Director may contact the Authorised Clinician to discuss the report and may also make suggestions in relation to the report. It is up to the AC whether such suggestions are incorporated into the assessment report.

It generally takes six weeks from the receipt of the Assessment Order, and File of Documents for the Children’s Court Clinic to complete and submit the assessment report to court.

Report submission and confidentiality notice

The Children’s Court Clinic Assessment Report will be filed with the court on or before the working day preceding that on which the next hearing of the proceedings is to take place.

Last updated Friday 23rd February 2024