Authorised Clinicians

The Clinic employs, on a contractual basis, a number of highly experienced clinicians. Known as 'Authorised Clinicians' and from the professions of Psychiatry, Psychology and Social Work, their primary role is to undertake assessments and provide reports for the Children's Court.

If you are interested in becoming an Authorised Clinician, read about the Authorised Clinicians scheme and Application Package.

This page provides information about the Authorised Clinicians Scheme. It has links to useful documents if you are already an approved Authorised Clinician or useful information if you are interested in applying. 

Interested in relevant case law news, changes in legislation and policy?

Read Children's Law News

Clinician processes

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.

Clinician templates and forms

Clinic assessment report

We provide a comprehensive report template so that you can include all your information in one document. This version reflects our transfer to Sydney Children's Hospitals Network and includes the correct clinic address and other contact details. It automatically numbers paragraphs and pages to allow easy reference.

Please adapt the form to include your name, CV and digitised signature and then save it as your own personal report template.

Download the Children's Court Clinic assessment template

Risk of significant harm reports to Community Services (FaCS)

If you discover, for example during a clinic assessment, that a child is at risk of harm, as a mandatory reporter you must make a report to Community Services. The best way to do this is to call the Child Wellbeing Unit (CWU) on 1300 480 420. The CWU will help you review your concerns and plan the mandatory report if it is necessary.

To make a mandatory report, we suggest that you access the interactive, online Mandatory Reporter Guide to be used to help decide whether a report is warranted and to organise the information to allow an effective response from Community Services. The FaCS Helpline number is 133 627. When you call 133 627 you will be asked what you found from the online guide.

Forms to be attached to completed Assessment Reports

Chapter 16a Information and Travel Assistance Request Form

Authorised Clinician Change of Details

Suitable assessment venues

Children's Court Clinic assessments may be carried out in the rooms of the Authorised Clinician, in the client's home, or in a room provided by a community or government agency.

If security is a concern, the Authorised Clinician may elect to use a room in any of the Local Courts across NSW.

The Children's Court Clinic has assessments room available for use by Authorised Clinicians. These may be booked by telephoning 8688 1530. There is a room available with video facilities and a one-way observation screen, as well as interview rooms. If you are planning to use the rooms, please read the Clinic's booking policy.

Should an Authorised Clinician have difficulty locating a suitable assessment venue, the Children's Court Clinic has a resource of venues and contact names across NSW that can be provided to the Clinician. Please contact the Office Manager on 8688 1530 for assistance.

Professional development days

The Children's Court Clinic provides free seminars each year for its Authorised Clinicians. The activities are all based on the needs of clinicians, both from explicit requests, and as a response to needs found to be emerging from phone consultations and reviews of clinic assessments.

This is a great way of developing your skills, and participating in the clinic’s quality assurance program, as strongly supported by Justice Wood.

Participation in the clinic’s supervision and professional development is important proof of your maintenance of professional standards. We look forward to seeing you at these professional development and networking opportunities.

If you would like further information, contact the Children's Court Clinic.

Clinic professional development learning plan

You can download a copy of the plan, which you can adapt for your own professional development needs.

Clinician resources

This is a protected page. If you are an Authorised Clinician, the Children's Court Clinic will provide you with a password.

Please call 02 8688 1530 or email the Project Officer for more information.