What happens once a report is made to the Child Protection Helpline?
When someone calls the Child Protection Helpline, a child protection caseworker will assess what action needs to be taken. The caseworker is specially trained to ask you questions to get all the information they can about the safety, welfare and wellbeing of the child or young person.
Whenever Family and Community Services (FACS) responds to a report it must also consider the immediate safety, welfare and wellbeing of any other children or young people living in the same home, and take appropriate action. This applies to all other children and young people in the home, not just brothers and sisters.
The caseworker can also consider any information held by FACS about the child or young person and their family, such as previous reports or recent contact with the family. What happens next depends on the information received by FACS.
The matter might be closed as no risk of significant harm is indicated or we may ask a local Community Services Centre to make further assessment.
Not all reports will lead to further assessment or investigation. This may be because there is insufficient information or reason to believe that the child or young person is at risk of significant harm.
Sometimes the child or young person and their family is visited immediately because the information indicates the child or young person is in immediate danger. We may need to talk to other people to find out about the family’s circumstances. For example, we might contact the child or young person's teacher, child care worker or relatives.
The law allows FACS to exchange information that relates to the safety, welfare or wellbeing of a child or young person with a range of agencies, including NSW Police, NSW Health or the Department of Education.
If the child or young person is at risk of significant harm, we try to work with the family, other agencies and professionals to make sure they are safe.
If we think a child or young person is in immediate danger, we will move them to a safe place. We involve the child or young person and their family as much as possible in decisions that affect them.