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What is the JCPR Program?

The Secretary of the Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ),the Commissioner of the NSW Police Force (NSWPF) and the Secretary of NSW Health (Health) have agreed to foster cooperation between the three agencies and provide the best outcomes for children, young people, their families, carers and the community via the Joint Child Protection Response (JCPR) Program.

Joint cooperation links the risk assessment and protective interventions of FACS with the criminal investigation conducted by Police. NSW Department of Health provides medical examination, counselling and therapeutic services to children or young people and their non-offending parents or carers, when required.

By working together as a JCPR Program, Communities and Justice, Police and Health officers provide a more effective investigative process and better understand each agency’s role so the best outcome for the child or young person is achieved.

Following an independent review by the NSW Ombudsman’s Office in August 2017, the Joint Investigation Response Team (JIRT) program underwent a program name change to Joint Child Protection Response (JCPR) program.

Why is the JCPR Program required?

Child protection is a community and government responsibility. Close links between child protection agencies ensure a more coordinated and timely service. Children, young people and families experience better outcomes from a joint child protection response (JCPR) program.

JCPR Program aims to:

  • provide a timely and comprehensive investigative process, which minimises delay and promotes information exchange between relevant agencies
  • conduct investigative interviews in an environment that is focused on the child or young person and promotes their participation
  • enhance the standard of briefs of evidence presented to Court jurisdictions and proceed with charging offenders where appropriate
  • ensure timely access to care and support services throughout the joint child protection response
  • ensure immediate referral to crisis counselling
  • minimise the number of interviews conducted
  • use protective intervention to ensure the safety of children and young people
  • assess the individual needs of children, young people and families
  • support the non-offending parent or carer
  • identify and prosecute offenders.

What is the process for entry into the JCPR Program?

Referrals to the JCPR Program can only be made through Community Services Helpline or a Community Services Centre (CSC).

JCPR Program occurs when a Communities and Justice Services Child Protection Caseworker (CPC), a Police officer and NSW Health worker share information about a report of child abuse that meets the JCPR criteria –when there is a possibility the abuse constitutes a criminal offence.

The process includes criminal investigation by police, with DCJ completing a risk assessment and determining the need for Children’s Court action and NSW Health providing medical and therapeutic support for victims and their non-offending family.

Further information is available for NGO caseworkers working with the JCPR Program to support children and young people in out-of-home care following a disclosure of abuse.

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Last updated: 18 Oct 2019