Joint Child Protection Response (JCPR) Program
For NGO caseworkers working with JCPR to support children and young people in out-of-home care
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 DCJ 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, JCPR staff from DCJ, Police and Health provide a more comprehensive response to reports of serious child abuse which may constitute a criminal offence. Effective joint communication and planning between agencies aim to provide the best outcome for children, young people and their families.There will be times when JCPR Program staff will need to assess and investigate a report about a child that is being case managed by an NGO. This will require NGOs and JCPR Units to work collaboratively to provide the best opportunity for optimum outcomes for children and young people. This collaboration requires a clear understanding of roles, responsibilities and processes.
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 important?
The response a child or young person receives following a disclosure of abuse can be critical to their ongoing wellbeing and in ensuring their future safety and the safety of other children and young people. The relationship between your organisation and the JCPR Program is instrumental to the wellbeing of children and young people, including those who may be identified as the alleged offender/person of interest (POI).
JCPR Staff requires NGO caseworkers and carers to ensure JCPR has timely and unencumbered access to any child or young person involved in their investigation.
The timing of police interviews can often be pivotal to the progress and integrity of an investigation and once a child has made a disclosure, it generally signals that the child or young person is ready to begin to talk about the abuse. It is helpful to remember that a child’s disclosure of abuse is a process, rather than an event, which often means that children will continue to tell different aspects of their story over time. It is important that any new information is communicated to the JCPR Program via the Helpline.