Joint Child Protection Response (JCPR) Program
For NGO caseworkers working with JCPR to support children and young people in out-of-home care
Legislative responsibilities and frameworks
Section 9 of the Children and Young People (Care and Protection) Act 1998 (the Care Act) outlines that in any action or decision concerning a particular child or young person, the safety, welfare and well-being of the child or young person are paramount. This means DCJ has responsibilities to all children irrespective of whether that child or young person is a victim of abuse or a perpetrator of abuse.
Chapter 16A of the Care Act allows JCPR Program staff and OOHC NGOs to share information relating to the safety, welfare or wellbeing of children or young people without having to gain consent from parties.
Section 157 of the Care Act outlines authorised carers authority in making decisions about the day-to-day care of the children and young people in their care. This authority does not extend to authorised carers and NGO caseworkers making decisions about a child or young person’s participation in a JCPR investigative process. This is a decision made by DCJ JCPR staff, given the parental responsibilities held by the Minister and administered by the DCJ arm of JCPR.
There are provisions under the Care Act that can result in an offence should it be determined that individuals have hindered, obstructed or delayed DCJ staff exercising their duties under the Act. Additionally, the Crimes Act 1900 provides Police with the ability to take action against persons who are hindering an investigation.