Joint Investigation Response Teams (JIRT)
For NGO caseworkers working with JIRT to support children and young people in out-of-home care
What is JIRT?
JIRT is an interagency service delivery model consisting of FACS, Police and Health. These agencies work collaboratively to enable timely exchange of information and planned and coordinated responses designed to minimise the trauma for the child or young person and support non-offending family members and carers. JIRT is guided by the legislative principle that a child or young person’s safety and wellbeing are paramount.
There are 22 JIRTs across NSW. A local JIRT response involves a FACS Caseworker and a Police Investigator, who are trained in assessing and investigating reports of serious child abuse that may involve a criminal offence. Liaison with the JIRT Senior Health Clinician enhances this response and ensures that the support needs of the child, young person and family are addressed.
There will be times when JIRT will need to assess and investigate a report about a child that is being case managed by an NGO. This will require NGOs and JIRTs 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..
Why is JIRT 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 JIRT is instrumental to the wellbeing of children and young people, including those who may be identified as the alleged offender/person of interest (POI).
JIRT requires NGO caseworkers and carers to ensure JIRT has timely and unencumbered access to any child or young person involved in their investigation.
The timing of JIRT 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 JIRT via the Helpline.