Safety in Care

DCJ is designing a new approach to assess reports about children in out of home care – specifically those who are in the parental responsibility of the Minister or care responsibility of the DCJ Secretary. This includes a new Safety in Care (SIC) tool and improved policies and processes.

Changes to make better decisions for children

The changes will:

  • recognise and respond to the unique needs of children in out of home care 
  • improve DCJs response to children’s experience of connection, culture and identity in care 
  • strengthen partnerships with carers and other services supporting a child at key decision-making points 
  • respond to each child’s experience of cumulative harm to increase their safety and permanency
  • increase the participation of children, cares, families, and networks in the decisions made.


  • Improvements to SIC are being delivered in stages. The first step was introduced late 2021, with interim changes to policies and training for DCJ practitioners.   
  • A new SIC tool was developed, and stakeholders consulted. Learn more about the consultation process.  
  • DCJ used child protection research, the experiences of other state governments, and its own practitioners to inform the new design.  
  • A pilot of the new approach ran for three months at eight different DCJ sites across five different operating models.  
  • Further changes were made to the approach based on the results of the pilot. 
Last updated:

28 Aug 2023

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Informed by lessons of the past, Department of Communities and Justice is improving how we work with Aboriginal people and communities. We listen and learn from the knowledge, strength and resilience of Stolen Generations Survivors, Aboriginal Elders and Aboriginal communities.

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