Summary of Proposed Plan (SOPP)
The Department is responsible for developing the Summary of Proposed Plan (SOPP) with the child, their parent, family and kin.
When the case plan goal is ‘assess restoration’, the SOPP sets out the department’s initial plan for restoration of the child to their parent.
The SOPP details the minimum changes the parent will need to achieve to address the child protection concerns. This includes:
- addressing immediate dangers identified in the safety assessment
- drawing on the parent’s and family strengths
- reducing the level of risk to the child in the parent’s household and reducing the probability of abuse or neglect to their child in the future.
The Department provides a copy of the SOPP to the PSP provider for signature. The SOPP is signed by the PSP provider’s representative (manager or above). The Department files the SOPP in the Children’s Court within two weeks after the first mention of the application.
The department gives a copy of the filed SOPP to the child’s parent and the PSP provider.
The SOPP is not the Family Action Plan for Change or the child’s OOHC case plan. The Family Action Plan and OOHC case plan are more comprehensive plans developed by the PSP provider with primary case responsibility, in partnership with the Department, child, their families, kin and community.
The Department and the PSP provider have complementary roles in family action planning for children in statutory OOHC.
The PSP provider:
- develops the initial Family Action Plan for Change, or a similar family case planning tool, within 30 days of a child entering OOHC or within 30 days of the existing case plan goal being changed to “assess restoration”.
- updates the existing family action plan, if one has already been developed within 30 days of a child entering OOHC or within 30 days of the existing case plan goal being changed to “assess restoration”
- develops the Family Action Plan jointly with the child, parents, family and the Department, using Aboriginal Family-led Decision Making (PDF, 554.6 KB) for Aboriginal families
- arranges a Family Action Plan meeting to hep inform the development of the plan for change, including taking care of administrative tasks such as:
- preparing and hosting the meeting or meetings
- arranging for the child (if appropriate), parents, family and the Department to attend the meeting or meetings
- documenting the outcomes agreed as part of the family-led process
- ensures the Family Action Plan is meaningful to help families understand what changes are needed to keep children safe, and that goals are specific
- arranges for the parents, the PSP provider, and the Department to sign the Family Action Plan
- implements, and monitors the Family Action Plan through everyday casework i.e. phone calls, home visits, and discussions with parents, children, families, and carers
- supports the family to achieve the objectives of the Family Action Plan and identify and any changes that should be made
- shares information with the Department about the implementation of the Family Action Plan
- conducts 90 days reviews of the Family Action Plan with children, parents, family and the Department.
- shares all necessary information with the PSP provider so they can develop the Family Action Plan and work effectively with the family i.e. the Summary of Proposed Plan (SOPP)
- supports the provider to develop or update the Family Action Plan
- signs and provides final approval of the Family Action Plan
- where needed will visit the family, with the support of the PSP provider to monitor the implementation of the Family Action Plan.
The Department and the PSP provider have complementary roles in OOHC case planning and review for children in statutory OOHC.
- The Department as agency exercising parental responsibility on behalf of the Minister *, is always responsible for setting/approving the case plan goal.
- In most cases, both the Department and the PSP provider, participate in the initial development of the OOHC case plan within 30 days of a child entering OOHC.
- Each ensure attendance at the case conference by a practitioner with decision making delegation (for DCJ, this is a Manager Casework, delegation level five or above).
- The Department or a PSP provider, whichever exercises primary case responsibility at the time, convenes a case conference to develop the OOHC case plan. This includes all administrative tasks such as:
- preparing the agenda and hosting the conference
- drafting the OOHC case plan in collaboration with the child, parents, family, and other important people
- circulating the meeting minutes and OOHC case plan within five business days (unless a different timeframe is agreed).
- PSP provider exercising primary case responsibility is able to create the initiating (first) case plan record in ChildStory Partner. PSP Providers can upload the signed OOHC case plan to a note within the child's case plan record in ChildStory Partner. All initiating case plan records created by PSP Providers on ChildStory Partner automatically go to the CFDU for approval of the case plan goal.
- Thereafter the PSP provider implements and conducts regular review of the OOHC case plan and works to achieve the child’s case plan goal within two years.
- Following final orders, it is not necessary for the Department to participate in the PSP provider’s regular review of the OOHC case plan (unless otherwise requested and agreed).
- The Department, jointly with the PSP provider, conducts regular permanency progress reviews to check in on the progress of the child’s case plan goal and consider whether a change to the case plan goal is required.
(* Barnardos Australia can approve changes to case plan goals for non-Aboriginal children with a final order, without proposing the change to DCJ as Barnardos is delegated certain aspects of parental responsibility.)