CAT User Manual March 2014 - NSW Department of Community

CAT User Manual March 2014 - NSW Department of Community
Child Assessment Tool
User Manual
March 2014
OPA Version 1
This tool has been adapted from guidelines developed and written by Tracey Feild,
M.A, of the Annie E Casey Foundation and Amy Printz Winterfeld, J.D of the
American Humane Association from Tough Problems, Tough Choices: Guidelines for
Needs-Based Service Planning in Child Welfare, Casey Family Programs and the
Annie E Casey Foundation, 2000 and 2003.
Contents
Contents
Child Assessment Tool
2
4
Introduction
4
What is the Child Assessment Tool?
4
Implementation
4
Who can use the CAT?
Why use a Tool?
4
5
How does the Child Assessment Tool work?
6
The CAT 3 Steps
Child Assessment Tool age groups
6
7
Children under 5 years
7
Children 5-8 years
7
Children and young people 9 years or over
Recommended Level of Care
7
8
Placement considerations
9
Placement considerations for siblings
9
Placement considerations for children and young people from Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander backgrounds
9
Placement considerations for children and young people from Culturally and
Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds
9
Overrides
10
Policy Override
10
Discretionary Override
10
How to use an Override
When is the CAT applied?
11
12
New entries to OOHC
12
CS carer and child transfer to a designated NGO
12
NGO to NGO transfers
13
Immediate placement with an NGO
13
Review of the CAT recommended level of care (within 30 days of placement) 13
Review of CAT due to a change in circumstances
15
Practice Notes
Using the Child Assessment Tool
16
18
Children under 5 years
18
Step 1: Behavioural Issues
19
Step 2: Health and Development Issues
Step 3: Recommended Level of Care
21
23
Children 5 to 8 years
24
Step 1: Behavioural Issues
25
Step 2: Health and Development Issues
26
Step 3: Recommended Level of Care
Children and young people 9 years or over
Step 1: Behavioural Issues
28
29
30
2
Step 2: Health and Development Issues
Step 3: Recommended Level of Care
Appendices
61
63
63
Descriptions of Sexual Behaviours
63
Child Assessment Tool: CAT NGO Review (CNR)
66
3
Child Assessment Tool
Introduction
This User Manual is a guide to the application and use of the Child Assessment Tool
(CAT) in determining the appropriate level of care for children and young people in
Out-of-Home Care (OOHC). The guide includes details of implementation of the CAT
within Family and Community Services, Community Services (CS) NSW, when the
CAT is applied, and how the tool works. While the information in this guide is
primarily aimed at CS CAT users, it is also serves as a reference on the CAT for nongovernment organisations (NGOs) involved in OOHC service provision.
What is the Child Assessment Tool?
The CAT is designed to identify the most appropriate level of care, ranging from
General Foster Care to Intensive Residential Care, for a specific child or young
person, based on an assessment of their behaviour and health and development.
Implementation
The tool was first developed in the United States by a consortium of not-for-profit
public policy organisations, including the Annie E Casey Foundation. It was
customised for use in NSW by CS in partnership with the NGO sector and trialled
from 1 July to 30 September 2011.
The CAT was implemented from January 2012 across all CS Child and Family
District Units (formerly Regional Units) (CFDU). In September 2012, the CAT moved
from an Excel format to a web based platform using Oracle Policy Automation (OPA).
Since 2012 CFDU caseworkers have progressively applied the CAT to • All new entries to OOHC where a placement has not been identified with a
relatives or kin
• Existing CS carers transitioning to NGO OOHC providers
• NGO requests for a CAT review
• NGO placement changes due to a change in circumstances.
• NGO to NGO transfers
CAT data are monitored on a quarterly basis. Community Services will continue to
refine the CAT based on analysis of quarterly data and user feedback.
Who can use the CAT?
The CAT is only accessible to authorised CS CFDU caseworkers. The CAT is
available as an online tool (OPA CAT) and requires the user to be logged on to the
CS network. Each district has a CAT administrator who manages staff access to the
CAT.
4
Why use a Tool?
The CAT supports the decision making process caseworkers undertake when placing
children and young people in OOHC. The tool:
•
•
•
Determines the level of care that will best meet the needs of a child or young
person including support from a carer
Enhances the transparency and consistency of placement decisions
Creates a common framework for placement decisions between CS and
NGOs.
The tool will also support caseworkers to:
•
•
Consider the impact of certain behavioural issues and health and
development issues both on placements and carers, with the goal of
minimising unplanned placement changes.
Identify skill development and training requirements for carers.
NOTE: The CAT is not a diagnostic tool and does not identify the underlying reason
or cause for particular behavioural issues or health and development issues. It does
not replace casework and should not take the place of a full assessment of a child or
young person’s strengths and needs.
The CAT is completed based on the information available about the child or young
person at the time of placement. The completion of the CAT should not be delayed
in order to source additional information about the child or young person.
5
How does the Child Assessment Tool work?
The CAT is applied by CFDU caseworkers after reviewing the Client Information
Form (CIF) and speaking to the referring caseworker. Based on the information
available at the time of referral, the tool is completed in three steps:
The CAT 3 Steps
Step 1: Behavioural Issues
Step 2: Health and Development Issues
Step 3: Recommended Level of Care
Step 1: Behavioural Issues
The CFDU caseworker selects the response that best describes the behavioural
issues for the child or young person. The Behavioural Issues assessment differs for
each of three age groups, reflecting the range and intensity of behavioural issues
children and young people may have depending on their age.
The CAT will calculate an initial Behavioural Level of Care based on the behavioural
issues identified.
Step 2: Health and Development Issues
The CFDU caseworker selects the response that best describes the child or young
person’s health and development issues from a list of five categories. Each response
represents an increasing degree of complexity and severity of health and
development issues and an increasing intensity of care requirements.
The Health and Development Issues assessment is applied to all age groups. It does
not identify specific conditions, but asks the CFDU caseworker to consider the overall
complexity and combination of the child or young person’s health and development
issues, and care required. This should be based on the health and development
information captured on the CIF, supplemented by a discussion of the child or young
person’s needs with his or her caseworker.
Health and developmental issues can add one or two levels of care to the initial
Behavioural Level of Care. NOTE: Health and development issues will not always
change the Behavioural Level of Care.
Step 3: Recommended Level of Care
The initial Behavioural Level of Care is combined with the Health and Development
Issues result to determine the Recommended Level of Care. This Recommended
Level of Care should, in the majority of cases, be the level of care sought for the child
or young person.
The CAT Report
The CAT produces a report, in PDF format, which sets out the CAT Level of Care for
the child or young person (this will either be the Recommended Level of Care, or if
an override has been applied, the Override Level of Care). The report contains all of
the information entered into the assessment about the child or young person’s
behaviour and health and development needs. This report is the official record of the
CAT outcome and should be provided along with the CIF to the non-government
designated agency via the Referral Management System in accordance with CAT
Procedures. CAT Procedures are available to authorised CAT users via the CS
Casework Practice, CS Intranet site at http://cwp.docsonline.dcs.gov.au/en/Procedures/Child-Assessment-Tool-CAT-/
6
Child Assessment Tool age groups
The CAT is applied to three age groups:
•
•
•
Children under 5 years
Children 5 to 8 years
Children and young people 9 years or over
NOTE: Step 1: Behavioural Issues is different for each age group, however Step 2:
Health and Development Issues is the same for each age group.
Children under 5 years
Complete Part A and Part B of Behavioural Issues following the instructions and
selecting the appropriate response.
• Part A consists of 10 descriptions that require a response of yes, no or unable
to assess (UA).
• Part B consists of 11 descriptions that require a response of yes, no or unable
to assess (UA).
Children 5-8 years
Complete Part A of Behavioural Issues following the instructions and selecting the
appropriate response.
• Part A consists of 12 descriptions that require a response of yes, no or unable
to assess (UA).
• There is no Part B for this age group.
Children and young people 9 years or over
Complete Part A and Part B of Behavioural Issues following the instructions and
selecting the appropriate response.
• Part A consists of 14 scales that identify a series of behaviours. Select the
single response that most accurately describes the child or young person’s
behaviour.
• Part B consists of 16 questions that require a response of yes, no or unable to
assess (UA).
7
Recommended Level of Care
The CAT recommends one of six levels of care for a child or young person in OOHC,
based on the combination of behavioural issues and health and development issues.
These levels match Community Services placement types and service models:
Level 1:
Level 2:
Level 3:
Level 4:
Level 5:
Level 6:
General Foster Care (GFC)
General Foster Care + 1(GFC+1)
General Foster Care + 2 (GFC+2)
Intensive Foster Care (IFC)
Residential Care (RC)
Intensive Residential Care (IRC)
In general, the Recommended Level of Care represents a combination of:
•
•
•
•
The level of supervision to be provided to the child or young person.
The level of support to be provided or available.
The level of staff training required.
The level of restrictiveness for the placement of the child or young person.
NOTE: While the CAT does not match a child or young person with a specific
placement or carer, it supports the decision making process by allowing the
caseworker to record the child or young person’s particular behavioural and health
and development issues and care needs, and consider what impact these may have
on a prospective carer.
8
Placement considerations
Placement considerations for siblings
Placement considerations for siblings
Siblings should be individually assessed separately within CAT to determine their
Recommended Level of Care. Placement decisions should be guided by the
Placement of siblings in out-of-home care policy.
Where siblings are placed together, but are assessed at different levels of care, it is
preferable for the sibling group to be provided with a placement that corresponds to
the child or young person with the lowest Recommended Level of Care. Additional
supports and wraparound services should be provided to meet the needs of the
sibling/s with a higher Recommended Level of Care.
Co-placement of siblings may not be possible where one sibling has been assessed
as having very serious health, behavioural and/or emotional needs. Under these
circumstances, caseworkers are expected to use their professional judgment when
making a decision to place siblings, in line with the Placement of siblings in out-ofhome care policy.
Placement considerations for children and young people from Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander backgrounds
The CAT asks whether the child or young person is from an Aboriginal or Torres
Strait Islander background, however this does not directly impact on the level of care
or corresponding placement type required to meet their needs.
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child and Young Person Placement
Principles (“the placement principles”) under Section 13 of the Children and Young
Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 must be followed when making placement
decisions about Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander children or young people.
In line with the hierarchy of placements set out in Section 13 (1) of the Act an
Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child or young person should be placed with
extended family or kin where practicable and additional services and supports
provided to meet the assessed needs.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families, kinship groups, representative
organisations and communities are to be given the opportunities to participate in
decisions made concerning the placement of their children and young people.
Placement considerations for children and young people from Culturally and
Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds
If a child or young person is from a CALD background, it does not directly impact on
the level of care or corresponding placement type required to meet their needs under
the current assessment protocol. For this reason, the tool does not specifically
address a child or young person’s CALD heritage.
Children and young people from CALD backgrounds should be placed with carers of
the same background. If placement at the Recommended Level of Care with a carer
of the same cultural and/or linguistic background as the child or young person is not
possible, placement should be made at the Recommended Level of Care with a carer
with attributes for caring for children or young people from a different cultural
background to their own.
9
Overrides
The CAT incorporates a manual override process to allow a child or young person to
receive a different level of care to the one recommended by the tool. In general, this
will apply where a Recommended Level of Care does not match the child or young
person’s needs due to the particular combination of issues. Reasons for an override
include the CAT RLC is inappropriate for the child’s age, needs or issues, or the child
needs to be placed as part of a sibling group. Overrides should only be used in
exceptional circumstances. In all cases the caseworker should consider what
additional supports and services the child and placement needs if the child is not
placed at their recommended level of care. There are two types of overrides detailed
below.
Policy Override
A Policy Override would apply where child or young person requires a level of
care different to that recommended by the CAT due to Community Services
placement policies.
• Example: A child under 12 years receives a Recommended Level of Care of
Residential Care or Intensive Residential. In this instance, the CFDU
caseworker should carefully consider whether this level of care is necessary
for the child and either:
complete an override recommending a lower level of care, or
follow the existing procedures for placing a child under 12 years in
Residential Care (if the assessing caseworker agrees that the
Recommended Level of Care of Residential or Intensive Residential is
actually necessary).
• Example: The child is being placed as part of a sibling group, and adherence
to the Placement of siblings in out-of-home care policy would not be possible
if the Recommended Level of Care for that child is used. In this instance, the
CFDU caseworker should carefully consider the implications of not placing
the child at the Recommended Level of Care, including the potential impact
on a carer.
Discretionary Override
A Discretionary Override would apply if the CFDU caseworker feels that, based on
their professional judgement and experience, the Recommended Level of Care does
not accurately reflect the actual needs of the child or young person.
Cases where a child or young person has basic behavioural needs (i.e. those that
would only require GFC) but has a combination of complex health needs that require
a more intensive level of care will be the most common reason for using a
discretionary override.
Example: a baby with a serious or terminal medical condition which would require
placement in a residential treatment facility may only receive a Recommended Level
of Care of General Foster Care+2 (GFC+2), due to the absence of significant
behavioural issues. A discretionary override would be necessary in order to place
the child at a higher level of care.
10
How to use an Override
In order to use an override, the CFDU caseworker would decide that the
Recommended Level of Care calculated by the CAT is inappropriate, and make a
recommendation that it is increased or decreased to a nominated level. This
Override Level of Care would be recorded in the CAT in the Override Details screen,
along with a brief reason for the override (chosen from the drop down list of options)
and a description of the override and its circumstances. The Override Level of Care
is then considered and approved by the CFDU Manager Client Services. The PDF of
the CAT Report is printed, signed, scanned and then attached to the child or young
person’s KiDS record.
In all cases, the assessing caseworker should consider what additional supports and
services the child or young person and the placement may need if the child or young
person is not placed at their recommended level of care.
Refer to the CAT Procedures for instructions on how to complete and obtain approval
of an override of the Recommended Level of Care. In the case of the placement of
children under 12 years in Residential Care or higher, existing procedures governing
the placement of children under 12 years in Residential Care should be followed.
Who can approve an override
Overrides are approved by the Manager Client Services , CS Child and Family
District Unit.
If the override is to Intensive Residential Care (CAT Level 6) approval is required by
the Director, CS (DCS) at the relevant district.
11
When is the CAT applied?
CFDU applies the CAT in the following circumstances-
New entries to OOHC
•
The CFDU caseworker completes the CAT based on information about
the child sourced from the child’s Community Services Centre (CSC)
caseworker and the Client Information Form (two part form)
•
CFDU follows Referral Management System guidelines to arrange
placement with an NGO OOHC provider and provides the CAT report as
required.
CS carer and child transfer to a designated NGO
•
Once a carer consents to the release of information allowing a transfer to
an identified NGO, a CAT is undertaken for each child/ young person with
that carer.
•
The CFDU completes the CAT based on information about the child
sourced from the CS caseworker and supporting documents. The carer
may be consulted when a caseworker does not have up to date
information about the child /young person and the carer can provide this.
•
The CFDU informs the NGO of the CAT level of care to help determine
and confirm that the NGO is suitable for this particular transfer and can
provide a program at the child’s level of care. A copy of the CAT PDF
report is provided to the NGO as required.
•
The NGO and the carer can discuss any aspect of the transfer process
with CS.
•
CFDUs should provide NGO and carers the opportunity to discuss all
transfer issues and gain agreement on the CAT level prior to transfer.
•
Upon agreement between CS, NGO, carer and child/ young person, case
management transfer (CMT) proceeds and should occur at same time as
carer and child transfer to the NGO
12
NGO to NGO transfers
The NGO with case management •
Is responsible for arranging any subsequent change of placement to another
NGO
•
must notify CS of the proposed change of placement, relevant family
members and key agencies involved with the child/young person
•
may request the CAT to be re-applied if there is new information or a change
of circumstances, behaviour or need.
Immediate placement with an NGO
•
An Immediate placement (formerly emergency placement) is defined as the
placement of a child or young person which requires a response within four
hours from the time in which the placement request is entered in the CS
Referral Management System. Immediate placements may be requested
during and outside of business hours
•
Immediate placements are based on known information at the time of
placement. In most cases of immediate placement, the CAT will not be
applied prior to placement.
•
The CAT is completed within 14 days of the commencement of the immediate
placement based on the referral information and in consultation with the
child’s caseworker.
Review of the CAT recommended level of care (within 30 days of placement)
•
An NGO can seek a review of the CAT outcome within 30 days of
commencement of placement if there is new information regarding the child’s/
young person’s behaviours or health / developmental issues which the NGO
believes demonstrates that a different level of care is required to the level
initially recommended by the CAT.
•
Any proposed review must be in the best interests of the child/ young person
and any impact /risks to child/ young person must be considered.
•
Commencement of placement refers to the date that the child /carer transfers
to the NGO including case management transfer, financials and all relevant
documentation.
•
To seek a CAT review, the NGO advises the relevant CFDU within 30 days of
placement that they wish to seek a CAT review.
•
The NGO must submit a CAT NGO Review Form (available from CFDU)
within 7 days of the end of the 30 day period. The NGO should include all
supporting information with the CAT Review Form (see note below).
•
The NGO is advised of receipt of the CAT NGO Review form within 24 hours
and is generally advised of the review outcome within 14 days.
13
•
If the CFDU requires further information from the NGO, the 14 day timeframe
is halted until the NGO provides the information or advises that it is unable to
provide the information.
•
If review requirements have been met, CFDU re-applies the CAT and obtains
endorsement for the review decision by the CFDU Manager Client Services.
•
CFDU advises the NGO of the endorsed decision and the CAT recommended
level of care.
•
If the request for review does not meet the threshold, the NGO is provided
with feedback about why the requirements were not met.
•
In exceptional circumstances, NGOs may request a review outside of the 30
day timeframe, in writing to the relevant District Director.
•
If the NGO disagrees with the reviewed CAT level of care, the NGO can
request a meeting with the Manager Client Services and the Director Child
and Family as required to discuss the issues.
•
The NGO can re-submit supporting information for consideration. The
meeting may be attended by NGO senior representatives and any relevant
third party experts retained by the NGO and who are responsible for any
reports cited in the review request and accompanying supporting information.
•
The District Director (DD) makes a determination on re-application of the
CAT, based on available information and discussions with the NGO. The
decision of the DD will be communicated to the NGO and will be final.
Important note on information to support CAT Reviews
The supporting information- must relate to new information about the child or young person, or
information that has come to light since the child/young person was
placed with the NGO, or a change in circumstances.
-
is substantiated with professional advice in the form of a report from
medical doctor, clinician, psychologist, school principal or other relevant
professional.
-
Can be in the form of reports/ supporting documents which should
analyse the impact of the new information on the child or young person’s
behavioural, health or development needs.
-
can also be in the form of incident reports where such reports can be
corroborated by other reports/information.
-
should show a recent pattern of behaviour / issues rather than a single
incident. The exception to this would be if the one-off incident severely
impacted on the child/young person’s behavioural and health needs, and
which would jeopardise the stability of the placement, or the placement’s
capacity to meet the needs of the child or young person
-
must relate to new information about the child or young person, or
information that has come to light since the child/young person was
placed with the NGO, or a change in circumstances.
-
must show a link between the new information, the care needs of the
child or young person with regard to identified behavioural and health and
development issues, and ability of the placement to continue to meet the
needs of the child at the assessed level of care.
14
Review of CAT due to a change in circumstances
•
•
If a child/young person’s circumstance has changed significantly, and
may impact on the child or young person’s behaviour, the level of care
they require or the stability of the placement, the NGO can contact the
CFDU to discuss the significant change and the need for CAT to be
applied.
In addition, the CAT is re-applied if any of these specific triggers occur
(in conjunction with a case review)
- Change in case plan goals
- A pattern of escalating behaviours
- Referral to a CFDU as a result of an unplanned placement change
or placement breakdown, if there is new information of a significant
change in the child or young person’s behaviour or health (review
required at time of referral)
- Referral to a CFDU as a result of a planned placement change,
where it has been determined that there has been a significant
change in the child’s behaviour or health (review required at time
of referral)
- The child or young person has been in an Intensive Residential
Care placement for 12 months. CAT review required as part of
panel review process within 1 month of the 12 month anniversary
of the commencement of the placement.
•
The NGO contacts the CFDU to discuss the changed circumstances
and submits an NGO Review form for re-application of the CAT.
•
NGO is advised of the CAT outcome within 14 days as per section 4
above.
•
The CFDU can also initiate a re-application of the CAT in consultation
with the NGO if the CFDU is aware of new information or a change in
circumstances which demonstrates that the child or young person
requires a different level of care to that recommended by the CAT.
•
Prior to re-applying the CAT, the CFDU should have a conversation
with the NGO to seek their views and input as part of the discussion.
The CFDU outlines the proposed need to re-apply the CAT, providing
rationale/ supporting information of how the child/ young person’s
needs have changed.
•
The NGO can seek a review of the final CAT result as per usual
arrangements.
•
Where the re-application of the CAT results in a different assessed
level of need, decisions about placement must be in the best interests
of the child/ young person with consideration of any on impact /risks to
child/ young person, capacity of the NGO, and any funding/
contracting issues.
Further information
Further information for NGOs can be found at the CS website:
http://www.community.nsw.gov.au/docswr/_assets/main/documents/oohc_transition_
process_for_ngos.pdf
http://www.community.nsw.gov.au/docswr/_assets/main/lib100062/transfer_of_oohc_
case_management_for_a_child_or_young_person_from_cs_to_ngo.pdf
http://www.community.nsw.gov.au/docswr/_assets/main/lib100062/transfer_of_autho
rised_carer_from_cs_to_ngo.pdf
15
Practice Notes
The CAT is not a diagnostic tool
The CAT is not a diagnostic tool. It does not replace case planning and the thorough
assessment of a child or young person’s strengths and needs.
The CAT does not replace Community Services placement policy
Refer to the CAT Procedures for specific casework practice directions regarding the
application of the CAT for OOHC placements.
The CAT is completed using available information
Placements should not be delayed while more information to complete the CAT is
obtained. Additional information about the child or young person will become
available as case planning and management progresses and as the child or young
person settles in a placement with an NGO.
The CAT supports professional judgment
The tool supports caseworkers’ professional judgment in the placement of children
and young people in OOHC. It does not replace professional judgment.
Definitions
In general, the terms used throughout the manual should be given their natural and
ordinary meaning.
Use of the term child and young person
The terms “child” or “children” are used in the CAT behavioural descriptions and the
CAT Excel workbook. These terms should be taken to include both “child and young
person” and “children and young people” where appropriate.
Sexual behaviours and abusive sexual behaviours - Appendix A
A table has been included in this manual which lists abusive and non-abusive sexual
behaviours by age. This table should be used to support making assessments of
sexual behaviour of children and young people as part of the CAT. The table is taken
from the Structured Decision Making® System, New South Wales Mandatory
Reporter Guide, developed by the Children’s Research Centre.
Narrative Boxes
Narrative boxes are included in the OPA CAT at the end of Step 1 (Behavioural
Issues) and Step 2 (Health and Development) and for overrides. The purpose of the
narrative boxes is to record additional information or to explain why certain decisions
were made in the assessment. The narrative boxes can also record specific
additional information that has not been captured in the CIF.
16
Deciding between Yes, No and Unable to Assess
Caseworkers are asked to answer every question about behavioural issues in the
CAT with either Yes (Y), No (N) or Unable to Assess (UA). The following should be
used as a guide for choosing a response:
•
•
•
Select Yes if you have actively assessed the behaviour or issue, and based
on the assessment of the information available, you have confirmed the
behaviour or issue as being present or true.
Select No if you have actively assessed the behaviour or issue, and based on
that assessment of the information available, you have confirmed the
behaviour or issue as NOT being present or NOT true.
Select UA if you are unable to assess as Yes or No (according to the above)
based on available information.
Selecting a response for every category
Recording “No” or “Unable to Assess (UA)” against a description of a particular
behaviour plays two important roles:
•
•
It will act as a prompt for caseworkers reviewing the results of the CAT in the
future to consider whether that behaviour became evident at a later date and
if the child or young person’s behaviours have changed over time. Without
“N” or a “UA”, it is difficult to tell whether the behaviour was considered or if it
was simply not filled in by the person completing the assessment.
Recording what is not known helps to build a profile of the characteristics of
children and young people entering care. Identifying what is not known about
a child or young person is as useful to building this profile as identifying what
is known.
NOTE: Remember to consult the CAT Procedures for operational advice and
direction.
17
Using the Child Assessment Tool
Children under 5 years
Step 1:
Behavioural Issues: Children under 5 years
Complete Part A and Part B
Step 2:
Health and Development Issues: All age groups
Step 3:
CAT Summary: Recommended Level of Care
18
Step 1: Behavioural Issues
Children under 5 years
Part A
Ask the caseworker if any of the following behavioural issues apply to the child.
Respond by selecting yes, no or unable to assess (UA).
NOTE: For each of the behaviours in the shaded boxes below there must be a
pattern of the behaviour, meaning that the child has engaged in the behaviour on
several occasions. In the case of animal cruelty or fire-setting, if the child has
engaged in the behaviour when he or she has had access to doing so on more than
one occasion.
1. Child has a pattern of animal cruelty.
2. Child has a pattern of playing with fire.
3. Child has a pattern of damaging property outside the home they are living in.
4. Child has a pattern of threatening or bullying other children.
5. Child has a pattern of deliberately injuring or attempting to injure other children or
adults with their own body (e.g. fists, teeth) or objects.
6. Child has a pattern of inappropriate sexual behaviours toward an adult or another
child.
7. Child has a pattern of talking about dying, has a fixation on topics of death or
dying, or self-harming behaviour.
8. Child has been clinically diagnosed and/or treated for behavioural problems.
9. Carer has been told that child would have to leave child care program unless
behaviour changes or outside intervention is provided.
10. Child care program has asked child to leave.
19
Part B
Most children entering care experience some level of trauma and may be anxious or
upset. Some children’s behaviours are more pronounced than the norm.
Ask the caseworker if the child has any of the following behavioural issues that are
more pronounced compared with other children entering out-of-home care?
Respond to each description by selecting yes, no or unable to assess (UA).
1. Child is very bossy, argumentative or picks on children own age or younger.
2. Child pouts, sulks, or cries a lot or seems sad much of the time.
3. Child is overly clingy with carer.
4. Child is too withdrawn or timid to play well with other children.
5. Child mostly plays alone, seems anxious, worried or fearful a lot of the time or is
overly worried about making mistakes.
6. Child has frequent nightmares or sleeping problems.
7. Child seems to feel sick a lot (headaches, stomach aches, other pains) with no
fever or other apparent cause.
8. Child has tantrums easily or explosive behaviours, which are difficult to calm.
9. Child seems to have a very high pain threshold.
10. Child has a pattern of persistently lying, more than children of a similar age or
stage of development.
11. Child has a pattern of not accepting comfort from adults.
20
Step 2: Health and Development Issues
Children under 5 years
In this section, you are asked to consider the health and development issues of the child, and the care
required for these needs.
Ask the caseworker to describe the physical health and development issues of the child, and choose
the most accurate description from the list on the opposite page. Any special care that must be
provided to the child to address his or her health care, physical mobility or developmental needs must
also be considered.
Issues to consider when selecting a response:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Previous health care, including preventive check-ups.
Physical health conditions of the child.
Chronic health conditions or diseases.
Health care required for the child.
Developmental condition of the child.
Developmental delay or intellectual disability
Physical disabilities of the child.
Age appropriateness of the child’s health and development.
Do not consider:
•
•
•
•
Behavioural problems of the child, unless the child’s behavioural problems make addressing
ongoing health care needs difficult.
Health conditions that require no care considerations.
Mental health or behavioural conditions that have affected the child’s physical health.
Acute or short term health care conditions that are temporary in nature and may require care
considerations that are temporary.
21
Directions
When selecting a response, consider time required of a carer, intensity of care required, and any
special skills or training needed by a carer. If you cannot decide between two responses, select the
higher number.
•
•
•
Responses 1, 2 and 3 will not alter the Behavioural Level of Care.
Response 4 will increase the Behavioural Level of Care by one level.
Response 5 will increase the Behavioural Level of Care by two levels.
Description
1. Child is in excellent health; has no physical disabilities; has had regular health check-ups and dental
care; and immunisations are up to date. Use this response for a child in excellent health, with good,
regular preventive health care.
2. Child is in good health; has no major physical problems; primary care maintenance is in place. Use
this response for a child in good health, who may have occasional ailments, but has received less
preventive health care, including dental care.
3. Child is considered in average health; has minor ailments periodically and possibly brief
hospitalisations, or is suspected of having serious health or developmental problems that require
further assessment. Use this response for any child whose health seems OK, with some manageable
minor problems, usual childhood ailments and possibly ongoing medical and/or therapy appointments.
4. Child has health conditions, physical disabilities and/or developmental problems (including
developmental delay or intellectual disability) that results in a need for treatment or care
considerations. The child’s condition has an impact on overall functioning with a recurrent need for
treatment and ongoing care considerations. Use this response if there are care considerations that are
manageable by the carer in terms of time, intensity, skills or training, but the level of effort will be more
than most children in care; and where the child’s ongoing care will be an important consideration in
finding a placement.
5. Child has major problems with poor physical health, physical disabilities, and/or serious
developmental problems (including developmental delay or intellectual disability) which affect the
child’s functioning, and will require hospitalisations or time-consuming specialised care and possibly
supervision from a trained person. This child will require ongoing frequent medical and/or therapeutic
visits and oversight. Use this response if the child’s care needs are very high, serious and time
consuming, require either training of the carer or full-time oversight by skilled professionals.
6. Unable to assess at present time.
22
Step 3: Recommended Level of Care
Children under 5 years
Directions
Open the CAT online tool using the link you have been provided. You must be a
registered CS user to access to tool. The tool will automatically direct you to the
correct assessment based on the child’s date of birth, and step you through all parts
of the assessment. The CAT will calculate the Recommended Level of Care for you,
based on the responses you select in Step 1 and Step 2.
Step 1: Behavioural Issues
If you did not select any behaviours in Part A or you selected two or fewer
behaviours in Part B, the child should be placed in General Foster Care (GFC)
unless there are health and/or development issues that require additional support.
OR
If you selected any of the behaviours in Part A and/or more than two behaviours
in Part B the child should be placed in General Foster Care +1 (GFC+1) unless there
are health and/or development issues that require additional support.
OR
If you selected two or more of the shaded behaviours in Part A the child should
be placed in General Foster Care +2 (GFC+2) unless there are health and/or
development issues that require additional support.
Results from Step 1 will provide the Behavioural Level of Care
Step 2: Health and Development Issues
If you select response 1, 2 or 3 the child’s Behavioural Level of Care will not
increase.
If you select response 4 one level of care will be added.
If you select response 5 two levels of care will be added.
The combination of behavioural issues and health and development issues will be
used to calculate Step 3: Recommended Level of Care. The CAT will automatically
calculate the results.
NOTE:
• Children under 9 years will not receive a Recommended Level of Care higher
than Residential Care in the CAT.
• Children under 12 years should generally not be placed in either Residential or
Intensive Residential (i.e. higher than Intensive Foster Care (IFC). Placement at
a level higher than IFC will require approval in accordance with existing
procedures for placing children under 12 years in Residential Care.
23
Children 5 to 8 years
Step 1:
Behavioural Issues: Children 5 to 8 years
Complete Part A
Step 2:
Health and Development Issues: All age groups
Step 3:
CAT Summary: Recommended Level of Care
24
Step 1: Behavioural Issues
Children 5 to 8 years
Part A
Ask the caseworker if any of the following behaviours have applied to the child within
the last 12 months. Respond to each description by selecting yes, no or unable to
assess (UA).
1. The child has disruptive behaviours or behaviour problems at school. Additional,
regular support is required (at least monthly) as a result of a diagnosed emotional or
behaviour disturbance. Support may include:
• an Itinerant Behaviour Support Teacher, or
• the child attending a specialist school, such as a Behaviour School or
School for Specific Purposes (SSP), or a tutorial centre.
2. The child has problems with self-regulation that interfere with functioning across
most settings.
3. The child gets in frequent fights, is frequently bullied or gets picked on by peers,
seems unable to form meaningful relationships or seems socially isolated due to his
or her behaviours.
4. The child has a temper that is easily provoked and difficult to calm.
5. The child has physically aggressive, violent, or cruel bullying behaviours towards
peers, younger children, or adults.
6. The child has engaged in age or developmentally inappropriate sexual
behaviours, including abusive sexual behaviours.
7. The child seems sad, depressed, or has self-harming behaviours or thoughts.
The child seems preoccupied with or has spoken of death or dying.
8. The child has odd or repetitive behaviours or has been diagnosed with a mental
health problem.
9. The child has deliberately set a fire or played with matches or lighters even
though he or she understands the danger.
10. The child has deliberately hurt or injured, or tried to hurt, an animal, or been
cruel toward animals.
11. The child seems preoccupied or obsessed with violence, weapons, explosives,
violent movies or video games or other destructive devices or themes. The child
used or threatened to use a weapon or object to hurt others.
12. The child has challenging behaviours that are very difficult to manage.
25
Step 2: Health and Development Issues
Children 5 to 8 years
In this section, you are asked to consider the health and development issues of the child, and the care
required for these needs.
Ask the caseworker to describe the physical health and development issues of the child, and choose
the most accurate description from the list on the opposite page. Any special care that must be
provided to the child to address his or her health care, physical mobility or developmental needs must
also be considered.
Issues to consider when selecting a response:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Previous health care, including preventive check-ups.
Physical health conditions of the child.
Chronic health conditions or diseases.
Health care required for the child.
Developmental condition of the child.
Developmental delay or intellectual disability
Physical disabilities of the child.
Age appropriateness of the child’s health and development.
Do not consider:
•
•
•
•
Behavioural problems of the child, unless the child’s behavioural problems make addressing
ongoing health care needs difficult.
Health conditions that require no care considerations.
Mental health or behavioural conditions that have affected the child’s physical health.
Acute or short term health care conditions that are temporary in nature and may require care
considerations that are temporary.
26
Directions
When selecting a response, consider time required of a carer, intensity of care required, and any
special skills or training needed by a carer. If you cannot decide between two responses, select the
higher number.
•
•
•
Responses 1, 2 and 3 will not alter the Behavioural Level of Care.
Response 4 will increase the Behavioural Level of Care by one level.
Response 5 will increase the Behavioural Level of Care by two levels.
Description
1. Child is in excellent health; has no physical disabilities; has had regular health check-ups and dental
care; and immunisations are up to date. Use this category for a child in excellent health, with good,
regular preventive health care.
2. Child is in good health; has no major physical problems; primary care maintenance is in place. Use
this category for a child in good health, who may have occasional ailments, but has received less
preventive health care, including dental care.
3. Child is considered in average health; has minor ailments periodically and possibly brief
hospitalisations, or is suspected of having serious health or developmental problems that require
testing. Use this category for any child whose health seems OK, with some manageable minor
problems, usual childhood ailments and possibly ongoing medical and/or therapy appointments.
4. Child has health conditions, physical disabilities and/or developmental problems (including
developmental delay or intellectual disability) that results in a need for treatment or care
considerations. The child’s condition has an impact on overall functioning with a recurrent need for
treatment and ongoing care considerations. Use this category if there are care considerations that are
manageable by the carer in terms of time, intensity, skills or training, but the level of effort will be more
than most children in care; and where the child’s ongoing care will be an important consideration in
finding a placement.
5. Child has major problems with poor physical health, physical disabilities, and/or serious
developmental problems (including developmental delay or intellectual disability) which affect the
child’s functioning, and will require hospitalisations or time-consuming specialised care and possibly
supervision from a trained person. This child will require ongoing frequent medical and/or therapeutic
visits and oversight. Use this category if the child’s care needs are very high, serious and time
consuming, require either training of the carer or full-time oversight by skilled professionals.
6. Unable to assess at present time.
27
Step 3: Recommended Level of Care
Children 5 to 8 years
Directions
Open the CAT online tool using the link you have been provided. You must be a
registered CS user to access to tool. The tool will automatically direct you to the
correct assessment based on the child’s date of birth, and step you through all parts
of the assessment. The CAT will calculate the Recommended Level of Care for you,
based on the responses you select in Step 1 and Step 2
Step 1: Behavioural Issues
If you did not select any of the behaviours in Part A place the child in General
Foster Care (GFC), unless there are health and/or development issues that require
additional support.
OR
If you selected one, two or three of the behaviours in Part A, place the child in
General Foster Care+1 (GFC+1) unless there are health and/or development issues
that require additional support.
OR
If you select four or more of the boxes in Part A place the child in General Foster
Care+2 (GFC+2) unless there are health and/or development issues that require
additional support.
Results from Step 1 will provide the Behavioural Level of Care
Step 2: Health and Development Issues
If you select response 1, 2 or 3 the child’s Behavioural Level of Care will not
increase.
If you select response 4 one level of care will be added
If you select response 5 two levels of care will be added.
The combination of behavioural issues and health and development issues will be
used to calculate Step 3: Recommended Level of Care. The CAT will automatically
calculate the results.
NOTE:
• Children under 9 years will not receive a Recommended Level of Care higher
than Residential Care in the CAT.
• Children under 12 years should generally not be placed in either Residential or
Intensive Residential (i.e. higher than Intensive Foster Care (IFC). Placement at
a level higher than IFC will require approval in accordance with existing
procedures for placing children under 12 years in Residential Care.
28
Children and young people 9 years or
over
Step 1:
Behavioural Issues: Children or young people 9 years or over
Complete Part A and Part B
Step 2:
Health and Development Issues: All age groups
Step 3:
CAT Summary: Recommended Level of Care
29
Step 1: Behavioural Issues
Children and young people 9 years or over
Part A
Behavioural Issues Scales 1-14: For each of the scales select the single response
that most closely describes the child or young person’s behaviour. If more than one
response applies in a given scale, select the response with the highest score.
Do not select more than one response in each scale.
Do not read the choices to the caseworker. Choose the most appropriate
response that describes what the caseworker has told you about the child or young
person’s behaviour in that scale.
Scale
Page
1. Education: addresses the child’s functioning and behaviour in any
educational setting.
32
2. Peer relations: addresses how the child interacts and gets along with
peers and how well the child makes and keeps friends.
34
3. Acceptance of adult supervision: addresses the child’s willingness to
accept adult supervision.
36
4. Emotional adjustment: addresses the child’s emotional stability, including
how the child handles stress, how stable his or her emotions or moods are,
how emotional or upset the child becomes when faced with change or stress.
38
5. Anger management: addresses the child’s ability to manage his or her
anger.
40
6. Harm to people or property: addresses the child’s physical aggression
towards people or property.
42
7. Fire-setting: addresses the child’s involvement in incidents, suspected or
confirmed, where fires have been set.
44
8. Cruelty to animals: addresses the child’s involvement in incidents,
suspected or confirmed, of cruelty towards animals.
46
30
Step 1: Behavioural Issues
Scale
Page
9. Offending behaviour: addresses the child’s involvement in offending or
criminal behaviour.
48
10. Gang association: addresses the child’s association with gangs,
including any desire to be connected with a gang.
50
11. Depression and self-harm: addresses any depressed behaviours, self
injurious, or suicidal behaviours or attempts the child may have.
52
12. Cognitive functioning: addresses the child’s cognitive functioning and
aspects of his or her mental health not addressed elsewhere.
54
13. Substance use/misuse: addresses the child’s attitude towards and
involvement with alcohol and/or drug use or misuse.
56
14. Sexual behaviours: addresses the child or young person’s sexual
behaviours.
58
Use the scale descriptions to select the most appropriate response. Select the
corresponding box in each Behavioural Issues screen of the children or young people
9 years or older CAT.
•
•
•
•
•
If more than one response applies in a scale, select the response with the
highest score.
Refer to the Issues to consider and Do not consider dot points for each scale.
Consider frequency, duration and intensity of behaviours.
Do not select more than one response in each category.
NOTE: If the behaviour applies to multiple scales, score the behaviour in
each scale that is relevant.
31
1. Education
Scale Purpose: Ask the caseworker to describe the child’s functioning and behaviour in any
educational setting, including school, TAFE or vocational training program.
Issues to consider when selecting a response:
•
•
•
•
•
•
Child’s grades and educational progress.
Child’s overall attendance (including punctuality).
Child’s school adjustment and behaviours while at school.
Problems following classroom rules, paying attention, listening to teachers, ability to control
behaviour in classroom.
Disciplinary actions for poor behaviours, including fights during school or at school activities,
skipping class or school, other school behaviour problems.
Include before and after school care, if relevant.
Do not consider:
•
•
•
Problems interacting with peers. Use 2. Peer relations scale unless the problems disrupt
classroom activities. (Do not include fights with peers unless they occurred in the classroom or at
school during school hours or during school activities).
Problems listening to adults. Use 3. Adult supervision scale unless the child is disrespectful to
teachers or school staff, or if the child disregards or defies the teachers or school rules.
Physical aggressiveness of the child unless a teacher or school staff were threatened or harmed.
32
1. Education
Scale directions
When selecting a response, consider the frequency, duration and intensity of issues. If you cannot
decide between two responses, select the higher score. Do not read the scaled responses to the
caseworker.
Score
Description
0
Child’s grades are average or above, attendance record excellent, has positive experience in
school, excellent behaviour, good peer relationships at school. Use this response if the
child’s school behaviour, grades and attendance have not caused problems and are a
strength.
0
Child has good school attendance, no discipline problems, getting along well. Use this
response if the child’s attendance and behaviours cause no problems, but grades,
educational progress may be a problem.
0
Child has average school attendance, problems do not interfere with functioning in school.
Use this category if the child has some problems with attendance, grades, and/or behaviours,
but the child is able to function adequately.
1
Child has occasional problems in accepting or following school rules or discipline and/or
attendance problems. Use this response if the child has problems with behaviour and/or
attendance that occasionally interfere with the classroom, and/or with his or her educational
progress. “Occasional” problems would not occur more than monthly.
2
Child has disruptive behaviours in school that require outside intervention; grades or
educational progress unsatisfactory. Use this response if the child’s classroom and school
behaviours are a problem more often than once a month, teachers and school staff are
frustrated with the disruptive behaviours, disciplinary actions are increasing in frequency and
severity.
3
Child’s school attendance is poor; grades or educational progress is poor and near failing
and an ongoing concern for teachers and/or carers. Use this response if the child regularly
misses school and/or has poor or failing grades in many classes, and/or if the child’s
classroom or school behaviours are a problem on a weekly or daily basis, resulting in regular
disciplinary actions that cause the child to miss classes.
UA
Unable to assess at present time. Use this response if unable to assess based on the
information currently available.
33
2. Peer relations
Scale Purpose: Ask the caseworker to describe how the child interacts and gets along with peers and
how well the child makes and keeps friends.
Issues to consider when selecting a response:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Child’s ability to make friends, have close friends, keep friends.
Child’s general interactions with peers, whether peers seem to accept child.
Child seems to get into physical or verbal fights with friends or peers, which tend to strain or end
relationships.
Child seems to have adequate social skills to make friends.
Child engages in bullying or cyber-bullying others or is bullied themselves.
Child seems uncomfortable with peers, isolated from peers, picked on or bullied by peers.
Child somehow feels or seems different from peers or doesn’t fit in with peers.
Child seems to instigate trouble with peers.
Child is easily manipulated or influenced by peers, or seems to seek out peers who would be a
negative influence.
Do not consider:
•
•
•
•
•
School behaviours, unless the behaviours affect peer relationships.
Child’s anger or rage, unless it affects peer relationships.
Cognitive functioning, unless it affects peer relationships.
Child’s fights with others, unless fighting has affected child’s peer relationships.
Child’s aggressive behaviours in general, unless those behaviours have cost the child his or her
ability to make or keep friends.
34
2. Peer relations
Scale directions
When selecting a response consider the frequency, duration and intensity of issues. If you cannot
decide between two responses, select the higher score. Do not read the scaled responses to the
caseworker.
Score
Description
0
Child has close friends and gets along with people; has good social skills. Use this response
if the child is sociable, outgoing, makes friends easily, and is well liked by peers, may be a
leader.
0
Child is comfortable with peer group. Use this response if the child has good friends and
seems to get along well with peers.
0
Child has developed friendships over time, occasional fights appropriate for age group, able
to interact socially. Use this response if the child has some difficulty getting along with peers,
but does have good friendships with one or more peers, is generally accepted by peers.
1
Child has some difficulty forming close relationships, but has peers to share activities. Use
this response if child seems to have few close friends, but is generally accepted by peers.
2
Child has frequent fights and disruptive behaviours and/or complaints from others; or child is
picked on or has few friends. Use this response if child has serious problems getting along
with peers, seems picked on, is easily manipulated by peers, or seems to want to be with
peers who would have a negative influence on his or her behaviour, or if child bullies peers.
3
Child seems unable to form any meaningful friendships, is socially isolated and unable to
enjoy activities with peers. Use this response if child seems to have no good friends, doesn’t
interact well with peers, may pick fights with peers, is not liked by peers, has poor social
skills.
UA
Unable to assess at present time. Use this response if unable to assess based on the
information currently available.
35
3. Adult supervision
Scale Purpose: Ask the caseworker to describe how well the child accepts adult supervision.
Issues to consider when selecting a response:
•
•
•
•
Overt acts of defiance toward carer.
Rude and offensive behaviours toward carers, including swearing.
Overt acts of defiance toward adult authority figures, including (but not limited to) teachers,
counsellors, or other school staff.
Disrespectful behaviours toward authority figures, including (but not limited to) teachers,
counsellors or other school staff.
Do not consider:
•
•
School related behaviours involving peers or truancy. Use 1. Education scale.
Unruly or challenging behaviours, unless they are the specific result of the child’s defiance of adult
supervision.
36
3. Adult supervision
Scale directions
When selecting a response consider the frequency, duration and intensity of issues. If you cannot
decide between two responses, select the higher score. Do not read the scaled responses to the
caseworker.
Score
Description
0
Child is able to accept limits, understands own responsibility. Use this response if child
seems to accept limits set by adults, and takes responsibility for his or her own actions.
0
Child is able to respond to adult direction and makes self-correction. Use this response if the
child learns from his or her mistakes in terms of limits set by adults, and learns to take
responsibility for actions.
0
Child needs occasional reminders, but generally accepts adult supervision. Use this
response if child seems to need occasional reminders about limits, but overall falls within the
norms for his or her age range, and can take responsibility for actions and can accept
consequences for actions with minimal disagreement.
0
Child has some difficulty accepting adult instructions, which creates some challenges at
home and at school. Use this response if child is occasionally (no more than one to two
times per week) defiant, but his or her behaviour can usually be re-directed appropriately.
Child finds it difficult accepting responsibility for actions and consequences of actions; tends
to blame others.
1
Child has recurring difficulty following adult instruction, especially accepting responsibilities or
fighting with siblings. Use this response if child is openly defiant several times weekly, but
with some effort can usually, but not always, be re-directed appropriately. Child may have a
problem accepting responsibility for, or consequences of his or her actions; often blames
others.
2
Child has ongoing challenging behaviours that require constant management. Use this
response if the child has episodes of defiance on a daily basis, but with some effort can be
re-directed sometimes. Child is often unwilling to accept responsibility for, or consequences
of his or her actions; usually blames others.
3
Child recognises no authority or boundaries, and is out of control and openly defiant of adult
care and supervision, and in need of immediate intensive intervention. Use this response if
child is almost constantly extremely defiant, making any adult oversight of the child
challenging. Behaviours result in severe disruption to daily functions. Seems to generally
defy adult direction more often than not. Child usually refuses to take responsibility for, or
accept consequences of his or her actions; always blames others.
UA
Unable to asses at present time. Use this response if unable to assess based on the
information currently available.
37
4. Emotional adjustment
Scale Purpose: Ask the caseworker to describe the child’s emotional stability, including how the child
handles stress, how stable his or her emotions or moods are, how emotional or upset the child
becomes when faced with change or stress.
Issues to consider when selecting a response:
•
•
•
•
•
Extremes in emotions or moods, especially when moods change with little apparent reason.
Irritability, or if the child is easily frustrated.
How the child deals with pressure or stress.
How emotional or upset the child becomes with stress or change.
Problems or anxiety related to identity issues.
Do not consider:
•
•
Anger and rage. Use 5. Anger management scale unless the child’s anger results in dramatic
changes in moods (from a high to an emotional low or sadness).
Depression. Use 11.Depression and self-harm scale.
38
4. Emotional adjustment
Scale directions
When selecting a response consider the frequency, duration and intensity of issues. If you cannot
decide between two responses, select the higher score. Do not read the scaled responses to the
caseworker.
Score
Description
0
Child has ability to handle stress, steady temperament, mood stability and comfortable with
identity issues. Use this response if the child seems emotionally secure and relatively stable,
even under stressful conditions, comfortable with his or her identity.
0
Child has no problem with moods and temperament. Use this response if the child’s
reactions to stress, including removal from the home seem age appropriate, but not extreme.
0
Child has occasional mood swings but does not affect functioning. Use this response if the
child tends toward mood swings and extremes, and can become emotional, but these
changes and emotional behaviours do not interfere with functioning because they are not
extremely intense and they do not last very long.
1
Child has occasional (weekly or less) emotional outbursts and mood swings. Use this
response if the child has mood swings and outbursts that occasionally interfere with
functioning, such as emotional or overly dramatic behaviours that, on occasion, prevent the
child from participating in normal activities, or affect the way others respond to him or her.
2
Child has frequent (daily) emotional outbursts and mood swings. Use this response if the
child seems very fragile and emotional or sensitive, does not deal with stress well, has highs
and lows in emotions with rapid change between them. Child seems overly emotional and is
prone to getting upset on a regular basis, which interferes with activities, or the way others
respond to the child on a regular basis.
3
Child has uncontrollable emotional outbursts. Use this response if the child’s emotional state
is so fragile that very small issues can cause dramatic changes in mood that upset the child,
or cause dramatic emotional responses that can lead to extreme sadness, or to cause
extreme stress. Negative outbursts are generally associated with crying or stress, rather
than anger and rage.
UA
Unable to asses at present time. Use this response if unable to assess based on the
information currently available.
39
5. Anger management
Scale Purpose: Ask the caseworker to describe the child’s ability to manager his or her anger.
Issues to consider when selecting a response:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Verbal anger expressed for any reason.
Swearing, slamming doors, breaking or throwing things, threatening behaviour as a result of not
getting own way.
Explosive anger and rage at not getting own way.
Anger or rage that does not subside within a couple of hours.
Episodes of inappropriate anger over small or insignificant perceived slights or problems.
Rage that seems to cause the child to lose control.
Anger that affects the child’s self regulation.
Inability to deal with anger in an appropriate way.
Do not consider:
•
Disrespectful behaviours unrelated to episodes of anger, unless child seems to be angry most of
the time.
40
5. Anger management
Scale directions
When selecting a response consider the frequency, duration and intensity of issues. If you cannot
decide between two responses, select the higher score. Do not read the scaled responses to the
caseworker.
Score
Description
0
Child is able to respond constructively to anger in self and others; good impulse control over
behaviours. Use this response if the child seems to have relatively good control over anger
with appropriate responses toward, and self-regulation over, situations that result in anger.
0
Child exercises adequate ability to control anger and impulsive behaviours. Use this
response if the child’s anger and response to anger are within an acceptable age appropriate
range of behaviours.
0
Child does not have any problem with anger tolerance or management. Use this response if
child seems to manage anger and not getting his or her own way as well as most children his
or her age, getting angry, but calming down, and getting over anger within a reasonable time
period.
1
Child has occasional problems with behavioural outbursts, which do not affect functioning.
Use this response if child displays some loss of control when angry, some impulsive acts, but
is able to recover relatively quickly without any serious impact on functioning.
2
Child has occasional or frequent behavioural outbursts with destructive results that interfere
with functioning. Use this response if the child shows some control of anger at times, but
when he or she loses his or her temper, this results in yelling, swearing, slamming doors, or
threats to self or others and affects child’s ability to function because of intensity or duration
of anger.
3
Child has chaotic and poor control of anger toward self and others with frequency and
intensity that needs attention. Throws tantrums. Use this response if the child loses his or
her temper easily and lashes out in anger. Child may destroy property, throw or break
things, or become physically aggressive. It may take a long time for the child to calm down
and get over his or her anger.
5
Child’s anger is totally out of control and needs immediate attention and intervention. Use
this response if the child shows little control over his or her temper; seems angry most of the
time; lashes out in anger, which includes destruction of property, throwing or breaking things,
becoming physically aggressive. Child seems unable to control anger, and his or her temper
flares over minor perceived problems or slights.
UA
Unable to asses at present time. Use this response if unable to assess based on the
information currently available.
41
6. Harm to people or property
Scale Purpose: Ask the caseworker to describe if the child has a problem with physical aggression
towards people or property.
Issues to consider when selecting a response:
•
•
•
•
Threats to damage or destroy property when the child has done so in the past.
Threats to hurt people when the child has done so in the past.
Deliberate damage or destruction of property.
Deliberate physical harm to a person. Violence or aggressiveness toward others that could have
resulted in physical injury to another.
Do not consider:
•
•
•
•
If the child gets angry and threatens to destroy property or hurt people, but has never actually
participated in such activities, note this behaviour under 5. Anger management scale.
Bullying that did not involve threats or harm to a person or property should be noted under 2. Peer
relations scale.
Unintentional or accidental damage to property or harm to others, unless the damage or injury
occurred when the child was angry, or during an emotional outburst.
If the child’s physically aggressive behaviour was a defensive action, to ward off or protect against
a physically aggressive act by another, unless the child instigated the attack by provoking the
attacker, or responded to the act with more violence than the act merited.
42
6. Harm to people or property
Scale directions
When selecting a response consider the frequency, duration and intensity of issues. If you cannot
decide between two responses, select the higher score. Do not read the scaled responses to the
caseworker.
Score
Description
0
There are no indications of any tendencies to harm others or property; no abuse history as a
perpetrator; no known risk behaviours. Use this response if there have been no instances
where the child has damaged property or been physically aggressive toward others.
1
The child has been occasionally assaultive; no major injuries; minor property damage; Use
this response if the child has some problems with aggressive behaviours, including bullying
of younger children, assault of others, damage to property, but there have been no major
injuries to people or major damage to property.
1
The child, in the past (more than two years ago), had a problem of violence or
aggressiveness toward others, but no aggressive behaviours or violence since then. Use
this response if the child has had aggressive behaviours toward others and property,
regardless of level of injury or damage, more than two years ago.
2
Child has a history of assaultive behaviours within the last two years; documented injuries to
others or serious damage to property; but no problems within the last six months; risk of
physical assault exists. Use this response if the child has deliberately assaulted others or
damaged property within the last two years, has not done so in the last six months, but there
is risk of additional aggressive episodes.
3
Child has ongoing physically aggressive behaviours that have not responded to intervention;
has not responded to help from others; ongoing and persistent reports of
aggressive/assaultive behaviours are a major concern. Use this response if the child has
ongoing physically aggressive behaviours that have not been successfully addressed and
can be expected to continue.
5
Child is extremely violent, combative and out of control, needs intensive intervention. Use
this response if child’s physically aggressive behaviours are a constant problem, occur
frequently, and seem out of control due to child’s explosive temper, anger, moods, or
emotions.
UA
Unable to asses at present time. Use this response if unable to assess based on the
information currently available.
43
7. Fire-setting
Scale Purpose: Ask the caseworker to describe the child’s involvement in incidents, suspected or
confirmed, where fires have been set.
Issues to consider when selecting a response:
•
•
All instances where a fire was set that had the potential of damaging property or injuring people.
Fires set under supervised circumstances that would be unlikely to cause any damage or injury but
were intended to attract attention.
Do not consider:
•
•
•
Young or developmentally delayed children playing with matches or a lighter when they would not
be expected to “know better.”
House fires that had a known cause unrelated to the child.
Supervised use of fire appropriate to location, e.g. setting of fires in fireplaces.
44
7. Fire-setting
Scale directions
When selecting a response consider the frequency, duration and intensity of issues. If you cannot
decide between two responses, select the higher score. Do not read the scaled response to the
caseworker.
Score
Description
0
Child has no fire-setting tendencies. Use this response if child has no fire-setting tendencies.
1
Child talks frequently about fire,
• but is not known to have been involved in fire-setting; or
• was around when a fire began, but involvement is unclear; or
• has history of fire-setting more than two years ago.
Use this response if:
• fire seems to be an issue with the child, but has not been acted upon; or
• if child was around when a fire began, but you cannot be sure of his or her
involvement in setting the fire; or
• if the child has been involved in fire-setting in the past, but there have been no
problems in the last two years. Consider whether the child has had limited
opportunity due to controlled environment or living arrangement.
2
Within the last two years the child
• seems to be around when fires (more than one) begin, although his or her direct
involvement is unclear, or
• is known to have been involved in intentional fire-setting which potentially caused a
low level risk of harm to people or property and which was more experimental in
nature
Use this response if –
• the child has been around when more than one fire was started, but you cannot be
sure if the child was involved in setting the fire or,
• the child was involved in fire setting which posed a low level risk of harm and was
more experimental in nature
3
Within the last two years, child has been an active participant in fire-setting that has put
people or property at risk. Use this response if you know the child participated in fire-setting
that put people or property at risk within the last two years.
5
Child’s fire-setting behaviour has recently (within the last six months) put people or property
at serious risk and is an immediate concern. Use this response if the child’s involvement with
fire-setting has put people or property at serious risk within the last six months.
UA
Unable to asses at present time. Use this response if unable to assess based on the
information currently available.
45
8. Cruelty to animals
Scale Purpose: Ask the caseworker to describe the child’s involvement in incidents, suspected or
confirmed, of cruelty towards animals.
Issues to consider when selecting a response:
•
•
•
Any behaviour toward an animal that could have resulted in serious injury to the animal.
Any behaviour toward an animal that was clearly cruel or malicious.
Any behaviour that shows child’s interest in cruelty towards animals even without any action taken.
Do not consider:
•
•
Child accidentally hurt an animal (e.g. tripped over a cat in a dark hallway, fell on the dog while
playing with another child) unless there is a pattern of these “accidents.”
Child lashed out at an animal when he or she was angry, or because child was scratched or nipped
by the animal, but no injury to the animal occurred.
46
8. Cruelty to animals
Scale directions
When selecting a response consider the frequency, duration and intensity of issues. If you cannot
decide between two responses, select the higher score. Do not read the scaled responses to the
caseworker.
Score
Description
0
Child does not have known problems with cruelty and/or violence toward animals. Use this
category if child has no known problems with cruelty and/or violence toward animals.
1
Child has been suspected of cruelty toward animals in the past, but there have been no
incidents in the last two years. Use this response if there were past suspicions of animal
cruelty, but no known incidents.
2
Child has been known to be cruel towards animals in the past, but there have been no
incidents in the last two years. Use this response if the child has a history of animal cruelty
more than two years ago. Consider whether the child has had limited opportunity due to
controlled environment or living arrangement.
3
Within the last two years, child
• seems to be around when others have been cruel to animals, or when animals have
been injured in some unknown way, and is suspected of having been involved, or
• is known to have been involved in an isolated event where an animal was harmed but
the behaviour was more experimental in nature.
Use this response if, within the last two years• the child’s involvement in animal cruelty is suspected, or if others have been cruel
toward animals and you suspect this child may have been involved, or
• if the child’s behaviour shows a definite interest in animal cruelty, even if there is no
evidence that child has acted on that interest or,
• child was involved in an isolated incident where an animal was harmed but where the
behaviour was more experimental in nature
5
Within the last two years, child has
• shown a pattern of being intentionally and violently cruelty toward animals, or
• has committed a one-off violent attack resulting in the serious injury or death of an
animal
Use this response if the child is known to have been involved in cruel acts toward animals
within the last two years.
UA
Unable to asses at present time. Use this response if unable to assess based on the
information currently available.
47
9. Offending behaviours
Scale Purpose: Ask the caseworker to describe the child’s involvement in offending or criminal
behaviour.
Issues to consider when selecting a response:
•
Any behaviours that are illegal, including criminal acts or offences, anti-social behaviours, or
behaviours that have brought the child to the attention of the police or required police involvement
or action.
Do not consider:
•
•
•
Angry outbursts, unless they resulted in an illegal activity, such as assault or property damage in
which the child was charged with a criminal offence. Use 6. Harm to people or property scale if
the child was not charged with an offence. Use 5. Anger management scale if there was no
physical aggressiveness.
Physical aggressiveness toward others unless the child was charged with a criminal offence. Use
6. Harm to people or property scale.
Property damage unless the child was charged with a criminal offence. Use 6. Harm to people or
property scale.
48
9. Offending behaviours
Scale directions
When selecting a response consider the frequency, duration and intensity of issues. If you cannot
decide between two responses, select the higher score. Do not read the scaled responses to the
caseworker.
Score
Description
0
Child adheres to laws and has had no record of criminal activity or police involvement. Use
this response if child has no known record of criminal activity or police involvement.
1
Child has occasional run-ins with the law, or other authority figures but no pattern of criminal
activity, or no activity within the last two years. Use this response if occasional run-ins
include shoplifting, unruliness and other offences of low severity and frequency is less than
four times per year. Or use this category if the child has a record of criminal activity, but no
activity within the last two years.
1
Child has received a police warning or formal caution, or has taken part in a youth justice
conference within the last two years. Use this response if the child has received a police
warning or formal caution, or has taken part in a youth justice conference within the last two
years, but has not been charged with a criminal offence.
1
Child has been involved in an illegal activity for which he or she has been charged with a
criminal offence within the last two years. Use this response if child has been charged with a
criminal offence within the last two years; Child may have received police warnings or formal
cautions, or taken part in a youth justice conference as well.
2
Child has had recurring involvement with the criminal justice system, primarily crimes against
property, or fighting with peers. Use this response if the child has recurring problems with
the criminal justice system for criminal behaviours, including assaults against peers and
property crimes.
4
Child has recurring or extensive involvement with the criminal justice system with increasing
seriousness of offences and history of incarcerations. Use this response if the child has
recurring or extensive involvement in illegal activities that are serious offences or an
escalation of offences.
UA
Unable to asses at present time. Use this response if unable to assess based on the
information currently available.
49
10. Gang association
Scale Purpose: Ask the caseworker to describe the child’s association with gangs, including any
desire to be connected with a gang. Gang in this context is a group involved in criminal or illegal
activities, and/or intimidation of neighbourhood or community through threats or violence.
Issues to consider when selecting a response:
•
•
•
•
Includes organised crime or biker gangs.
Any behaviour that seems to emulate gang membership or involvement.
Any involvement with a gang that seems to be for the sole purpose of getting along in the
neighbourhood, or protecting oneself, rather than for the purpose of belonging to the gang.
Any direct membership or involvement in a gang that appears to be because the child is interested
in or respects the gang or gang membership.
Do not consider:
•
Child lives in a neighbourhood where gangs are prevalent, but the child does not appear to have
any relationship or desired relationship with the gang.
50
10. Gang association
Scale directions
When selecting a response consider the frequency, duration and intensity of issues. If you cannot
decide between two responses, select the higher score. Do not read the scaled responses to the
caseworker.
Score
Description
0
Child or child’s birth family is not known to have any gang-related involvement. Use this
response if child or child’s birth family is not known to have any gang-related involvement.
1
Child hangs around a gang and seems to emulate the lifestyle or hangs out with the gang for
self-protection purposes. Use this response if the child is not really involved with a gang, but
may want to be or simply “puts up” with the gang to meet his or her own needs for self or
family protection.
2
Child or child’s birth family is involved with a gang, but child denies it. Involvement may be a
means of protection for self or family. Use this response if you have reason to believe the
child or other family member is involved with the gang.
4
Child or child’s birth family identifies with a gang, wears identifying clothing or gang “colours”,
has gang tattoos, or carries gang literature. Use this response if the child or other family
member is involved in and identifies with being in a gang.
UA
Unable to asses at present time. Use this response if unable to assess based on the
information currently available.
51
11. Depression and self-harm
Scale Purpose: Ask the caseworker to describe any depressed behaviours, self injurious, or suicidal
behaviours or attempts. This scale addresses the child’s thoughts and actions toward self-harm. Any
behaviours that cause injury to the child or threaten to cause injury to the child should be noted here.
This scale also includes all depressive behaviours and thoughts (including excessive sleeping, poor
affect, hopelessness, loss of interest in outside activities or others).
Issues to consider when selecting a response:
•
•
•
•
•
•
Any self-injurious behaviours, such as cutting oneself or eating disorders.
Depression and depressive behaviours (including excessive sleeping, poor affect, hopelessness,
loss of interest in activities or others).
Refusing intervention: failure to keep appointments, refusal to take medication, etc.
Any thoughts of, or plans for suicide.
Any suicide attempts or ideation.
Any hospitalisation for self-injurious or suicidal behaviour.
Do not consider:
•
•
•
Negative peer interactions.
Do not use this scale if risk taking behaviours are around drugs or alcohol, Use 13. Substance
use/misuse scale.
Do not use this scale if risk taking is around sexual behaviours, Use 14. Sexual behaviours scale.
52
11. Depression and self-harm
Scale directions
When selecting a response consider the frequency, duration and intensity of issues. If you cannot
decide between two responses, select the higher score. Do not read the scaled responses to the
caseworker.
Score
Description
0
Child has no indication of self harm. Use this response if the child has no indication of selfharm.
1
Child has some depressive symptoms; may be some self-harm ideation, and/or suicidal
ideation (i.e. thoughts about harming and/or killing oneself), but no history of any suicide
attempt, no plans toward suicide. Use this response if the child has seemed depressed,
sleeps excessively, shows poor, flat affect, shows little interest in or enthusiasm toward life,
has had some self-harm or suicidal ideation in the past, but there have been no known
suicide attempts, no talk of suicide, no plans for suicide.
2
Child has been diagnosed with depression and/or had a suicide attempt during the last three
years; however depression is now under control. Use this response if there has been a
suicide attempt within the last three years,(which could have been lethal, had the child not
changed his or her mind, or been interrupted in the act) but the child’s depression now
seems under control, and there are no current depression symptoms, nor is there any talk
of suicide and/or self-harm ideation. Child has a history, but all symptoms seem under
control at the present time.
3
Child has been diagnosed with major depression and/or had suicide attempt during the last
three years and/or may have serious and ongoing self-harm and/or had suicidal ideation.
Depression is not under control. The child may be self-harming (e.g. cutting). Use this
response if there has been a suicide attempt within the last three years, and/or the child’s
depression is not under control, but there are no indications that child will follow through
with suicide ideation.
5
Child has had suicide attempt during the last year; hospitalised before for attempts; another
attempt possible. Use this response if the child has had a suicide attempt in the last year,
and has been hospitalised for attempts. While not imminently at risk, the child does not
seem very stable, continues to be depressed and could attempt suicide again.
6
Child is currently at risk of suicide; child has definite plan; another attempt likely; child needs
intensive intervention. Use this response if the child seems likely to attempt suicide, based
on a stated plan for suicide or other gestures that put the child at definite risk of suicide.
UA
Unable to asses at present time. Use this response if unable to assess based on the
information currently available.
53
12. Cognitive functioning
Scale Purpose: Ask the caseworker to describe the child’s cognitive functioning and mental heath.
This scale addresses the child’s cognitive functioning in the context of normal thoughts and perceptions
and includes aspects of his or her mental health not covered elsewhere
Issues to consider when selecting a response:
•
•
•
•
•
Child’s judgment about his or her life, and future.
Child’s judgment about his or her family and peer relationships and how others respond to him or
her.
Any thoughts that seem unrealistic or abnormal for his or her age or developmental abilities.
Any delusions about his or her own abilities or about others. Any hallucinations, either auditory or
visual. This problem is evidenced by strange stories, paranoia, unrealistic explanations for simple
events, or unrealistic or abnormal thoughts or plans about the future.
Any diagnosed mental health problem not covered elsewhere.
Do not consider:
•
•
Interpersonal relationships, unless these are affected by the child’s unrealistic view of the world.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or Attention
Deficit Disorder (ADD) as these are covered within other behavioural scales..
54
12. Cognitive functioning
Scale directions
When selecting a response consider the frequency, duration and intensity of issues. If you cannot
decide between two responses, select the higher score. Do not read the scaled response to the
caseworker.
Score
Description
0
Child’s judgment seems reasonable given age and developmental level. Use this response if
the child seems very grounded in reality and shows realistic judgment about his or her life
and interactions with others, based on developmental age.
0
The child exercises age-appropriate and developmentally appropriate thinking. Use this
response if the child shows judgment consistent with his or her age and developmental
abilities.
0
The child has no reported mental health problem. Use this response if the child’s mental
health problems are unknown, but there have been no reports of any problems.
1
Has had difficulty in thought processes, but can still function in school and at home. Use this
response if the caseworker, parent, or other adult has noticed that the child has some
problems with judgment or thought processes, meaning the child has some thoughts that
seem unrealistic, but the child still seems able to function adequately.
2
The child has a mental health diagnosis, which affects functioning in school and at home, but
seems mostly under control. Use this response if the caseworker is aware that the child has
been diagnosed with a mental health problem which has affected the child at school or home,
but currently the problem seems to be reasonably controlled through medication or other
interventions.
3
The child has a diagnosed mental health problem, which affects functioning in school and at
home, and is not totally under control. Use this response if the child has unrealistic thoughts
about others or him or herself, seems out of touch with reality, and results in problems at
school or home, and the problem is not under control, affecting the child’s functioning and
ability to interact with others, or respond appropriately to others. For example, if the child
attributes unrealistic motivations to others’ actions, or personalises others’ actions in
unrealistic ways, or believes him or herself capable of actions that are beyond fantasy, to the
point of being disturbing. A clinical judgment is not needed for assigning this level, only the
views of adults knowledgeable about the child.
5
The child has a serious diagnosed mental health problem, which affects functioning in school
and at home, is not stable, or child is uncooperative about or non-compliant with taking
psychotropic medications. Use this response if the child’s diagnosed mental health problem
is not controlled, and affects the child’s ability to function because his or her thoughts are
frequently not reality-based, and may be delusional. Child may be uncooperative or noncompliant with taking medication.
UA
Unable to asses at present time. Use this response if unable to assess based on the
information currently available.
55
13. Substance use/misuse
Scale Purpose: Ask the caseworker to describe the child’s attitude towards and involvement with
alcohol and/or drug use or misuse.
Issues to consider when selecting a response:
•
•
•
•
Usage and/or abuse of alcohol and/or drugs
Non-prescribed use of prescription drugs.
Any abuse of alcohol and/or drugs, including occasional bingeing.
Use of solvents, petrol, and glue sniffing.
Do not consider:
•
Underage use of tobacco (ensure that usage is noted in the case plan).
56
13. Substance use/misuse
Scale directions
When selecting a response consider the frequency, duration and intensity of issues. If you cannot
decide between two responses, select the higher score. Do not read the scaled responses to the
caseworker.
Score
Description
0
Child is strongly against alcohol and/or drug use and has good understanding of the dangers.
Use this response if the child has strong negative feelings toward alcohol and/or drugs.
0
Child has support of family and others to avoid use of alcohol and/or drugs. Use this
response if the child’s family values and habits discourage the abuse of alcohol and/or drugs.
0
Child gives no indication of any alcohol and/or drug use. Use this response if you do not
know the family’s involvement with alcohol and/or drugs, but there has been no indication
that the child uses or abuses alcohol and/or drugs.
1
Child uses alcohol and/or drugs occasionally, but use usually does not interfere with daily
activities. Use this response if the child occasionally uses alcohol or marijuana or other
drugs, but use of these substances appears experimental and usage has never interfered
with child’s functioning.
2
Child binges on alcohol and/or drugs, but use usually does not interfere with daily activities.
Use this response if the child binges on alcohol and/or drugs, but confines these binges to
days and times (e.g. weekends) that are less likely to interfere with school, or daily routine.
3
Frequent alcohol/drug use has interfered with daily activities and may have resulted in
disciplinary or judicial actions in the past; child has been treated and/or is in recovery. Use
this response if drinking and/or drug use has been a problem that affected the child’s
functioning; child has been treated and/or is in recovery.
5
Frequent drinking and/or drug use interferes with daily activities and/or has resulted in
disciplinary or judicial actions; child has not been treated or not treated successfully. Use
this response if drinking and/or drug use is a problem that affects the child’s functioning; child
has not been treated, or has relapsed since treatment.
UA
Unable to asses at present time. Use this response if unable to assess based on the
information currently available.
57
14. Sexual behaviours
Scale Purpose: Ask the caseworker to describe the child or young person’s sexual behaviours.
Issues to consider when selecting a response:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Sexual play with younger children.
Simulated intercourse, penetration, genital kissing or oral copulation, particularly for younger
children.
Any sexual activity involving coercion, threats, secrecy, bribery, violence, aggression or
developmentally inappropriate acts.
Acts involving a substantial difference in age, physical size or peer relationship, particularly if it
involves another child or young person with a disability.
Public masturbation, unwanted kissing, non-consensual groping or touching of others’ genitals.
Coercive sexual intercourse or oral sex.
Voyeurism, stalking, sadism.
Exposure, grooming (for self or others) or “sexting.”
Unsafe sex.
Prostitution.
Abusive sexual behaviours reported about the child. Refer to Appendix A for examples of abusive
sexual behaviours.
Do not consider:
•
•
•
•
•
•
Masturbation in private.
Mutual kissing.
Sexual arousal.
Consensual sexual activity amongst peers.
An interest in other’s bodies that may take the form of looking at photos or published materials.
An age-appropriate interest in sex, sex words, and dirty jokes.
58
14. Sexual behaviours
Scale directions
When selecting a response consider the frequency, duration and intensity of issues. If you cannot
decide between two responses, select the higher score. Do not read the scaled responses to the
caseworker.
Score
Description
0
Child is sexually appropriate for age and development. May be questioning sexuality, but not
in an abusive or inappropriate way. Use this response if there are no known inappropriate
sexual behaviours.
1
Child behaves in a seductive manner inappropriate to age, or admits to regularly engaging in
unsafe sex. Use this response if the young person’s sexual behaviours are inappropriately
seductive, but not in an aggressive way that would result in pressure toward others to
participate in sexual activities. Or if the child admits to initiating and/or participating in unsafe
sex with regard to contraception and/or protection from sexually transmitted diseases.
1
Child sexually acts out (e.g., frequent masturbation, exposing or frequent touching of
genitals, etc.). Use this response for a young person whose behaviour is sexually
inappropriate, but is not likely to put others at risk of victimisation.
2
Child has engaged in sexually abusive behaviour, but has responded well to treatment, and
has no inappropriate behaviours in last six months. Use this response if the young person
has a history of sexually abusive behaviours, but treatment seems to have addressed these
behaviours successfully.
2
Child has been involved in prostitution. Child engages in behaviours that place him or her at
risk of being sexually abused or victimised. Use this response if the young person is known
to have been involved in prostitution or engaged in behaviours that placed him or her at risk
of being sexually abused or victimised within the last two years.
5
Child has engaged in sexually abusive behaviours within the last two years, and has not
been treated, has not responded well to treatment or treatment is too recent to know impact,
or has not had the opportunity to repeat abusive behaviour. Child is considered at risk of
continued sexually abusive behaviours. Use this response if the young person’s sexually
abusive behaviours are likely or thought to put other children and young people at risk.
UA
Unable to asses at present time. Use this response if unable to assess based on the
information currently available.
59
Step 1: Behavioural Issues
Part B
Ask the caseworker if any of the following apply to the child or young person. Select
yes, no or unable to assess for each question. Note – Only select “yes” to 2 and 3 if
the child or young person receives additional in- school supports (as described) and
attends a specialist school (as described).
1. Has the child had more than two placement changes in the last year due to his or
her behaviours?
2. Is the child currently receiving or recommended to receive additional in-school
supports and strategies, such as a Learning and Support Teacher, for a diagnosed
emotional disturbance or behaviour disturbance?
3. Is the child attending a specialist school, such as a School for Specific Purposes
(SSP), or tutorial centre as a result of a diagnosed emotional disturbance or
behaviour disturbance?
4. Has the child received more than four short-term suspensions (i.e. up to four days)
or more than two long-term suspensions (between 4 and 20 days) in the last full
school year?
5. Is the child currently expelled from school, or had his or her enrolment refused?
6. Does the child refuse to attend school, including TAFE or vocational training?
(Exclude situations where enrolment is delayed).
7. Is the child involved in a lifestyle or group that focuses on negative or deviant
themes, or deliberately places themselves outside of the mainstream?
8. Does the child seem obsessed or preoccupied with violence, weapons, explosives,
violent movies or video games or other destructive devices or themes?
9. Would the child’s size or manner be physically or psychologically intimidating to a
carer?
10. Has the child runaway more than twice in the last six months, to an unknown
location for more than two nights at a time?
11. Has the child received inpatient psychiatric care?
12. Is the safety of the child, the foster carer, or the caseworker likely to be at risk
due to the birth parents’ behaviour?
13. Is the child stepping down from secure care, including a Juvenile Justice facility
or other residential treatment level of care?
14. Has the child been receiving wraparound services (e.g. counselling, allied health
services, respite, etc.) that, if removed, would de-stabilise the child or the placement?
15. Does the child have a pattern of making unsubstantiated allegations against a
carer?
16. Does the child have extra activities or contact arrangements that would require
the carer to provide frequent and/or extensive travel?
60
Step 2: Health and Development Issues
Children and young people 9 years or older
In this section, you are asked to consider the health and development issues of the child, and the care
these needs require.
Ask the caseworker to describe the physical health and development issues of the child, and choose
the most accurate description from the list on the next page. Any special care that must be provided to
the child to address his or her health care, physical mobility or developmental needs must also be
considered.
Issues to consider when selecting a response:
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Previous health care, including preventive check-ups.
Physical health conditions of the child.
Chronic health conditions or diseases.
Health care required for the child.
Developmental condition of the child.
Developmental delay or intellectual disability
Physical disabilities of the child.
Age appropriateness of the child’s health and development.
Do not consider:
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Behavioural problems of the child, unless the child’s behavioural problems make addressing
ongoing health care needs difficult.
Health conditions that require no care considerations.
Mental health or behavioural conditions that have affected the child’s physical health.
Acute or short term health care conditions that are temporary in nature and may require care
considerations that are temporary.
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Directions
When selecting a response, consider time required of a carer, intensity of care required, and any
special skills or training needed by a carer. If you cannot decide between two responses, select the
higher number.
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•
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Responses 1, 2 and 3 will not alter the Behavioural Level of Care.
Response 4 will increase the Behavioural Level of Care by one level.
Response 5 will increase the Behavioural Level of Care by two levels.
Description
1. Child is in excellent health; has no physical disabilities; has had regular health check-ups and dental
care; and immunisations are up to date. Use this category for a child in excellent health, with good,
regular preventive health care.
2. Child is in good health; has no major physical problems; primary care maintenance is in place. Use
this category for a child in good health, who may have occasional ailments, but has received less
preventive health care, including dental care.
3. Child is considered in average health; has minor ailments periodically and possibly brief
hospitalisations, or is suspected of having serious health or developmental problems that require
testing. Use this category for any child whose health seems OK, with some manageable minor
problems, usual childhood ailments and possibly ongoing medical and/or therapy appointments.
4. Child has health conditions, physical disabilities and/or developmental problems (including
developmental delay or intellectual disability) that results in a need for treatment or care
considerations. The child’s condition has an impact on overall functioning with a recurrent need for
treatment and ongoing care considerations. Use this category if there are care considerations that are
manageable by the carer in terms of time, intensity, skills or training, but the level of effort will be more
than most children in care; and where the child’s ongoing care will be an important consideration in
finding a placement.
5. Child has major problems with poor physical health, physical disabilities, and/or serious
developmental problems (including developmental delay or intellectual disability) which affect the
child’s functioning, and will require hospitalisations or time-consuming specialised care and possibly
supervision from a trained person. This child will require ongoing frequent medical and/or therapeutic
visits and oversight. Use this category if the child’s care needs are very high, serious and time
consuming, require either training of the carer or full-time oversight by skilled professionals.
6. Unable to assess at present time.
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Step 3: Recommended Level of Care
Children or young people 9 years or over
Directions:
Open the CAT online tool using the link you have been provided You must be a
registered Community Services user to access to tool. The tool will automatically
direct you to the correct assessment based on the child’s date of birth, and step you
through all parts of the assessment. The CAT will calculate the Recommended Level
of Care for you, based on the responses you select in Step 1 and Step 2
Step 1: Behavioural Issues
Level 1 – General Foster Care (GFC)
No 3s, 4s, 5s or 6s AND Total score of 6 or less
Level 2 – General Foster Care+1 (GFC+1)
No 3s, 4s, 5s or 6s AND Total score of 11 or less
Level 3 – General Foster Care+2 (GFC+2)
No 4s, 5s, 6s AND No more than 3 ‘3’s AND Total score of 15 or less
Level 4 – Intensive Foster Care (IFC)
No 5s or 6s AND No more than 3 ‘4’s AND Total score of 20 or less
Level 5 – Residential Care (RC)
No 6s AND No more than 3 ‘5’s AND Total score of 25 or less
Level 6 – Intensive Residential Care (IRC)
Any 6s OR More than 3 ‘5’s OR More than 25 points
Results from Step 1 will provide the Behavioural Level of Care
Step 2: Health and Development Issues
•
•
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If you select response 1, 2 or 3 the child or young person’s Behavioural Level of
Care will not increase.
If you select response 4 one level of care will be added.
If you select response 5 two levels of care will be added.
The combination of behavioural issues and health and development issues will be
used to calculate Step 3: Recommended Level of Care. The CAT will automatically
calculate the results.
NOTE:
• Children under 9 years will not receive a Recommended Level of Care higher
than Residential Care in the CAT.
• Children under 12 years should generally not be placed in either Residential or
Intensive Residential (i.e. higher than Intensive Foster Care (IFC). Placement at
a level higher than IFC will require approval in accordance with existing
procedures for placing children under 12 years in Residential Care.
Appendices
Descriptions of Sexual Behaviours
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Sexual behaviours
Abusive sexual behaviours
A child aged 0–5 years
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Masturbation as self-soothing behaviour
Touching self or others in exploration or as a
result of curiosity
Sexual behaviours are done without inhibition
Intense interest in bathroom activities
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Curiosity about sexual behaviour becomes
obsessive preoccupation
Exploration becomes re-enactment of specific
adult sexual activity
Behaviour involves injury to self or others
Children’s behaviour involves coercion,
threats, secrecy, violence, aggression or
developmentally inappropriate acts.
A child aged 6–10 years
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•
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Child continues to fondle and touch own
genitals and masturbate
Child becomes more secretive about self
touching
The interest in other’s bodies becomes more
game playing than exploratory curiosity (e.g.,
‘I’ll show you mine if you show me yours’)
Boys may begin comparing size of penis
An extreme interest in sex, sex words, and
dirty jokes may develop
Child begins to seek information or pictures
that explain bodily functions
Touching may involve stroking or rubbing
•
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Sexual penetration
Genital kissing
Oral copulation
Simulated intercourse
Children’s behaviour involves coercion,
threats, secrecy, violence, aggression or
developmentally inappropriate acts.
A child aged 11–12 years
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The continuation of masturbation
A focus on establishing relationships with
peers
Sexual behaviour with peers, e.g. kissing and
fondling
Primarily heterosexual activity but not
exclusively
An interest in others’ bodies particularly the
opposite sex that may take the form of
looking at photos or other published material
•
•
Sexual play with younger children
Any sexual activity between children of any
age that involves coercion, bribery,
aggression or secrecy or involves a
substantial peer or age difference
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Sexual behaviours
Abusive sexual behaviours
An adolescent aged 13–17 years
•
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•
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Masturbation in private
Mutual kissing
Sexual arousal
Sexual attraction to others
Consensual sexual activity amongst peers
Behaviour that contributes to positive
relationships
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•
•
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Masturbation causing physical harm or
distress to self and others
Public masturbation
Unwanted kissing
Voyeurism, stalking, sadism (gaining sexual
pleasure from others’ suffering)
Non-consensual groping or touching of
others’ genitals
Coercive sexual intercourse/sexual assault
Coercive oral sex
Behaviour that isolates the young person who
displays the sexually abusive behaviour and
is destructive of their relationships with peers
and family
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Child Assessment Tool: CAT NGO Review (CNR)
NOTE: Please complete the form and comply with requirements outlined on page 3. All yellow fields
are mandatory.
Contact details
1. Child or young person details
Name
Date of Birth
Person number
2. NGO details
NGO name
NGO Caseworker
Office/region
Email
Contact number
3. CSC details
CSC Caseworker
Office
Email
Contact number
4. CFDU details
CFDU Caseworker
Region
Email
Contact number
CAT details
4. CAT Level of Care
Age group
Are you requesting
an increase or
decrease in the
level of care?
Date of placement
What was the original CAT
Level of Care?
Date CNR submitted
Please list the documents you are submitting as supporting information for your CNR.
1.
2.
3.
Community Services use only
CNR outcome
CNR Recommended
Level of Care
Comments
Endorsed by
Position
Date
District/Branch
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CAT NGO Review
5. Analysis of issues and supporting information: Please record analysis of issues and supporting information
relating to your CAT NGO Review request.
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CAT NGO Review
If new information about a child or young person that may have an impact on the CAT Level of Care becomes
known, NGOs may request a review of the CAT Recommended Level of Care. This request must be made within
30 days of the placement being accepted by the NGO.
Requests for a CAT NGO Review will be considered by the original CFDU caseworker and the CFDU Manager
Casework (as required), and the outcome of the review will be endorsed by the Manager, Client Services.
Requests for a CAT NGO Review will be considered within 14 days of receipt by the CFDU. All requests must
submitted via email and comply with the instructions set out below.
NGOs may request a review outside of the 30 day timeframe, outlining reasons in writing to the relevant
Manager, Client Services.
How to request a CAT NGO Review
To apply for a review for any CAT Level of Care, please complete the following:
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Attach original CAT Report received for the child or young person
Complete all mandatory fields in the CAT NGO Review form
Provide analysis of the issues and supporting information identifying the behaviours and/or health and
development issues that have presented within the last 30 days and the impact on the placement
Provide copies of relevant supporting information of behavioural and/or health and development issues
NOTE: The supporting information-
•
must relate to new information about the child or young person, or information that has come to light
since the child/young person was placed with the NGO, or a change in circumstances.
•
is substantiated with professional advice in the form of a report from medical doctor, clinician,
psychologist, school principal or other relevant professional.
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can be in the form of incident reports where such reports can be corroborated by other reports/
evidence
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can be in the form of reports/ supporting documents which should analyse the impact of the new
information on the child or young person’s behavioural, health or development needs
•
should show a recent pattern of behaviour / issues rather than a single incident. The exception to this
would be if the one-off incident severely impacted on the child/young person’s behavioural and health
needs, and which would jeopardise the stability of the placement, or the placement’s capacity to meet
the needs of the child or young person
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must relate to new information about the child or young person, or information that has come to light
since the child/young person was placed with the NGO, or a change in circumstances
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Must show a link between the new information, the care needs of the child or young person with regard
to identified behavioural and heath and development issues, and ability of the placement to continue
to meet the needs of the child at the assessed level of care.
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