This procedure includes instructions for case managers and team leaders for undertaking CRIS file audits.

 

When to use this procedure

When completing a file audit of a young person involved with youth justice.

 

What else you need to know

Make sure you have read and understood the following procedures:

 

Practice context and legislation

  • File audits help to ensure continuity of case management and that case plans are implemented the way they were intended, regardless of who is working with the young person at any given time.
  • All information pertinent to the young person's case must be recorded in the Client Relationship Information System (CRIS) in a correct and timely manner. This guarantees that all staff working with a young person have access to current, accurate information.
  • To ensure that accurate and relevant information is entered in CRIS, case managers and team leaders carry out file audits in accordance with the procedures and attachments below.
  • This procedure relates specifically to audits of CRIS case files for young people on statutory orders; however all files, including paper files, must be maintained to the required standard.
  • The Public Records Act requires all public officers to create and maintain full and accurate records of their activities for the purpose of government accountability. The department owns all records created by employees and consultants working on behalf of the department.
  • Maintaining accurate and up-to-date files is necessary to protect our corporate knowledge and information and to satisfy our legal obligations. Records must be accurate, reliable and authentic, complete and protected against unauthorised alteration, useful, up to date and easily retrievable.
  • All information recorded in young people's files must beprofessional, objective and accurate.
  • File auditing allows for youth justice to:
    • carry out department business
    • ensure informed decision making
    • track young people's case management
    • support continuity and consistency in management and administration
    • protect the rights of young people, employees, service providers and the public through monitoring and review
    • provide an information trail to meet business and legal refinements.
 

Roles and key tasks

Youth justice case manager

  • Complete the 'Youth justice case worker file audit' template in accordance with required timelines.
  • Complete a CRIS case note, indicating that the audit has been completed.
  • Forward to team leader for approval.

Team leader / team manager

  • Complete the 'Youth justice team leader CRIS file audit' template in accordance with required timelines.
  • Ensure that the case manager is recording critical case management information on the young person's file.
  • Sign off the case worker file audit.

Assistant Director / Manager Individual and Family Support

  • Provide consultation on case management issues, particularly in relation to high-risk young people. This should occur subject to local area agreements between Assistant Director / Manager Individual and Family Support and the Youth Justice Senior Practice Advisor.

Youth Justice Senior Practice Advisor

  • Provide consultation on case management issues, particularly in relation to high-risk young people.
  • Undertake file audits for high-risk young people, as deemed necessary.
  • This should occur subject to local area agreements between Assistant Director / Manager Individual and Family Support and the Youth Justice Senior Practice Advisor.
 

The procedure in detail

Case manager file audits

Case managers are to complete the 'Youth justice case worker file audit' template in accordance with required timelines.

The 'Youth justice case worker file audit' is a self-audit tool that assists workers to ensure that information is entered in all mandatory fields in the Client Relationship Information System (CRIS).

On completion of the 'Youth Justice case worker file audit', the case manager signs the audit and submits it to their team leader at their next supervision session.

The signed file audit template is filed in the young person's hardcopy file.

At the completion of all audits, a case note should be recorded in CRIS, entered as note type 'File audit', with the title 'File audit'. The case note should indicate the outcome of the audit and any actions required.

Team leader file audits

Team leaders are to complete the 'Youth justice team leader CRIS file audit' template in accordance with required timelines.

The team leader audit tool prompts the team leader to check that critical case management information is being recorded on the young person's file, as well as endorsing the case worker's file audit.

In addition to completing the tasks listed on the team leader audit document, team leaders should also review a random selection of ten case notes.

Make sure the case notes reviewed are an accurate reflection of the young person's case management and comply with all other requirements set out in the procedure for 'Case note recording'.

On completion, the team leader is required to sign the audit and ensure that the audit is provided to the case manager to follow up any outstanding items and tasks.

The case manager should report back to the team leader once these tasks have been completed.

Upon the case manager updating the file as necessary, the signed audit is to be filed in the young person's hard copy file.

At the completion of all audits a case note should be recorded in CRIS, entered as note type 'File audit', with the title 'Team leader file audit completed'.

The case note should indicate the outcome of the audit and any actions required.

Timelines for file auditing

The minimum standard for file auditing is listed below:

  • Initial audit to be completed 12 weeks after a young person has commenced their order with youth justice.
  • Regular audit to occur every six months from the initial order.
  • Final audit – to be completed four weeks before completion of the young person's order.
  • Case transfer audit – to occur before a transfer of a young person between areas/divisions or when a young person enters or exits custody as a result of a sentence (not applicable in cases of remand).

Initial audit

The initial file audit after a young person has been subject to youth justice supervision for 12 weeks is a comprehensive audit of all CRIS fields.

Regular audit

After the initial audit, case manager and team leader audits must be conducted for all files on a six-monthly basis or prior to case closure for a short order.

Subsequent audits cover CRIS fields in which updated information has been entered and fields that relate to ongoing case management of the young person.

Case manager and team leader audits are carried out consecutively.

Team leader discretion should be used to decide whether the files of young people who are identified as being 'at risk' have file audits more frequently than the minimum standard.

Final audit

Case managers and team leaders must conduct file audits approximately four weeks before the expiry of a young person's final order.

The final audit should check that plans are in place for the transition of a young person from the support and supervision of a youth justice worker to any relevant community agencies if this is deemed necessary.

The final audit is helpful to identify outstanding information in the file that will prevent the case being closed in CRIS.

For example, a young person finishing a parole order must have all their temporary leave outcomes or return times completed before CRIS will allow closure of the file.

The final audit will also ensure that CRIS and the young person's paper file is accurate, before the CRIS case closure process occurs.

Case transfer audits

When the case management responsibility of a young person transfers, for example from area to area, division to division, division to custodial precinct or precinct to division, audits must be undertaken to ensure the accuracy and currency of the information contained in CRIS and the paper file.

If a young person in the community presents before a court with a likely outcome of a custodial sentence, it is good practice for the case worker and team leader to complete a file audit.

This will ensure that the young person's file is up to date before a potential transfer from community to custody.

Audits undertaken by custodial staff

Youth justice precinct key workers and unit coordinators must undertake a file audit in the week before a young person is granted parole or remissions.

This will ensure all CRIS tasks are completed and the file is in good order for the transfer of the young person's case management responsibility to the community unit.

Errors, omissions or discrepancies

Errors or omissions identified in the young person's file should be raised with the responsible case manager so they can be addressed and rectified or updated.

This may require follow up with other program areas such as child protection and disability services.

Documenting completed audits

A case note should be completed in CRIS indicating that a case manager or team leader file audit has been completed.

The case note should be entered under case note type 'File audit' and titled 'File audit', and it should have details of the audit and necessary actions.