This procedure relates to reporting and recording incidents that involve young people involved with the Department of Human Services, staff and some funded services.


When to use this procedure

When there is an incident or alleged incident that involves or impacts on young people during service delivery.


Practice context and legislation

  • Critical incident management is a key objective of the department's service quality framework and risk management policy.
  • The key reason for reporting incidents is to learn from them and, if possible, prevent similar incidents.
  • Without a detailed analysis of incidents affecting young people, the department may fail to uncover problems or situations that are potential hazards to young people or staff, and which could have been avoided or mitigated.
  • Most incidents reported under this instruction are considered allegations as they are yet to be proven.
  • The aims of incident management and reporting of young people are to:
    • ensure timely and effective actions are taken to address safety and wellbeing
    • be accountable to young people for actions taken immediately and planned in response to their experience of a critical incident
    • ensure due diligence and responsibilities to young people are met
    • support high-quality services for young people through full and frank reporting of adverse events
    • assure and enhance the quality of services for young people by monitoring and acting on individual incidents as well as trends identified through the analysis of incident reports
    • support organisational consistency
    • ensure that identified deficits in service and support are addressed
    • inform the appropriate ministers, the Secretary, executive directors and directors of significant incidents affecting young people in a timely and accurate manner.

Roles and key tasks

Youth justice case manager

  • Provide case management and supervision.
  • Implement and monitor special conditions.
  • Initiate warning and breach processes as necessary.

Team leader / team manager

  • Provide consultation and supervision to case manager.
  • Issue warnings and authorise breach action as necessary.

Individual and Family Support Manager / Assistant Director

  • Provide oversight, direction and monitoring of the area youth justice program.
  • Provide case consultation regarding court recommendations, breaches and young people exhibiting high-risk behaviours.

Youth Justice Senior Practice Advisor

  • Provide case consultation regarding court recommendations, breaches and young people exhibiting high-risk behaviours. This should occur subject to local area agreements between Assistant Director / Manager Individual Family Support and the Senior Practice Advisor.

The procedure in detail

Instructions for managing critical incidents

Youth justice staff must adhere to the departmental instructions provided in 'Critical incident management and reporting'.

Categories of incidents

Critical incidents must be reported by both 'type' and 'category'. There are 18 types of incidents and two possible categories within each type. The 'Critical client incident management summary guide and categorisation table' (2011 updated 2012), provides specific information and examples to assist staff select the most appropriate type and category of the incident.

When is an incident report required?

An incident report is required for all critical incidents occurring at the service or during service delivery that involve and/or impact upon the young person.

This includes all critical incidents that occur:

  • while a staff member is with the young person
  • when the young person attends a service provider's premises, including offices, residential services, respite facilities or day services
  • when a staff member is providing in-home support or support in the community with the young person
  • onsite at the service, including inside and around the building and locations that are within view of staff.

If a service provides 24-hour care (residential care, custodial services or statutory child protection) a report is required for all incidents involving young people involved with this service regardless of location.

If a service does not provide 24-hour care, critical incidents occurring outside of service delivery may also need to be reported.

Considerations include:

  • Was the young person hurt and is the young person still at risk?
  • Do you need to significantly change your service delivery as a result (including police intervention)?
  • If there are concerns about the safety and wellbeing of children and young people who are not currently involved with the department, consider making a report to the community child protection intake service.

Is an incident reportable?

The following factors should be considered when determining whether an incident is reportable:

  • Was the young person hurt in the incident? To what extent?
  • Is the young person still at risk?
  • Do you have to change your service delivery substantially as a result?

Additional information

  • Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (External link)
  • Critical client incident reporting categorisation table 2012 (127.1 KB, PDF)
  • Critical incident management and reporting (intranet only)
  • Critical Incident Response Management Service (intranet only)
  • Staff safety in the workplace (intranet only)