Communities and Justice

Safety in Care

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

Changes to make better decisions for children

The changes will:

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


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

28 Aug 2023