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Child Safety Pathway

Key deliverables
  • Reform of the reporting system for child abuse notifications - through a multi-agency intake model, the Child Safety Pathway
  • A 24/7 model that includes staff from several government agencies
  • eCARL and call back options aim to reduce wait times
  • All calls will be screened with a culturally appropriate lens to respond to Aboriginal children and young people at risk.

The Life They Deserve listed several problems with how notifications about child safety are received, assessed and responded to through the Child Abuse Report Line (CARL).

Notifiers experienced long wait times with high call abandonment rates, and there were significant delays for the completion of eCARL (online) assessments.

Our goals

In July 2017, the Child Safety Pathway will be established as a new 'front door' to the child protection system.

The new pathway will use a multi-agency intake model that offers a broader child protection and development approach to families and children at risk.

The Child Safety Pathway will include a new 24/7 intake function to manage phone and eCARL notifications to critically analyse if the notification should progress to a child protection assessment. Notifiers can register for a call back from intake staff during times of peak demand.

A Multi-Agency Assessment Unit (MAAU) will be established within the call centre to ensure an integrated cross-agency approach to responding to new notifications. 

The MAAU will comprise staff from partnering agencies including:

  • Department for Child Protection

  • Department for Communities and Social Inclusion.

  • Department for Correctional Services

  • Department for Education and Child Development

  • SA Health

  • South Australia Police.

How we will know we are making a difference

The Early Intervention Research Directorate will monitor and evaluate the Child Safety Pathway over the first 12 months of operation.

Indicators to measure if the new service model is making a difference will include: 

  • reduced phone call abandonment rates

  • all phone calls received within 30 minutes, and call back contact made within 2 hours

  • eCARL notifications assessed within 24 hours

  • the number of MAAU agency interventions delivered

  • investigations and statutory interventions avoided due to MAAU referral to Child and Family Assessment and Referral Networks (CFARNs)

  • staff, user and stakeholder feedback.

For more details about the Child Safety Pathway, download the A Fresh Start progress report (PDF 1.3MB)


Reform Implementation team

Email: CPReform [at] sa.gov.au