The provider must notify the appropriate state or territory body within the first six weeks of giving a certificate. Once the appropriate body is aware of the child's circumstances, it can decide what assistance it might provide to the family.
Once a state or territory body has been notified, the provider does not need to 'provide notice' again for as long as certificate/s and determinations remain continuously in place and the child remains at risk. However, if there is a gap between certificates and/or determinations, the provider must provide notice again before applying for a new determination.
If the child has been referred to the child care service by an appropriate body, the provider is not required to provide notice.
Generally, organisations can be considered appropriate state or territory bodies if they:
- are a state or territory department or agency
- are funded or part-funded by the state or territory
- are otherwise supported or endorsed by the state or territory
- fulfil a role that would otherwise be taken by the state or territory.
Appropriate organisations that meet these criteria could include:
- parenting assistance including Family Support Programs
- interpersonal conflict, separation, or mediation services
- child and maternal health services, including ante-natal services
- drug or alcohol or substance abuse services or gambling services
- community health services including:
- publicly funded general practitioner services (but not private services)
- mental health services
- counselling services
- women's health services
- bereavement counselling services (psychology or social work)
- psychiatric services, or
- palliative care services
- domestic violence, rape victim support or other similar support services (including state or territory police)
- homelessness, crisis or public housing services
- financial counselling services
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and support services
- school readiness programs, school counsellors and other education related 'secondary services'
- other early intervention services
- a child protection agency.
Each state and territory has different arrangements for assisting families and children at risk, so the process for providing notice varies. The Additional Child Care Subsidy (child wellbeing) Guidance for Approved Providers, provides more detail on how to make these referrals in each state and territory.
Providing notice to an appropriate state or territory body does not over-ride or remove a provider's obligation to formally notify of mandatory reporting cases through the relevant child protection agency. Providers need to distinguish between circumstances that need to be formally reported and those that do not, in accordance with the relevant state or territory legislation.