Applying for a child wellbeing determination

If a child in receipt of Additional Child Care Subsidy (ACCS) child wellbeing will be at risk for longer than 6 weeks, you can apply for a determination. A determination gives families access to the subsidy for up to 13 weeks at a time.

On this page:

What is a determination?

If you believe a child will continue to be at risk after their 6-week certificate period ends, you can apply for further access to ACCS child wellbeing. This is known as applying for a determination.

You must use all 6 weeks of the certificate before you can apply for a determination.

Typically, you can apply for a determination for up to 13 weeks. You can apply for subsequent periods of up to 13 weeks if the child will continue to be at risk.

You can apply for a determination of up to 52 weeks if the child:

  • is in formal foster care
  • is in a formal kinship care arrangement
  • is on a long term protection order.

You should apply for a determination as early as possible, if you think a child will continue to be at risk, to avoid gaps in payments.

Once approved, a determination is valid at any service a child attends.

Reporting obligations

Before applying for a determination, you must ensure you have notified a support agency as part of your reporting obligations when issuing the initial certificate. Refer to our reporting obligations page for more information.

Evidence

You must provide evidence when applying for a determination. The type of evidence you must provide will depend on the circumstances.

Children you identify as being at risk

Services Australia must make an assessment about any children who you, the family or a third party has identified as being at risk. You must provide evidence of the circumstances that demonstrate the child is at risk of serious abuse or neglect.

Children identified as at risk under state or territory law

We do not need to make an assessment when a child has already been identified as being at risk by state or territory law. This includes children:

  • in formal foster care
  • in a formal kinship arrangement
  • on a long-term protection order.

For these children, you only need documents that demonstrate these arrangements. This could include court orders or letters from child protection agencies. You don’t need additional evidence about the type of harm the child is experiencing.

Sourcing evidence

Evidence must be sourced from appropriate third-party organisations or professionals. Evidence must be obtained lawfully, preferably by the family or with their consent.

Appropriate organisations include:

  • government and non-government organisations that provide early intervention, family support, or child protection services and programs
  • organisations that provide services relevant to ACCS child wellbeing, including those related to mental health, family violence and family law, homelessness, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander services
  • schools.

Professionals who provide evidence must be qualified to give an independent assessment of a child’s circumstances. This could include:

  • medical professionals, such as doctors, nurses, emergency unit professionals, and psychologists
  • welfare agency personnel and social workers
  • school principals and teachers
  • police officers
  • lawyers.

You may give a statutory declaration for a child’s first determination application if other sources of evidence are not available. In these rare cases, the statutory declaration must describe the steps you took to try and gather evidence and why you were unable to do so.

Types of evidence

Acceptable types of evidence include:

  • letters
  • statements
  • referrals
  • case plans
  • a statutory declaration
  • documents from a child safety/protection agency
  • any other documents that may be relevant.

Evidence requirements

Evidence should contain a third-party’s own independent assessment that clearly demonstrates the child is at risk of serious abuse or neglect. Evidence should make explicit reference to specific eligibility criteria and explain how the child or family meets the criteria.

Evidence must be no more than 6 months old from the start date of the determination.

If the child is in the care and protection of the state or territory, you will need an updated letter from the relevant authority every 6 months confirming that the child is still at risk and any court orders are still in place.

Evidence should include the following information:

  • the name of the child and their parent or carer
  • the name and contact details of the organisation or professional providing the evidence
  • the title and/or position of the person providing the evidence
  • the date the evidence was provided
  • a written or electronic signature.

How to apply

Apply for the determination in the PEP or your third-party software.

See the following task cards for step-by-step guidance:

You’ll need to provide the following information on the determination:

  • the child’s name
  • the child’s customer reference number (CRN)
  • the start and end date
  • confirmation that you have made a referral to an appropriate support agency.

Backdating a determination

You can backdate all determinations up to 28 days. You do not need additional evidence to do this.

You can apply to backdate a determination up to 13 weeks in the following exceptional circumstances:

  • families affected by family or domestic violence
  • families experiencing a serious illness, medical condition, mental health issue or hospitalisation that prevents the individual from working or caring for their child
  • children on a long-term protection order
  • children in formal foster care or in a formal kinship arrangement
  • families experiencing homelessness
  • families affected by the harmful use of alcohol or drugs.

You can apply for extended backdating in your determination application via the PEP or your third-party software.

You must include evidence in your application showing at least one of these circumstances applies. This is in addition to the evidence you must provide demonstrating the child is at risk.

If your evidence does not support any of the above exceptional circumstances, your determination application may not be approved for extended backdating and the determination dates may change as a result.

Receiving an outcome

Services Australia assesses determination applications. Once assessed, Services Australia will send you and the parent or carer an outcome letter via the PEP or your third-party software.

If your determination is rejected, you can view the reason for rejection in the outcome letter.

If you’d like to request more information or a review of the decision, you can email ACCS.CWB.Review@servicesaustralia.gov.au.

If you are not satisfied after requesting a review, you can email Services Australia again and request a review from an Authorised Review Officer (ARO).

You may seek an appeal from the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) within 13 weeks of the ARO’s decision. Find out more about the process on the AAT website.