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Northern Territory Community Services high risk audit : executive summary & recommendations



Northern Territory Community Services high risk audit : executive summary & recommendations

Other title

Howard Bath ; prepared for the Northern Territory Department of Health and Community Services.; Community Services high risk audit


Bath, Howard; Boswell, Diana; Northern Territory. Dept. of Health and Community Services; Thomas Wright Institute


E-Publications; E-Books; PublicationNT




Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).


Date:2007-11; Associate auditor: Diana Boswell. At foot of title: The Thomas Wright Institute.




Public welfare administration -- Risk management -- Northern Territory; Human services -- Risk management -- Northern Territory; Risk management -- Northern Territory; Risk assessment -- Northern Territory

Publisher name

Dept. of Health and Community Services

Place of publication



13 p. ; 30 cm.

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Check within Publication or with content Publisher.

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NT Community Services High Risk Audit November 2007 1 Community Services High Risk Audit Executive Summary and Recommendations On 19 July 2007, the then Minister for Family and Community Services, Ms Delia Lawrie, announced an Independent Audit of Clients at Risk to cover high risk clients within her portfolio of Community Services. This followed the deaths of two people for whom the Department had some level of statutory responsibility - a twelve year-old girl in foster care, and a seventeen year-old boy who allegedly stabbed and killed his carer, who was also his uncle. The Minister announced that the audit would involve A risk assessment of all potentially at risk clients across the Territory and would look at clients across the agencys divisions of Alcohol and other Drugs, Family and Childrens Services, Aged and Disability and Mental Health.1 Terms of Reference for the project were developed which provided more detail of the project parameters. The central objective of the audit was: To assess whether current risk management strategies for client care in the Community Services Division reflect appropriate professional practice and models of care. A set of processes and tasks were defined as the parameters of the project were negotiated in discussion with Departmental management. These included the appointment of a Departmental Project Manager and initial workshops conducted with senior personnel from the four Community Services Programs. As the concept of client risk is complex and multi-faceted, it was determined that the focus of the audit would be on the nature of the concerns expressed by Minister Lawrie risk to the welfare of clients of the various Community Services Programs, and that posed by the clients themselves to others. Many aspects of good case work and clinical practice could broadly be understood as approaches to manage risk, but an exploration of good practice in the many professional domains represented in Community Services was beyond the scope of the audit. The focus of the audit was therefore placed on those approaches and interventions that were specifically designed or described as being for risk assessment and/or management. There was also a focus on those areas of practice where specific tools, processes or services were needed but not available or not being used. Given that Family and Community Services (FACS) and Aged and Disability (A&D) had a statutory role in the cases that triggered this audit, they are the Programs that have been examined in greater depth. 1 Independent Audit for Family and Community Services, Media Release, Northern Territory Government, Delia Lawrie, Minister for Family and Community services, 19 July 2007.

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