Intake is when the Child Protection Helpline receives reports by either mandatory reporters or the general public about children who may be at risk of harm. These reports can be reports about children for the first time, re-reports on children known to FACS about a reported issue or new allegations regarding previously reported children.

Intake is the initial decision-making point where FACS determines how to respond to a report of suspected harm or risk of significant harm (ROSH) to a child or unborn child.

During intake kids may feel shame, scared, guilty, sad, alone and anxious. The images on the right illustrate some things that can happen during this time.

Key challenges



  • Difficult to tell someone about what is happening due to feelings of fear, stress, anxiety or guilt
  • Worried about what will happen next
  • Distrust of FACS & other services
  • After disclosure of information no actions taken to help



  • Significant amount of time spent on calls, assessments and reports for screened out cases
  • A lot of information must be printed/gathered prior to leaving the office for call outs
  • Reports sometimes have insufficient information to make an affective assessment of the situation
  • Finding information in the current system about children and their families is difficult and time consuming

Things that will help




  • More children referred to services
  • More children assessed by FACS
  • Better field assessment tools allow for more engaging interactions
  • More engaging interactions lead to more trust and rapport with children & families



  • Access to a single view of the child including history of FACS & partner organisation involvement
  • Guidance to support decision making
  • Ability to see capacity across the districts
  • Fewer non-ROSH calls allowing more time to assess and transfer ROSH cases
  • Field assessment tools provide information during call outs
  • Simple and efficient process for referral

Supporting ChildStory tools

The following tools can be used by reporters, workers and services during intake.