Family Services iris data Dictionary For Child first/Integrated Family Services Program




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Case Category (Note this section was reviewed in 2012)


The case category is either Complex issues or Other issues.

Issues are defined according to prescribed IRIS issue categories as defined on page 32. A case can have only one category. The case category decision is an ‘over the line’ decision



    • If a case has at least one complex issue, the case category is ‘Complex issues’ (Other IRIS Issues may be present and will be reported separately)

    • If a case does not have a complex issues, the case category is ‘Other issues’

The purpose of introducing the case category to IRIS is to be able to group cases for discussion about possible allocation priority or to enable analysis by agencies of cases with different client characteristics for planning purposes (case category is a filter field for IRIS reports)

Case category can be updated as circumstances change and should always represent the highest status issue present. That is, workers should be updating IRIS issues and the associated case category as circumstances change within the case, not wait until case closure or the time of the DHS data export.

RELATED PERSONS screen ca00-2

Terms
Definitions
Counting and interpretation
First name & surname

Required for children

Children

All children must be entered, including name and age, for all cases. A prompt for this is provided through the new mandatory field: Children recorded? Yes/No
For newborns enter age as 0 (zero). For children less than one year enter age as -1.
The age of children does not update within IRIS, therefore, enter the age as at date of referral and subsequently relate age on IRIS to referred date to calculate current age.
Unborn Child Instructions

Unborn children must be registered as a related person. (Remember to also record an unborn referral at the referral screen if this is also relevant). After the child is born you can update the details of the unborn related person. A new ‘child’ relationship must also be created and the child’s details entered in this relationship. This will ensure the system keeps a record of both the involvement with the issues to do with the unborn child and a separate record of the child after they are born


In IRIS the related persons report is for the details of all children recorded. This will enable a count by Family Services of all children in all families, consistent with the focus of Family Services being the child’s best interests. Unborn children are not counted in this, consistent with standard definitions of children (birth to 17 years.
Children’s names and ages may also be extracted in agency level IRIS reports. These reports will support allocation prioritisation decisions, or to more accurately understand a worker’s case load (ie working with five children of varied ages as opposed to a single child).
Other Relationships

Also record other family members and other persons relevant to the client and case.


The relationship is to the client as registered on IRIS: eg: if grandparent selected, this is the grand parent of the registered client.
Perpetrator codes available within IRIS are not for use by the Family Services program (They are included for Sexual Assault and Family Violence users of IRIS).





Address

Non-mandatory fields
Suburb
Home & work phone
Mobile email
Sex
Indigenous status
Age

Required for children
With client

Yes/No/Not Known/Not applicable
Relationship

Select from list:

Child, own with current partner

Child, own with former partner

Child, step

Child, foster

Grandchild

Unborn child

Partner, current

Partner, former

Parent, own

Parent, step

Parent, foster

Grandparent

Sibling, own

Sibling, step

Sibling, foster

Aunt

Uncle


Cousin

Father-in-law

Other relative

Mother-in-law

Sister-in-law

Brother-in-law



Unrelated person: not specified

Acquaintance

Boyfriend

Business client

Carer

Clergy


Coach

Friend


Girlfriend

Health worker

Manager or supervisor

Neighbour

Residential worker

Stranger


Teacher

Work colleague

Other







ISSUES screen ca00-3


Issues are the primary means of understanding and reporting on the characteristics of children, young people and families presenting to Integrated Family Services. Issues may therefore be interpreted in a number of important ways to assist key service delivery and service planing purposes.



Issues are to be entered on IRIS as soon as practicable after they are assessed in practice. The critical information for all reporting purposes will be the Issue category and where the Issue was identified.

Issues on IRIS have two components – the category and the value

The Family Profile report in IRIS lists Issue categories for all cases included in the reports to assist decision making about allocation, caseload and case status reviews (eg who is open for how long?).

Issues should only be selected if they are within the context of the family service intervention, meaning an issue that will be focus area of the family services intervention. Issues which are not planned to be addressed through the family services intervention should not be selected. An example of this would be the selection of a health issue for a member of the family where that issue has no bearing on the reasons for family services intervention and is not an issue that the family services intervention aims to address. Identifying issues begins at intake and is updated across the case life as new issues emerge. At least one issue must be identified. There is no maximum number of issues required; the total number of issues will depend on the level of complexity assessed by the worker.

When an Issue is selected, IRIS also asks you to identify whether the issue is included in the service plan, whether the associated goal is achieved and whether the issue is still present at closure (mandatory fields). This assumes a link in the relationship between issue, service plan goal and case outcome that is not always reflective of practice or a family’s experience. Note that the links between issues and service plan or presence at closure will NOT be reported on, nor taken as indicative of service effectiveness. The association between issues, goal and outcome may be useful in thinking through the service plan or closure decisions and workers may therefore interpret these fields as benefits according to their own or their agency’s practice.

Issues are classified as either ‘Complex’ or ‘Other’. The list of issues provides details as to which category the issue is in.

Complex Issues:

Alcohol and other drugs, Child Protection, Disability – Intellectual, Disability - Physical, Family violence, Mental health, Parents may be unwilling to engage, Sexual Assault and Legal



Other issues:

Service Access, Behaviour, Disasters, Education, Financial, Gambling, Health, Household Management, Housing, Isolation, Legal, Migrant/ Refugee, Parenting Skills, Relationships, Separation, Grief and Loss.

Note that when developing a Child and Family Action Plan (currently called service plan in IRIS) it is useful to print out a Case Details Report (accessed through the client’s individual case record – select ‘print’ once in a case record. This report will provide a full list of client issues and IRIS service history for the client.
Definition of terms:
Adult – primary carer: The primary caregiver of the child/youth.

Adult: Significant adult within the context of the family services intervention. May be parent, step-parent, grandparent, significant other etc over 18 years

Child: Aged: 0-11 years

Youth: Aged: 12–17 years

Foetal/Infant*: Aged: Unborn – 3 years *Used only in Physical Health category

ISSUES


Category

Value

This should be selected when:

Definition

Service Access

Alcohol and other Drugs

Disability

Early Childhood Services

Education, training and employment

Family Violence

Housing Support

Mental Health

Physical Health



A lack of access to one of these support services is identified as an issue within the context of the family services intervention.

This category is to identify when the issue of lack of access to a particular support service is present. Service Access may be an issue due to a number of reasons, including physical location of services, lack of transport and waiting lists.

This issue should not be selected when the support service is available, but the client chooses not to access it, or if a request for service has been refused as it does not meet eligibility criteria.



Alcohol and other Drugs


Adult – primary carer

Adult


Child

Youth


Use of alcohol and other drugs is identified as an issue within the context of the family services intervention.

This category is to identify when the use of alcohol and/or other drugs is an issue within the context of the family.

The values should be selected for the person within the family context for whom alcohol and drug usage is an issue. In the case where there are multiple persons within the family for who this is an identified issue, more than one value may be selected.



Behaviour

Child

Youth


The behaviour of a child or youth is identified as an issue within the context of the family services intervention.

In the case where there are multiple children or youth within the family, values may be selected for each child/youth for whom this is an identified issue

Child Protection


Current report – physical abuse

Current report – sexual abuse

Current report – emotional abuse

Current report – neglect

Unborn report

History of CP involvement – adult

History of CP involvement – child/youth


There is current or historical involvement of the family with child protection services

The value ‘History of CP involvement – child/youth’ should be selected when there has been known previous involvement of the child/youth with child protection services.

The value ‘History of CP involvement – adult’ should be selected if an adult has had known previous involvement with child protection services. This may be either as an adult within a different family context, or the adult’s historical involvement with child protection services as a child/youth.



Disability – Physical


Adult – primary carer: diagnosed

Adult – primary carer: requiring assessment

Adult – diagnosed

Adult – requiring assessment

Child – diagnosed

Child - requiring assessment

Youth – diagnosed

Youth – requiring assessment




A physical disability, either diagnosed or requiring assessment, is identified as an issue within the context of the family services intervention


Disability – Physical may be categorised as a loss of bodily function, loss of a part of the body, loss of ability to use or feel parts of the body, or; the malfunction, malformation or disfigurement of a part of the person's body

A physical disability affects a person’s strength or their ability to move freely in a coordinated way, and may be caused by a genetic condition, an illness or an accident.1

The Department of Human Services – Disability Services Access Policy Implementation Guide provides further advice as to the definitions of physical disability, as well as defining chronic health needs as opposed to physical disability.

The values allow selection of the person/s within the household with a physical disability, as either ‘diagnosed’ where a formal diagnosis has been undertaken, or ‘requiring assessment’ where the disability is yet to be formally diagnosed or is suspected.

In the case where there are multiple persons within the family for who this is an identified issue, values may be selected for each person.

Developmental delay is a delay in the development of a child under the age of 6 years that is attributable to either a mental or physical impairment or a combination of these. Developmental delay results in substantial functional limitations in areas of major life activity such as self-care, receptive and expressive language, and cognitive or motor development. Developmental delay reflects the child’s need for a combination and sequence of special interdisciplinary or generic care, treatment or other services which are of extended duration and are individually planned and coordinated.

Issues regarding developmental delay can be recorded under both/either physical and intellectual disability dependant upon the nature of the causal factors and impact of the developmental delay.




Disability – Intellectual


Adult – primary carer: diagnosed

Adult – primary carer: requiring assessment

Adult – diagnosed

Adult – requiring assessment

Child – diagnosed

Child - requiring assessment

Youth – diagnosed

Youth – requiring assessment




An intellectual disability, either diagnosed or requiring assessment, is identified as an issue within the context of the family services intervention


Disability – Intellectual may be categorised as the concurrent existence of a significant sub-average general intellectual functioning and significant deficits in adaptive behaviour, which becomes manifest before the age of 18 years.

An intellectual disability may cause a reduced capacity to learn tasks, process information and communicate effectively and may be caused by a genetic condition, an illness or an accident.2

The values allow selection of the person/s within the household with an intellectual disability, as either ‘diagnosed’ where a formal diagnosis has been undertaken, or ‘requiring assessment’ where the disability is yet to be formally diagnosed or is suspected.

In the case where there are multiple persons within the family for who this is an identified issue, values may be selected for each person.



Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurological disorder and is now accepted as an ‘intellectual disability’ as per amendment to Victorian legislation in 2009. Though the majority of assessment and diagnosis, and some treatment services for ASD are provided by Mental Health Services, issues pertaining to ASD should be recorded under ‘Intellectual Disability’ category.

Developmental delay is a delay in the development of a child under the age of 6 years that is attributable to either a mental or physical impairment or a combination of these. Developmental delay results in substantial functional limitations in areas of major life activity such as self-care, receptive and expressive language, and cognitive or motor development. Developmental delay reflects the child’s need for a combination and sequence of special interdisciplinary or generic care, treatment or other services which are of extended duration and are individually planned and coordinated.

Issues regarding developmental delay can be recorded under both/either physical and intellectual disability dependant upon the nature of the causal factors and impact of the developmental delay.



Disasters




The impact resulting from a disaster is identified as an issue within the context of the family services intervention

This category is to be selected when a disaster is identified as an issue that has impacted on the family within a family services intervention. Examples of when this category may be selected could be bushfires, floods, storms, drought etc.

Education

Non-attendance/interrupted schooling

Child/youth behaviour at school

Identified learning issues


Behavioural issues within an education environment, engagement and/or retention in education services, or specific learning issues within the context of education are identified as issues within the family services intervention.


These values should be selected within the context of formal and alternative educational settings. For example, if a child’s behavioural issues at school are identified to be addressed within the context of the family services intervention; this should be selected as Child/youth behaviour at school. This may be in addition to behavioural issues at home which will be selected under the Behaviour category.

Issues regarding access to education services should be recorded under Service Access – Education, training and employment

In those instances where the family services intervention aims to address issues regarding adult education needs, the most appropriate value should be selected.


Family Violence


Current physical abuse

Current emotional or psychological abuse

Current economic abuse

Current youth family violence

History of


There is current, or historical, family violence experienced by members of the family.

The definitions of emotional or psychological abuse, physical abuse and economic abuse are those outlined in the Family Violence Protection Act 2008.

Emotional or psychological abuse can include:



  • repeated derogatory taunts, including racial taunts;

  • threatening to disclose a person's sexual orientation to the person's friends or family against the person's wishes;

  • threatening to withhold a person's medication;

  • preventing a person from making or keeping connections with the person's family, friends or culture, including cultural or spiritual ceremonies or practices, or preventing the person from expressing the person's cultural identity;

  • threatening to commit suicide or self-harm with the intention of tormenting or intimidating a family member, or

  • threatening the death or injury of another person.

Economic abuse can include:

  • coercing a person to relinquish control over assets and income;

  • removing or keeping a family member's property without permission, or threatening to do so;

  • disposing of property owned by a person, or owned jointly with a person, against the person's wishes and without lawful excuse;

  • without lawful excuse, preventing a person from having access to joint financial assets for the purposes of meeting normal household expenses;

  • preventing a person from seeking or keeping employment;

The value of ‘current youth family violence’ should be selected where an abuse type, as identified in the Family Violence Protection Act 2008, is perpetrated by a young person within the family context. This may relate to abuse towards a parent or sibling. For conflict within the family that does not meet the criteria of abuse type under the Family Violence Protection Act 2008, record under Relationships category.

Financial

Budgeting

Debt Management

Material aid


Financial issues are identified within the context of the family services intervention

Select the most appropriate value

Gambling




Gambling issues are identified within the context of the family services intervention




Physical Health

Adult – primary carer

Adult


Child

Youth


Foetal/infant health

Physical health issues are identified within the context of the family services intervention


The Department of Human Services – Disability Services Access Policy Implementation Guide provides further advice as to the definitions of chronic illness, as opposed to physical disability.

In the case where there are multiple persons within the family for whom this is an identified issue, values may be selected for more than one person.

Foetal/infant health value should be used when there are physical health issues relating to a child (unborn child through to 3 years of age). For example, this value may be selected for physical health issues relating to low birth weight, premature birth, or failure to thrive as diagnosed by a relevant health professional (GP, Paediatrician, Maternal & Child Health Nurse etc)


Household management

Household routines

Household cleanliness/hygiene



Household management issues are identified within the context of the family services intervention

Select the most appropriate value

Housing


Homelessness

Inadequate/inappropriate



Housing issues are identified within the context of the family services intervention


There is not a consistent definition of homelessness across relevant services. For the purposes of family services data, homelessness is defined as living in unconventional accommodation (that is living on the streets, in deserted buildings, in parks), or transitioning among various forms of temporary shelter (friends, emergency accommodation, refuges, hostels, or living in single rooms in private boarding houses without their own bathroom, kitchen or security of tenure).3

Homelessness may be episodic, short-term or long term.

Inadequate/inappropriate housing may be selected when issues are identified regarding the adequacy or appropriateness of the family’s housing arrangements. This may refer to the size of the house, the location, proximity to support services, building requiring repair etc. This may also be selected if there is a risk of homelessness.

Isolation

Social

Physical


Issues relating to social or physical isolation are identified within the context of the family services intervention

Select the most appropriate value

Legal

Children’s court

Criminal proceedings

Family law issues

Intervention Order

Youth Justice involvement


Issues relating to current or historical legal proceedings or orders are identified within the context of the family services intervention

Select the most appropriate value

Migrant/Refugee

History of torture or trauma

Immigration/settlement issues



Issues relating to migration or refugee status are identified within the context of the family services intervention

It is recognised that refugees and migrants are different groups of people, with different pre-arrival experiences. Refugees are people who have been forced to leave their countries because they have been persecuted, whereas migrants make a conscious choice to change countries.

Immigration/settlement issues refer to specific issues faced by migrant/refugees in regards to settling within a new environment such as income support, housing, employment, education, health care and family reunion.



Mental Health


Adult – primary carer: diagnosed

Adult – primary carer: requiring assessment

Adult – diagnosed

Adult – requiring assessment

Child – diagnosed

Child - requiring assessment

Youth – diagnosed

Youth – requiring assessment




Mental Health issues are identified within the context of the family services intervention

Mental Health category should be selected for both high-prevalence mental health issues (for example depression, anxiety etc) as well as low-prevalence mental illness (for example schizophrenia, bi-polar mood disorder etc).

Mental Health category should be selected for a range of mental illnesses including ADHD, ADD, OCD and conduct disorders.



Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurological disorder and is now accepted as an ‘intellectual disability’ as per amendment to Victorian legislation in 2009. Though the majority of assessment and diagnosis, and some treatment services for ASD are provided by Mental Health Services, issues pertaining to ASD should be recorded under ‘Intellectual Disability’ category.

The values allow selection of the person/s within the household with mental health issues, as either ‘diagnosed’ where a formal diagnosis has been undertaken, or ‘requiring assessment’ where the mental health issues is yet to be formally diagnosed or is suspected.

In the case where there are multiple persons within the family for who this is an identified issue, values may be selected for more than person.


Parenting Skills

Bonding and attachment

Chronic neglect

Infant Care

Underdeveloped parenting skills



Parenting skills are identified as an issue within the context of the family services intervention


Bonding and attachment should be selected where there are concerns regarding the quality of the bonding and attachment between the primary caregiver and child.

Chronic neglect should be selected if an issue is identified regarding failure to provide the child with an adequate standard of nutrition, medical care, clothing, shelter or supervision to the extent where the health or development of the child is significantly impaired or placed at serious risk

Infant Care should be selected where there are specific issues regarding the caregiver’s abilities/skills to provide basic and adequate care for an Infant required for their health, wellbeing and development. This may relate to things such as settling, sleep routines and feeding for example.

Underdeveloped Parenting Skills should be selected where there are identified issues regarding lack of parental skills in caring appropriately for their child/youth. This may relate to a lack of understanding of child behaviour, setting limits and boundaries for example.

Parent may be unwilling to engage





Specific concerns regarding engagement are identified at intake

Engagement of vulnerable families is critical to family services work and adds to the complexity of family situations

Relationships

Adult – Adult

Adult – Child

Adult – Youth

Sibling - Sibling



Specific concerns regarding relationships are identified as an issue within the context of the family services intervention


The values allow for the selection of the primary relationship/s where issues have been identified as problematic within the context of the family services intervention. Select the most appropriate value.

In the case where there are a number of relationships within the family where this is an identified issue, more than one value may be selected.



Separation, Grief and Loss

Adult – primary carer

Adult


Child

Youth


Issues relating to separation, grief and loss are identified within the context of the family services intervention

The values allow selection of the person/s within the household to whom issues relating to separation, grief and loss have been identified within the context of the family services intervention.

In the case where there are multiple persons within the family for who this is an identified issue, values may be selected for each person.



Sexual Assault


Victim/survivor – child

Victim/survivor – youth

Victim/survivor - adult


Issues relating to historical sexual assault are identified within the context of the family services intervention

The values allow selection of the persons within the household where previous sexual assault has been an issue identified within the family services context.

In the case where there are multiple persons within the family for who this is an identified issue, values may be selected for each person.



Current sexual abuse must be reported to the relevant authorities.



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