Principles Governing Practice
- In line with Victoria’s Child Youth and Family Act,
the ‘best interests of the child’ are paramount
and guide all decision-making.
- Policy direction is informed by scientific principles
related to levels of evidence. The VFPMS policies and practices
are reviewed regularly to ensure monitoring of quality,
and updating as necessary.
- All investigations of suspected physical, sexual and emotional
abuse and neglect of a child or young person involve a coordinated,
multi-professional team comprising Health professionals,
Child Protection professionals and Police. All members of
the team respect professional roles and responsibilities
and maintain high standards of practice, especially in relation
to inter-agency communication.
- Within the Health sector, in all situations of suspected
physical, sexual and emotional abuse and neglect of a child
or young person a multidisciplinary response is considered ‘best
practice’. The VFPMS and counselling services (such
as Gatehouse Centre and SECASA) provide concurrent and coordinated
responses at all times. A VFPMS and counselling professional
are available for every client seen.
- When there are No concerns for a child/young
person’s safety, client choice will determine the
involvement or non-involvement of aspects of the service
response. (Clients and their guardians have the right to
decline the involvement of either or both medical and/or
- Client need determines the nature and timing of the service
response. For example, when the probability of child abuse
is low, and the diagnosis of child abuse can be Excluded promptly
by VFPMS evaluation, the child/young person’s need
for a prompt diagnosis may occur without a concurrent counselling
response. (For example, evaluation of suspected Mongolian
Blue spots). When a child and their care-givers request
counselling in relation to past child abuse, and the child
is currently asymptomatic, a counselling response may be
provided without a concurrent VFPMS response.
- The VFPMS is integrated with all other paediatric health
services. The VFPMS ensures that each child receives the
right service, from the right professional, at the right
time (regardless of location within the health sector).
- Planning (and intervention) for each child’s future
physical, developmental and psychological wellbeing is a
core function of the VFPMS.
- All members of the VFPMS participate in professional development,
peer review, research, education and training, advocacy
and participate in quality assurance activities.