SAFER commences for Victoria's child protection practitioners

20 December 2021
The SAFER children framework commenced for Victoria’s child protection practitioners, managers and leaders on 20 November 2021.

SAFER was developed by the Office of Professional Practice in the Community Services Operation Division.

Designed with child protection practitioners for child protection practitioners, SAFER is five practice activities of risk assessment specifically for child protection’s statutory role.

For the first time, practitioners will have a guided approach to risk assessment built into the Client Relationship Information System (CRIS).  MARAM is also built into CRIS to be considered as part of the child protection risk assessment. Risk assessments and MARAM assessments can be generated from CRIS for sharing under the appropriate information sharing provisions.

SAFER aims to improve the quality of risk assessments and the articulation of those assessments within the child protection program, with other professionals, and, most importantly, with children and their families.

The Best interests case practice model remains important and relevant for child protection with the four activities from the Best interests case practice model, replaced by the five SAFER risk assessment activities for child protection. Children and family services will continue to use the Best interests case practice model, and their own agencies practice models, when working with children known to child protection.

Child protection contracts case management of some children to agencies. With SAFER, nothing changes in relation to the policy and procedures in relation to case contracting.

Case planning and all statutory functions continue to be completed by the department as the department cannot delegate these functions except for Aboriginal agencies fully authorised under section 18 of the Children Youth and Families Act (2005).

With SAFER, child protection will continue to work with the contracted agency in relation to case planning goals and tasks.   

Practitioners from the case contracting agency will continue to work with children and their families using the Best interests case practice model and possibly their agencies practice models and approaches.

Case contracted case managers will see and hear child protection using the language and concepts of SAFER.  Child protection practitioners will share their risk assessments with case contracting case manager.

You can read and download the SAFER children framework guide from the Child Protection Manual.  

You can also complete the Introduction to SAFER online module. While designed to support SAFER implementation for child protection practitioners, if you are interested in SAFER, you’ll find it a good overview here.

If you would like more information, please email the SAFER team at