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CHILDREN AND YOUNG PERSONS (CARE AND PROTECTION) ACT 1998 - SECT 27A

Alternative reporting arrangements

27A Alternative reporting arrangements

(1) In this section:

"assessment officer" , in relation to a relevant agency, means a person appointed or designated by the head of the agency as an assessment officer of the agency for the purposes of an arrangement under this section.

"head" of a relevant agency means:
(a) (subject to paragraph (b)) the person who is the chief executive officer, or who exercises the functions of chief executive officer, of the agency, or
(b) the person prescribed by the regulations.

"relevant agency" means any of the following:
(a) the NSW Health Service (including the Health Executive Service referred to in section 121B of the Health Services Act 1997 ),
(b) the NSW Police Force,
(c) the Teaching Service,
(d) the Ministry of Health,
(e) the Department of Education,
(f) the TAFE Commission,
(g) the Department of Family and Community Services,
(h) any other agency or organisation prescribed by the regulations for the purposes of this section.
(2) The Secretary and the head of a relevant agency may enter into an arrangement under which a person (
"the staff member" ) who:
(a) is employed in or engaged by the relevant agency, and
(b) is a person to whom section 27 applies,
may, in accordance with the terms of the arrangement, refer to an assessment officer of the agency any matter that the staff member would otherwise be required to report to the Secretary under that section.
(3) If the staff member refers such a matter to an assessment officer under any such arrangement, the assessment officer is, in accordance with the assessment guidelines issued by the Secretary for the purposes of this section, to assess whether the matter should be reported to the Secretary under section 27.
(4) If, in accordance with the assessment guidelines, the matter is assessed as a matter that should be reported to the Secretary under section 27, the assessment officer or the staff member is, as soon as practicable after the assessment, to report the matter to the Secretary under that section. Any such requirement applies in relation to the assessment officer as though the officer was a person to whom section 27 applies.
(5) If, in accordance with the assessment guidelines, the matter is assessed as a matter that should not be reported to the Secretary under section 27, the assessment officer or the staff member may, if the officer or staff member has concerns for the well-being of the child to whom the matter relates, make such referral or take such action as the officer or staff member considers necessary or appropriate (or as is reasonably available) to safeguard or promote the safety, welfare and well-being of the child.
(6) If a matter is referred to an assessment officer in accordance with an arrangement under this section, the staff member making the referral is taken to have satisfied his or her obligations under section 27 in relation to the matter concerned.
(7) Sections 29 and 29AA apply in relation to a referral that is made to an assessment officer under this section in the same way as they apply to a report to which those sections apply. For that purpose, a reference in section 29 or 29AA to the making of a report includes a reference to the referral of a matter to an assessment officer in accordance with an arrangement under this section.
(8) A certificate purporting to be signed by an assessment officer that a document relating to a child is a referral that has been made to the assessment officer under this section is admissible in any proceedings and, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, is proof that the document is such a referral.
(9) The following provisions apply in relation to the appointment or designation of assessment officers for the purposes of this section:
(a) more than one person may be appointed or designated as an assessment officer in relation to a relevant agency,
(b) any such appointment or designation may (without limitation) be made by reference to the holder of a specified position or to a specified class of persons,
(c) a person may be appointed or designated as an assessment officer in relation to a relevant agency even though the person is employed in or engaged by another agency.
(10) The regulations may extend the operation of this section, with such exclusions and modifications as may be prescribed by the regulations, to any person (or a class of persons) who is a person (or class of persons) to whom section 27 applies but who is or are not employed in or engaged by a relevant agency.
(11) For avoidance of doubt, the head of the NSW Health Service or the Health Executive Service is, for the purposes of this section, the Secretary of the Ministry of Health.
(12) A staff member of a relevant agency may, in accordance with the terms of an arrangement under this section, refer any of the following matters to an assessment officer of the agency:
(a) a matter relating to a young person that the staff member would otherwise report to the Secretary under section 24,
(b) a matter relating to an unborn child that the staff member would otherwise report to the Secretary under section 25.



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