188.8.131.52 Guidelines for Social Worker Involvement
This topic explains the following:
- social worker involvement,
- who should be referred to a social worker, and
- who should be offered a referral to a social worker.
Social worker involvement
Claims for the majority of benefits/payments do NOT require the involvement of a social worker. However when social worker involvement is required in the claim process, it is usually for the assessment of a recipient's circumstances.
Social workers are available in DHS Service Centres and Smart Centres to:
- assist recipients who may be in crisis or presenting with more complex needs,
- provide professional assessments and interventions in relation to income support entitlements, recipient safety, wellbeing and needs,
- exercise delegations for YA independent status based on the Unreasonable to Live at Home provisions, and for a number of exemption categories under the CSS, and
- provide professional assessments to assist with determinations as specified in the SS Guide.
Who should be referred to a social worker?
The following recipients should be referred to a DHS social worker:
- recipients presenting at risk of suicide or self-harm,
- recipients aged under 16 years,
- young people aged under 18 years who are unable to live at home because of severe family breakdown, abuse or other exceptional circumstances,
- recipients who are claiming a payment in respect of a child who is considered to be 'at risk of harm',
- recipients claiming CP and/or CA who are:
- under the age of 18 years, or
- 80 years of age or older.
Who should be OFFERED a referral to a social worker?
The following recipients should be offered a referral to a DHS social worker:
- Recipients presenting with multiple and complex needs, with particular priority given to:
- young people without adequate support,
- recipients who are experiencing or are at risk of family and domestic violence,
- recipients who have safety concerns in regards to seeking maintenance action,
- recipients presenting with complex or acute mental health concerns.
Policy reference: SS Guide 184.108.40.206 Social Worker Involvement - Specific Payments