Notifications, investigations, and substantiations (NIS) file cluster
Data Set Specification Attributes
Identifying and definitional attributes
|Metadata item type:||Data Set Specification|
Children and Families, Superseded 20/01/2021
|DSS type:||Data Element Cluster|
The Notifications, investigations and substantiations (NIS) file cluster contains information about notifications, investigations and substantiations recorded for the clients in the Client file during the reference period. This includes notifications received during the reference period and investigations that were open during the reference period, regardless of the date of notification.
Collection and usage attributes
|Guide for use:|
A notification consists of reports made to an authorised department by persons or other bodies making allegations of child abuse or neglect, child maltreatment or harm to a child. Notifications should not include reports regarding wider concerns about children or families which are classified as child concern reports.
Notifications are relevant to persons who are aged less than 18 years, and to unborn children in jurisdictions where they are covered under the child protection legislation.
An investigation is the process whereby the Department responsible for child protection seeks to obtain more detailed information about a child who is the subject of a notification and makes an assessment about the harm or degree of harm to the child and their protective needs. An investigation includes the interviewing or sighting of the subject child where it is practicable to do so.
A finalised investigation is classified as ‘substantiated’ where there is reasonable cause to believe that the child has been, is being or is likely to be abused or neglected or otherwise harmed. Substantiation does not necessarily require sufficient evidence for a successful prosecution and does not imply that treatment or case management was, or is to be, provided.
Substantiations are classified into four categories: physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse and neglect. Where more than one type of abuse or neglect or harm has occurred, the primary type of abuse/neglect should be classified to the type most likely to be the most severe in the short term or most likely to place the child at risk in the short term, or if such an assessment is not possible, to the most obvious form of abuse or neglect.
A notification can only involve one child. Where it is claimed that two children have been, or are at risk of being abused, neglected or harmed, this is counted as two separate notifications, even if the children are from one family. Where there is more than one notification about the same ‘event’, this should be counted as only one notification and appear as a single line in the file for each child indicated. Where there is more than one notification for a child within the reference period but relating to different events (for instance, a different type of abuse or neglect or a different person believed responsible), these should be counted as separate notifications and appear as a new line in the file.
Each distinct notification recorded by the Department will be a new line in the file, delineated by the notification date.
|Implementation start date:||01/07/2015|
|Implementation end date:||30/06/2017|
Data are extracted as at 31 August. The 2016–17 reporting period is the main collection period. Data for 2015–16 are also collected to allow specific calculations to be undertaken.
Source and reference attributes
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
|Steward:||Australian Institute of Health and Welfare|
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2017. Child protection national minimum data set, data collection manual 2016-17. Canberra: AIHW.
|Related metadata references:|
Supersedes Notifications, investigations, and substantiations (NIS) file cluster
Children and Families, Superseded 20/04/2018
Has been superseded by Notifications, investigations, and substantiations (NIS) file cluster
Children and Families, Superseded 03/11/2021
|Implementation in Data Set Specifications:|
Child protection NMDS 2016-17
Children and Families, Superseded 21/01/2021
Implementation start date: 01/07/2015
Implementation end date: 30/06/2017