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Notifications, investigations, and substantiations (NIS) file cluster

Identifying and definitional attributes

Metadata item type:Help on this termData Set Specification
METeOR identifier:Help on this term748919
Registration status:Help on this termChildren and Families, Standard 03/11/2021
DSS type:Help on this termData Element Cluster
Scope:Help on this term

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:Help on this term

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.

Collection methods:Help on this term

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.


Source and reference attributes

Submitting organisation:Help on this term

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

Steward:Help on this termAustralian Institute of Health and Welfare
Origin:Help on this term

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2018. Child protection national minimum data set, data collection manual 2017-18. Canberra: AIHW.

Relational attributes

Related metadata references:Help on this term

Supersedes Notifications, investigations, and substantiations (NIS) file cluster Children and Families, Superseded 03/11/2021

Implementation in Data Set Specifications:Help on this term

Child protection NMDS 2020–21 Children and Families, Standard 03/11/2021

Parent DSS specific attributes +

Metadata items in this Data Set SpecificationHelp on this term

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Seq No.Help on this termMetadata itemHelp on this term ObligationHelp on this term Max occursHelp on this term
1Person—person identifier, child protection NX[X(11)]Mandatory1
2Child protection notification—notification date, DDMMYYYYMandatory1
3Person—Australian state/territory identifier, code NMandatory1
4Address—suburb/town/locality name, text X[X(45)]Mandatory1
5Address—Australian postcode, code (Postcode datafile) NNNNMandatory1
6Address—statistical area, level 2 (SA2) code (ASGS 2016) N(9)Mandatory1
7Child protection notification—source of notification, code N[N]Mandatory1
8Child protection notification—course of action, code NMandatory1
9Child protection notification—course of action decision date, DDMMYYYYMandatory1
10Child protection notification—investigation commencement date, DDMMYYYYMandatory1
11Child protection notification—investigation conclusion date, DDMMYYYYMandatory1
12Child protection notification—investigation status, code N[N]Mandatory1
13Child—household parental care type, code N[N]Mandatory1
14Child—primary type of abuse or neglect, code N[N]Mandatory1
15Child—other type of abuse or neglect, code N[N]Mandatory4
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