In this section
This section contains information for professionals from Child Protection, Victoria Police and Health. It aims to provide a better understanding of how the Victorian Forensic Paediatric Medical Service works, how decisions are made and how to contact the service.
In Melbourne, regular outpatient clinics are available at the Royal Children's Hospital, Monash Medical Centre and Ballarat.
In other regional cities children are seen on an 'ad hoc' basis as the need arises.
Children who require a non-urgent assessment may be offered an appointment during working hours where this is available. In regional cities a non-urgent assessment may be provided in an outpatient clinic, an emergency department or, in limited circumstances, in a paediatrician's private rooms.
Children who require an urgent evaluation may be offered an after hours service by the multidisciplinary team.
Prioritisation for urgent face-to-face assessments will be given to children under the following circumstances:
Telephone advice is available 24 / 7 by telephoning 1300 66 11 42.
Urgent consultations at RCH and MMC will be provided under the following circumstances:
Non-urgent face-to-face consultations will usually be offered to all other children for whom a VFPMS face-to-face consultation is deemed necessary. Most children will be seen within 1-2 weeks of the referral.
1 & 2. REPORT to Child Protection if BELIEF formed that child is in need of PROTECTION
The VFPMS welcomes the opportunity to provide forensic medical opinions in relation to children who might have experienced serious negative effects of child neglect. We are particularly keen to provide comprehensive assessments of young children and children with complex health needs who may have suffered because of care-giver neglect of their medical needs.
A small number of sibling groups may be assessed per annum. When several children in one family may have been affected by child neglect then younger children and children with complex health needs will be prioritised. The VFPMS may not accept all children in one family for individual forensic medical assessments.
In situations of child neglect the amount and quality of information provided by Child Protection to the VFPMS is of paramount importance. The VFPMS expects to work in partnership with Child Protection practitioners regarding the evaluation of suspected child neglect.
Children may be referred to the VFPMS because of allegations of sexual assault, concerns regarding child sexual abuse and for evaluation of symptoms and signs (including sexualised behaviour) that generate concern regarding possible sexual abuse.
The VFPMS provides assessments for the purposes of:
The VFPMS will provide a service to children when sexual assault/abuse is suspected but police are NOT investigating possible criminal behaviour and Child Protection are NOT investigating possible child abuse or neglect. In other words, the involvement of Victoria Police and/or Child Protection is not a requirement for referral to the VFPMS.
For information regarding all rural and regional referrals, please go the Rural and regional page.
Remember – advice and consultation is available 24/7 on tel: 1300 66 11 42