The Framework includes three key domains to ensure that the holistic health needs of individual children and young people are addressed. These are:

  1. Physical health
  2. Developmental
  3. Psychosocial and mental health.
There is significant cross-over between and within these domains. Elements of each domain, including those outlined below, should be considered in all assessments completed under the Framework.

2.1.1 Elements for assessment

Within each domain there are a number of areas that could be covered in each tier of assessment and there are a range of tools that could be used.

The following elements are proposed to guide considerations generally and should be read in conjunction with Table 1 which provides more detailed guidance on the age-appropriate focus for assessment across each domain.

1. Physical health

The elements to be considered within the Physical health domain include:
  • Physical health history
  • Physical examination and assessment
  • Oral health assessment
  • Health literacy.
Physical assessments should progress from basic screening in the Preliminary Health Check to Comprehensive Health and Developmental Assessment, as appropriate, to address the unique needs of each individual without becoming forensic in nature.

2. Developmental

The elements to be considered within the Developmental domain include:
  • Developmental history
  • Speech, language and communication
  • Motor development
  • Cognitive development
  • Sensory.

3. Psychosocial and mental health

The elements to be considered within the Psychosocial and mental health domain include:
  • History
  • Mental health
  • Behavioural
  • Emotional development
  • Social competence
  • Development of identity (including cultural and spiritual identity, particularly for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people).
Wherever possible, assessments should be normative and non-stigmatising with a focus on strengths rather than weaknesses.

It is important that assessments take account of the impact of developmental trauma on children, including physical and emotional abuse/neglect and being witness to acts of domestic violence. This will avoid misdiagnosis noting that children who have had these experiences can present with symptoms mimicking other conditions such as autism spectrum disorders and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).