Children's Administration, Department of Social and Health Services
Children's Administration, Department of Social and Health Services
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Practices and Procedures Guide

2000. CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES

2100. INTRODUCTION

2110. Program Authority

The Division of Children and Family Services' (DCFS) Child Protective Services (CPS) program is authorized under federal and state laws and regulations. The federal authorities are Public Law 93-247 and 45 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 1340 and 1357.20. The authorizing state laws and regulations are Chapter 74.13 RCW, Chapter 26.44 RCW, WAC 388-15-130 through 388-15-134, and WAC 388-70-095.

2120. GOAL

  1. The goal of CPS is to protect children from child abuse and/or neglect while preserving the family's integrity and cultural and ethnic identity to the maximum extent possible, consistent with the safety and permanency needs of the children.
  2. CPS is a program available in all geographic areas of the state of Washington on a 24-hour basis.

2130. Service Description

The purposes of CPS are to:

  1. Receive and assess referrals from the community alleging child abuse and neglect (CA/N).
  2. Assess risk of future abuse or neglect to children.
  3. Investigate intakes alleging CA/N or the risk of CA/N.
    1. Determine the existence of CA/N.
    2. Assess risk of abuse and neglect to children by performing a comprehensive assessment, using the risk assessment model.
  4. Provide early intervention information and referral services to advise parents about services to strengthen families and prevent serious or continuing CA/N:
  5. Develop culturally responsive case plans which:
    1. Prevent or remedy CA/N in the shortest reasonable time.
    2. Prevent or reduce the need for out-of-home placement.
    3. Provide a safe and permanent home for a child.

2131. Compliance With Court Orders And Liability Protection

See chapter 4000, Child Welfare Services, section 43073, for staff expectations for compliance with court orders and legal representation for employees.

2200. INTAKE

2210. Eligibility

The primary purpose of the CPS program is to assess risk of child maltreatment rather than to substantiate specific allegations of CA/N. Any referral received from a commissioned law enforcement officer stating a parent has been arrested for Criminal Mistreatment in the fourth degree under RCW 9A.42 will be screened in and assigned for investigation.

  1. CPS must accept referrals from any source and in any form, including those received from an anonymous source. See the CA Case Services Policy Manual, chapter 2000, section 2131, for limitations on intakes from anonymous sources.
    1. CA Intake staff shall make reasonable efforts to learn the name, address, and telephone number of each person making a report of abuse or neglect under RCW 26.44.030. Intake staff will inform the referrer that, if he/she remains anonymous and the allegation appears to carry a lower risk, then the intakes will be screened out and will not be investigated.
    2. Intake staff shall provide assurance to the referrer that the department will make all legal and reasonable efforts to maintain confidentiality of the identification of persons reporting under this section.
    3. If the CA Intake staff is unable to learn the information required in paragraph 1, DCFS staff shall only investigate cases, involving children not in out-of-home care, that fall within criteria outlined in the CA Case Services Policy Manual, chapter 2000, section 2131.
    4. CA intake will screen in anonymous intakes where there is a serious threat of substantial harm to a child or the report meets the criteria below in B.2.
    5. Anonymous reports of CA/N in licensed or certified child care facilities will be accepted for investigation by DLR facility investigators when the intake meets all other criteria for acceptance for investigation.
  2. CA Intake staff must screen in intake reports meeting the following criteria:
    1. A child (birth to 5 years old), reported by a licensed physician or medical professional on "the physician's behalf", or
    2. A non-mobile infant (birth to 12 months) with bruises, regardless of the explanation for how the bruises occurred.
    3. An Intake Supervisor must consult with local Area Administrator or regional CPS Program Manager when they are recommending the intake be screened out. All screening decision made as a result of a consultation must be documented in FamLink.
  3. CA may not name a person under the age of 18 as a subject of a CPS intake unless the minor is the parent of the alleged child victim. However, a minor may be an alleged perpetrator of CA/N. In such cases, department staff will make the appropriate referral to law enforcement.
  4. CA must provide CPS services only to a child alleged to have been abused or neglected by:
    1. The child's parent, legal guardian/custodian or person acting in loco parentis. Such persons include, but are not limited to:
      1. Parents (custodial and non-custodial)
      2. Legal custodians/guardians (a person appointed by the court to have custody of or to assume responsibility for the care and supervision of a child)
      3. Other persons or caretakers when acting in loco parentis to the child
    2. The child's sibling, when the child's parent has failed to protect the child.
    3. A person subject to licensure/certification under Chapter 74.15 RCW and RCW 74.08.044 and described in WAC 388-145 and 388-148 including persons employed by licensed or certified agencies. Such persons include, but are not limited to:
      1. Foster/group care providers.
      2. Employees of licensed/certified child care agencies.
      3. Volunteers of licensed/certified child care agencies.
    4. A person subject to licensure/certification under Chapter 43.215 RCW including persons employed by licensed or certified agencies. Such persons include, but are not limited to:
      1. Child care providers.
      2. Employees of licensed/certified child care agencies.
      3. Volunteers of licensed/certified child care agencies.
    5. A person alleged to have committed CA/N in an institutional setting. CA staff must not treat allegations of CA/N in licensed or certified facilities as third party abuse or neglect. CA will accept all allegations of CA/N in institutional settings that meet the sufficiency screen for investigation. See chapter 5000, section 5140 of this manual, the CA Operations Manual, chapter 5000, section 5300, and the Division of Licensed Resources' (DLR) Child Abuse and Neglect Section Practice Guide - Investigating Abuse and Neglect in State-Regulated Care for requirements for investigation of facility complaints.
      1. Abuse of one resident by another resident may constitute neglect by the caretaker.
      2. Such institutions include, but are not limited to:
        1. Licensed foster family homes and child care providers.
        2. Residential care and treatment facilities for children.
        3. Juvenile detention facilities.
        4. State-regulated facilities for children.
    6. A person providing in-home childcare services and paid by the department.
    7. A CA employee. See paragraph B, above.
  5. CA Intake must accept as a Risk Only investigation intakes regarding sexually aggressive youth (SAY) when:
    1. Referred by law enforcement regarding a child under the age of eight who has been determined by law enforcement to have committed a sexually aggressive act.
    2. Referred by a prosecutor's office regarding a child under the age of 12 who has been determined by the prosecutor to have committed a sexually aggressive act but will not be prosecuted.
  6. CA Intake must assess intakes screened in under paragraph E, above, for the following factors:
    1. Whether or not the youth has been abused or neglected.
    2. The youth's potential for re-offending.
    3. Risk to other children residing with the sexually aggressive youth.
    4. The parents' willingness to protect, seek and utilize services, and cooperate with case planning.
  7. As mandated in RCW 26.44.030(8), any case referred to DCFS by a physician licensed under chapter 18.57 or 18.71 RCW on the basis of expert medical opinion that child abuse, neglect, or sexual assault has occurred and that the child's safety will be seriously endangered if the child is returned home, CPS must file a dependency petition unless a second licensed physician of the parents' choice believes that such expert medical opinion is incorrect.
    1. If the parents fail to designate a second physician, DCFS may make a selection.
    2. If a physician finds that a child has suffered abuse or neglect but that such abuse or neglect does not constitute imminent danger to the child's health or safety, and DCFS agrees with the physician's assessment, the child may be left in the parents' home while DCFS proceeds with reasonable efforts to remedy parenting deficiencies.
  8. DCFS does not generally accept for investigation allegations of:
    1. Abuse of dependent adults or persons 18 years of age or older. Such services are provided by the Adult Protective Services (APS) section.
    2. Third-party abuse committed by persons other than those responsible for the child's welfare, except as discussed in section 2210.C.
    3. CA/N that is reported after the victim has reached age 18, except that alleged to have occurred in a licensed facility.
    4. Child custody determinations in conflictual family proceedings or marital dissolution, where there are no allegations of CA/N.
    5. Cases in which no abuse or neglect as defined in Appendix A is alleged to have occurred.
    6. Allegations of violations of the school system's:
      1. Statutory Code.
      2. Administrative Code.
      3. Statements regarding discipline policies.
  9. CPS is provided without regard to income.
  10. CA Intake must assess, to the extent possible, and document in the intake the family's Limited English Proficiency (LEP) needs, including auxiliary aids for the sensory impaired.
  11. Intake must also assess and document ethnicity of the child/family, including tribal affiliation. The social worker must determine ethnic status of family members, complete the Indian Identity Request Form, DSHS 09-761, and determine whether any family members are of Limited English Proficiency (LEP) or are persons of sensory impairment. The department will provide interpreter services as needed by the family. All services subsequent to intake will also utilize interpreter services as needed.

2220. Guidelines

  1. The CA Intake worker must utilize the FamLink intake program to record a comprehensive intake interview with any referrer wishing to report CA/N. The worker must attempt to obtain and then include the following when recording information about the incident:
    1. The intake worker must conduct a FamLink person search for all persons, victims, perpetrators, parents, and family members listed in the intake information.
    2. The intake worker must provide the following information to the referrer:
      1. Tell individuals making referrals that, if requested, CA will not reveal a referrer's name during the investigation.
      2. Inform the referrer that DCFS may disclose the name of any referrer for:
        1. Court testimony.
        2. Fair hearing proceedings.
        3. Criminal investigations by law enforcement including malicious reporting.
        4. When the court orders disclosure. WAC 388-15-134
    3. The intake worker may request, but must not require, mandated reporters or relatives to tell parents of the report. The worker may encourage reporters to allow disclosure of their names in order to permit honest discussion with the family of alleged CA/N and to facilitate problem solving. See the CA Case Services Policy Manual, chapter 2000, section 2131, for limitations on intakes from anonymous sources.
    4. Referrers reporting or testifying in good faith have immunity under RCW 26.44.060.
    5. Specific allegations of CA/N. See the definition of "Negligent Treatment or Maltreatment" in the Case Services Policy Manual, Appendix A.
    6. Risk factors
      1. Child Characteristics
      2. Caretaker Characteristics
      3. Social or Environmental Factors
      4. Domestic Violence
      5. Additional risk factors related to child safety and family functioning
    7. Domestic Violence Identification and Risk Assessment at Intake
      There is a high co-occurrence of domestic violence in cases of child abuse and neglect. However, a child's exposure to domestic violence, in and of itself, does not constitute child abuse and neglect. Domestic violence which physically harms a child or puts a child in clear and present danger would constitute an allegation of child abuse.

      In order to assess whether a child is in clear and present danger from domestic violence, intake staff must complete the Domestic Violence section in the Intake.

      If intake learns anyone used or threatened to use physical force against an adult in the home, intake will complete the remaining domestic violence questions.

      Intake will also inquire about and document who did what to whom in the Additional Risk Factors and Prior CA/N History section.

      If an intake involves domestic violence but there is no indication of child abuse and neglect or the child is not at clear and present danger of harm, intake will document the domestic violence information and screen out the intake.

      When possible, staff will offer the referrer domestic violence resource information on all intakes involving domestic violence, including:

      • Statewide Domestic Violence Hotline telephone number 1-800-562-6025 V/TTY which is a resource for victims as well as their friends, neighbors and family members.
      • Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence
      • DSHS/CA's DV site (shelters, victim, and perpetrator programs)
      • Available local community resource information (e.g., domestic violence assistance and emergency shelter programs, emergency housing, child care).
    8. Referrer and other collateral statements.
  2. Sufficiency Screen - The intake worker must complete the sufficiency screen questions on all CPS intakes. The questions are located on the "Sufficiency Response" tab of the FamLink intake screen.
  3. CA Intake must complete the Response Questions and accept for CPS investigation or CPS Family Assessment Response any report meeting the sufficiency criteria specified on the FamLink intake screen.
    1. Any intake screened for the CPS investigation pathway must identify a subject and a victim, even if not identified by name. If the name of the subject and/or the victim is not known at intake, the intake worker must provide a sufficient description of the person(s) for the investigating worker to be able to locate and subsequently identify the person(s).
    2. Any intake screened for the CPS Family Assessment Response pathway must identify a victim. If the name of the victim is not known at intake, the intake worker must provide a sufficient description of the victim(s) for the Family Assessment Response worker to be able to locate and subsequently identify them.
    3. CA Intake staff will generate a new intake on an open case when a report is received alleging a new instance of abuse or neglect has occurred. If CA Intake receives a second report about an instance of abuse or neglect already documented in an intake, a new intake will be generated. The intake worker will code this as "Screen out" with a decision of "other" and explain in dialog box that the allegation is documented in previous intake. The supervisor confirms all allegations have previously been reported and completes the final screening decision of "screened out" with a reason code of "Allegation documented in previous intake."
  4. Risk Only Intakes

    CA will screen in a CPS Risk Only intake when information collected gives reasonable cause to believe that risk or safety factors exist that place the child at imminent risk of serious harm.

    In assessing imminent risk of serious harm, the overriding concern is a child's immediate safety.

    Imminent is defined as having the potential to occur at any moment, or that there is a substantial likelihood that harm will be experienced.

    Risk of Serious harm is defined as:
    A high likelihood of a child being abused or experiencing negligent treatment or maltreatment that could result in one or more of the following outcomes:

    • death
    • life endangering illness
    • injury requiring medical attention
    • substantial risk of injury to the physical, emotional, and/or cognitive development of a child.
  5. Screened In Intakes
    1. Complete the intake process with intake information recorded in FamLink within:
      1. 4 hours from the date and time CA receives the following intakes:
        1. Emergent CPS or DLR/CPS
        2. Family Reconciliation Services (FRS)
      2. 4 business hours (business hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday) from the date and time CA receives Non-Emergent Investigation, Family Assessment Response or DLR/CPS intakes.
      3. 2 business days from the date and time CA receives the following intakes:
        1. Information Only
        2. Third Party
        3. Child and Family Welfare Services (CFWS)
        4. Licensing Complaint
        5. Home Study
    2. Contact collateral information sources and record such contacts in a case note when:
      1. Sufficient information is not available from the referrer to determine if the intake should be accepted for investigation.
      2. It is necessary to verify or clarify an allegation of CA/N.
      3. For allegations of CA/N in state-regulated care, the Intake worker follows steps outlined in the Division of Licensed Resources (DLR) Child Abuse and Neglect Section Practice Guide - Investigating Abuse and Neglect in State-Regulated Care. The Intake worker needs to contact the licenser for the facility, conduct history checks on facility complaints, and ask questions of the referrer as outlined in the guide.
    3. Make collateral contacts as soon as possible prior to making intake decisions unless:
      1. An immediate response is required.
      2. Sufficient information has been collected from the original referrer.
    4. Make collateral contacts to the Washington State Tribe when a child or family has been identified as having a Washington State Tribal affliation.
      1. Contact the Tribe prior to making intake decision.
      2. Document the contact or attempts in the ICW tab in the CA intake.
    5. The intake supervisor reviews all intakes and may change screening decisions when:
      1. Additional information supports the change.
      2. The supervisor determines that the screening decision is incorrect based on program guidelines.
      3. The supervisor responsible for assigning the intake to a CPS worker may also change the screening decisions when additional information supports the change. The supervisor can only increase the department's response to an intake. This decision must be documented in FamLink in the Decision Tab.
    6. The intake or assigning supervisor changing the intake must document the reasons for change in the Supervisory Decision Section.
  6. Intake Decision
    1. The intake worker reviews the intake information and completes the Decision tab in FamLink.
    2. The intake decision for allegations regarding DSHS-regulated facilities and DLR/CPS can have only three outcomes:
      1. Screened in for DLR/CPS investigation
      2. Screen in as Non-CPS Rule Infraction if no CA/N is alleged
      3. Screened out for DLR/CPS investigation - facility is not licensed or there is no WAC violation alleged.
  7. Intakes that do not contain allegations of abuse or neglect under the WAC definition, but do contain alleged licensing violations or complaints should be screened in as a Non-CPS Rule Infraction.
  8. Intakes from a CRC, Hope Center or Overnight Youth Shelter with no allegations of abuse or neglect regarding a runaway youth, must be screened in for:
    1. FRS for youth 12 and over, or
    2. FVS for youth under 12
  9. Normally intakes will be entered directly into FamLink. On those occasions where an intake has been recorded on another document, the information must be recorded into FamLink within two working days.
  10. The intake supervisor must ensure that all intakes indicating physical injury, sexual abuse, death or other crimes against a child are referred to law enforcement.
  11. The intake supervisor will review the case history and current allegations on all screened out referrals that have the chronicity flag indicated to:
    1. Review and document patterns or history to determine if cumulative harm exists.
    2. Assess if a call back to the referrer or collateral contact is necessary for additional information to make final screening decision.

2221. JURISDICTION

  1. Initial jurisdiction in a CPS investigation resides with the office receiving a intake.
  2. Primary jurisdiction is the office where the family of the child victim customarily resides. Screened-in intakes will be transferred to this office for case assignment and services, including court intervention, when necessary. Courtesy services may be requested from other offices.
  3. Emergency jurisdiction resides with the office where a child is found. Services to protect the child from imminent harm may be offered by the DCFS office in the area where the child is located. Case assignment and ongoing services will normally be the responsibility of the office with primary jurisdiction.
  4. Temporary jurisdiction belongs to the office where a child is located. The child may be residing on a temporary basis with a friend or relative or without the benefit of a caretaker. Courtesy service such as interviewing the child or continued temporary placement may be offered through this office.
  5. Protection of the child is a key concept. The DCFS office having primary jurisdiction must not refuse its role. However, for intakes from out of state, there may be other factors about child safety and laws concerning the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) to be considered. When considering these other factors, safety of the child is the most significant issue.
  6. DCFS determines the office having jurisdiction in a case by the following formula:
    1. Where does the family reside (parent or other person having legal custody)?
    2. Where is the child physically located at this time?
    3. Will the child be protected?

2222. Child Death Review

See Operations Manual - 5100 Administrative Incident Reporting (AIRS), 5200 Child Fatality Review and Appendix C - AIRS Companion Guide

2300. ASSESSMENT

2310. Response Time

  1. Intake Responses:
    1. The intake process, including supervisor review, on CPS intake (this includes DLR/CPS intake) must be completed within:
      1. 4 hours on Emergent Investigation intakes,
      2. 4 business hours on Non-Emergent Investigation intakes, or
      3. 4 busines hours on Family Assessment Response intakes
    2. Intake Response to Investigation Emergent Intakes
      1. Procedures during normal business hours (Monday-Friday 8:00 am - 5:00 pm not including state holidays) are as follows:
        1. The intake worker immediately notifies the intake supervisor of the emergent investigation intake (no later than one hour after determining that it requires an emergent response).
        2. The intake supervisor (or designee) assigns a worker to respond to the emergent investigation intake, or notifies the appropriate CPS or DLR/CPS supervisor (or designee) of the emergent investigation intake who then assigns a worker to respond to the emergent intake.
        3. The intake worker completes the intake, noting the date and time the intake was received by CA.
        4. The intake supervisor (or designee) reviews and approves the intake.
        5. The intake supervisor (or designee) forwards the intake to the assigning supervisor.
      2. Procedures After Business Hours, Weekends and State Holidays:
        1. The intake worker immediately notifies the CI supervisor of the emergent intake (no later than one hour after determining that it requires an emergent investigation response).
        2. The CI supervisor shall contact the on-call after-hours supervisor/AA to assign an after-hours worker to respond to an emergent investigation intake when:
          1. A child is in present or impending danger.
          2. An intake is received within a timeframe which does not allow it to be assigned to a worker to complete the initial face to face contact with the alleged child victim(s) during business hours (e.g. intake is received a day before a holiday, on Friday after 4:30 p.m., on Saturday, or early Sunday).
        3. The intake worker completes the intake, noting the date and time the intake was received by CA.
        4. The CI supervisor reviews and approves the intake.
        5. The CI supervisor forwards the intake to the assigning local office for assignment.
    3. Intake Response to Non-Emergent Investigation Intakes
      1. Procedures during normal business hours (Monday-Friday 8:00 am - 5:00 pm not including state holidays) are as follows:
        1. The intake worker completes the intake in FamLink, noting the date and time the intake was received by CA.
        2. The intake supervisor (or designee) reviews and approves the intake.
        3. The intake supervisor (or designee) forwards the intake to the assigning supervisor.
      2. Procedures After Business Hours, Weekends and State Holidays:
        1. The CI intake worker completes the intake in FamLink, noting the date and time the referral was received by CA.
        2. The CI supervisor reviews and approves the intake.
        3. The CI supervisor forwards the intake to the assigning local office for assignment.
    4. Intake Response to Family Assessment Response Intakes
      1. Procedures during normal business hours (Monday-Friday 8:00 am - 5:00 pm not including state holidays) are as follows:
        1. The intake worker completes the intake in FamLink, noting the date and time the intake was received by CA.
        2. The intake supervisor (or designee) reviews and approves the intake.
        3. If the intake screens for Family Assessment Response and the pathway is not available in the assigned office, the intake supervisor will screen the intake for investigation.
        4. The intake supervisor (or designee) forwards the intake to the assigning supervisor.
      2. Procedures After Business Hours, Weekends and State Holidays:
        1. The CI intake worker completes the intake in FamLink, noting the date and time the referral was received by CA.
        2. The CI supervisor reviews and approves the intake.
        3. If the intake screens for Family Assessment Response and the pathwasy is not available in the assigned office, the intake supervisor will screen the intake for investigation.
        4. The CI supervisor forwards the intake to the assigning local office for assignment.
    5. Time Limited Extensions to Intake Responses
    6. An intake supervisor may approve and document a time limited extension (not to exceed two hours) to intake timeframes to allow intake staff additional time to complete collateral contacts.

      The intake supervisor shall document extensions to the intake timeframe including the rationale and timeframe for the extension, in a case note within 7 calendar days of determining that the extension applies.

  2. CA Worker Response:
    1. The supervisor and assigned worker shall consider as "maximum limits" the timeframes defined in this section for CPS response. Cases may require a quicker response than the timelines defined in this section.
    2. The response time begins at the time and date Children's Administration (CA) receives the intake.
    3. An emergent investigation response is required for children who are in present or impending danger.
    4. An emergent investigation response requires CA workers to have face to face contact with all alleged child abuse or neglect victims within 24 hours from the time and date CA receives the intake.

    5. When an emergent investigation intake is assigned to a CA worker during the work week and the child cannot be located, CA after-hours staff will continue to make efforts to make initial face to face contact with the alleged child victim(s) over the weekend or holiday. CA workers will continue diligent efforts to locate the child until initial face to face contact occurs, or it is determined that the child cannot be located.
    6. A non-emergent investigation response is required for children who are NOT in present or impending danger.
    7. A non-emergent investigation response requires CA workers to have face to face contact with all alleged child abuse or neglect victims within 72 hours from the date and time CA receives the intake.

    8. Face to face contact with the alleged child victim(s) includes, but is not limited to:
      1. Observation of the child(ren);
      2. Observation of the child(ren)'s circumstances;
      3. Interview(s) with the child(ren) who have the capacity to communicate. The initial interview(s) should be sufficient to help the worker complete the Safety Assessment See CA's Practice and Procedures Guide, 2330 Investigative Standards) and take any steps necessary for child safety; and
      4. Completion of the Safety Assessment and Safety Plan (when indicated) (See CA's Practice and Procedures Guide, 2330 Investigative Standards).
    9. When an after-hours worker responds to an emergent or non-emergent investigation intake and has face to face contact with the alleged child victim(s), the intake is assigned to an investigator (CPS or DLR/CPS worker) to:
      1. Continue the investigation on the next business day; and
      2. Complete the investigative interview with the alleged child victim(s), if it was not conducted at the initial face to face contact.
    10. Local offices shall develop protocols for the after-hours worker or responding worker (if the responding worker is not the worker assigned to investigate the intake) to provide updates on the status of the intake to the assigned worker, or to the CPS or DLR/CPS supervisor.
    11. If additional victims identified during the course of an investigation are determined:
      1. To be in present or impending danger, a worker will have face to face contact within 24 hours from the date and time they are identified.
      2. NOT to be in present or impending danger, a worker will have face to face contact within 72 hours of the date and time they are identified.

      The worker assigned to investigate the intake is responsible to see that additional victims (based on the original allegation) are added to the intake and the case. If additional victims are identified with new allegations of CA/N, a new intake must be generated.

    12. When law enforcement or other professionals have face to face contact (e.g. welfare check) with the children prior to the CA worker, the CA worker is still required to conduct face to face contact within the required timeframes to assess the child's safety.
    13. The CA worker (including the after-hours worker or responding worker) who conducts or attempts to conduct the initial face to face contact(s) must input the action into a CPS Investigation Case Note within 3 calendar days of the contact or attempt to contact, noting the date and time of the interview(s).
    14. Time Limited Extensions
      There are situations when child safety concerns and/or ability to locate alleged child victims may require time limited extensions to the 24 or 72 hour face to face requirements. These include:
      1. When protocols with law enforcement or other community resources (e.g. sexual assault clinics, etc.) exist that require CA to delay having face to face contact with the child in order to assign specialists or to coordinate the investigation, the assigned CA supervisor may approve a time limited extension for the initial face to face contact.
      2. When a child is unable to be located within the 24 or 72 hour timeframe, the assigned CA supervisor may approve a time limited extension for the initial face to face contact. The CA worker shall continue to make efforts to locate and initiate face to face contact with the alleged child victim as soon as possible.
      3. The assigned CA supervisor must review the worker's efforts every:

        1. 3 business days on emergent intake until the initial face to face contact occurs.
        2. 5 business days on non-emergent intake until the initial face to face contact occurs.
      4. In situations where a child's safety may be compromised by conducting the initial face to face contact within 24 or 72 hours, the Area Administrator may approve a time limited extension.
      5. When an intake initially screens in for an alternate intervention and new information indicates that a CPS Investigation is required, the response time begins at the date and time that the intake is changed.
      6. In cases where an intake relates to the alleged abuse or neglect of a child in a licensed facility that is not providing care for children during the weekend or holiday, face to face contact with the child shall occur by the end of the next business day.
      7. The assigning supervisor shall document all time limited extensions to the 24 and 72 hour face to face requirements, including the rationale and the timeframe for the extension, within 3 calendar days of determining that the extension applies.
    15. Additional Time Limited Extensions for Emergent Responses
      1. When a child is placed in protective custody and transported to licensed foster care (foster home, group care, CRC, etc.) by law enforcement, and the immediate safety issues for that child are addressed, a CA worker shall have face to face contact with the child by the end of the next business day. After-hours field staff shall continue to assist law enforcement with placement and safety assessment when necessary.
      2. When a child is placed on a hospital hold, or in protective custody that does not allow the child to leave the hospital, and the immediate safety issues for that child are addressed, a CA worker shall have face to face contact with the child by the end of the next business day.
      3. In cases where an intake relates to the alleged abuse or neglect of a child in an out-of-home placement, victims of emergent DLR/CPS intakes who are no longer in the facility shall have face to face contact with a DLR investigator within the non-emergent timeframe. Children who have not been identified as victims, who are still in the facility and may be in present or impending danger, must have face to face contact with a CA worker within 24 hours from the date and time the intake is received by CA.
      4. In custody cases where an intake relates to the alleged abuse or neglect of a child by one parent (subject) and the child is residing with the other parent, face to face contact with the child shall occur by the end of the next business day. Children who have not been identified as victims, who are in the care of the alleged abuser and who may in present or impending danger, must have face to face contact with a CA worker within 24 hours from the date and time of the intake is received by CA.
      5. The assigning supervisor shall document all extensions to the 24 hour face to face requirements, including the rationale and the timeframe for the extension, in FamLink when the intake is assigned to the CPS or DLR/CPS investigator for the initial face to face contact within 3 calendar days.
      6. The CI supervisor shall immediately document all extensions to the 24 hour face to face requirements including the rationale for the extension, in a case note when intakes are received after business hours.
      7. The CI supervisor and the after-hours supervisor/AA are encouraged to exercise shared decision making regarding the application of policy exceptions. However, when disagreements cannot be resolved regarding emergent intakes, the CI supervisor's decision prevails. The issue may be addressed again the next business day, following established protocols. (CA Practice and Procedures Guide 2220(f) (2-4) & Intake Methods and Procedures sections XX-XXI).
    16. Exceptions
    17. When a child cannot be located and diligent efforts have been made, or face to face contact cannot occur because the child is deceased or has moved out of state, the assigning supervisor may approve an exception to the face to face policy.

      The assigning supervisor shall document the exception to the face to face policy within 3 calendar days of determining that an exception applies, including the rationale for the decision, and (when applicable) detailed information about the steps taken to locate the child.

  3. After Business Hours Responses
    1. After Business Hours Response to Emergent Intakes

      In addition to requirements and exceptions listed above response policies, after-hours staff must follow the requirements outlined below:

      1. When it is necessary for an after-hours worker to respond to an emergent intake, the CI supervisor shall contact the on-call after-hours supervisor/Area Administrator (AA) to discuss the circumstances. The after-hours supervisor/AA shall contact the after-hours worker to provide direction regarding worker safety and to coordinate the field response.
      2. In emergent DLR/CPS intakes, when it is necessary for an after-hours worker to respond to an emergent intake, the CI supervisor shall contact the on-call after-hours supervisor/AA to discuss the circumstances. When necessary, the on-call after-hours supervisor/AA shall contact the on-call DLR after-hours supervisor/AA for consultation. The after-hours supervisor/AA shall contact the after-hours worker to provide direction regarding worker safety and to coordinate the field response.
      3. When there is conflict regarding the after-hours response to an emergent intake, the CI supervisor's assessment prevails.
      4. After-hours workers are required to complete a Safety Assessment/Safety Plan in FamLink.
      5. The on-call supervisor or AA shall review and verbally approve the Safety Assessment/Safety Plan developed by the after-hours worker. The on-call supervisor or AA shall document their approval of the Safety Assessment/Safety Plan in FamLink within 3 calendar days.
    2. After Business Hours Response to Non-Emergent Intakes

      In most cases non-emergent intakes will be handled during regular business hours. However, local offices will develop protocols for responding to non-emergent intakes after-hours (e.g. intake is received during a long holiday weekend) for those instances when an after-hours worker is assigned to respond. In addition to the local protocols after-hours staff must take the following actions:

      1. After-hours workers must complete a Safety Assessment/Safety Plan in FamLink.
      2. The on-call supervisor or AA must review and verbally approve the Safety Assessment/Safety Plan developed by the after-hours worker. The on-call supervisor or AA shall document their approval of the Safety Assessment/Safety Plan in a case note within 3 calendar days.

2330. Accepted Intake Standards

2331. Investigative Standards

  1. A CPS social worker shall investigate all intakes screened in for investigation.
  2. A DLR/CPS social worker shall investigate all intakes when child abuse or neglect is alleged that meets the sufficiency criteria in facilities licensed or certified to care for children by DSHS or the Department of Early learning, and facilities subject to licensure to care for children.
  3. The social worker gathers information for assessing safety and service needs of the family rather than gathering evidence for criminal prosecution. The social worker is not a law enforcement agent but is expected to work cooperatively with law enforcement.
  4. The assigned social worker must:
    1. Contact the referrer if the intake information is insufficient or unclear and may provide information about the outcome of the case to mandated referrers.
    2. Conduct a face-to-face investigative interview with child victims within 10 calendar days from the date the intake is received.
      1. An investigator or professional skilled in evaluating the child or condition of the child must interview all child victims involved in the report and capable of being interviewed through face-to-face contact at the earliest possible time. Local protocol or the special needs of the child may dictate that someone other than the CA social worker interview the child regarding allegations of abuse.
      2. If an investigator or qualified professional first conducts the interview regarding child abuse, the assigned social worker is still responsible for interviewing the victims face to face for the purpose of assessing child safety. The social worker must interview alleged child victims outside the presence of their siblings, caregivers, parents and alleged perpetrators.

        The social worker may conduct the interview on school premises, at child day care facilities, at the child's home, or at other suitable locations. When the interview is conducted at school, the social worker will ask the school staff where they will be during the interview.

        The interviews should uphold the principles of minimizing trauma and reducing investigative interviews (SB 5127). RCW 26.44.030

      3. During the interview, the social worker will confirm the interviews are voluntary by:
        1. Asking the child during the introduction, if they are willing to talk with them.
        2. Asking the child if they want a third party present.
        3. Making a reasonable effort to have the interview observed by a third party so long as the child does not object and the presence of the third party will not jeopardize the investigation. RCW 26.44.030
        4. Asking school staff in the presence of the child, where they will be, if the child wants to have a third party present, or wants to ask school staff a question.
        5. Re-asking the child during the interview if it is okay to continue taking or if they want a break. This can be done when they appear uncomfortable during the interview, or at any time.
      4. The initial interview with the child may be critical to later dependency and/or criminal hearings. The social worker needs to make every effort to avoid saying or doing anything that could be construed as leading or influencing the child.
      5. CA CPS social workers must make reasonable efforts to use audio recordings to document child disclosure interviews on sexual and physical abuse cases whenever possible and appropriate. CA CPS social workers may also use audio recording on neglect cases. Follow steps to audio record CPS interviews in the Quick Reference Guide - Audio Recording CPS Child Interviews. (An optional resource for staff is the one page summary sheet called Interview Protocols.
        1. An audio recording should not be undertaken when:
          1. The age or developmental capacity of the child makes audio recording impractical.
          2. The child refuses to participate in the interview if audio recording occurs. If this occurs, CA staff should proceed with the interview, documenting it in near verbatim form.
          3. In the context of a joint CPS/Law Enforcement investigation, the investigation team determines that audio recording is not appropriate.
          4. The child may be negatively impacted due to additional emotional distress or use of the equipment may impact the child's willingness to disclose abuse.
          5. Another agency is conducting the interview and local protocol does not permit CA recording of their interview.
        2. When audio recording is not possible or appropriate CA CPS staff must use near verbatim recording any time an alleged child victim or a child witness makes statements to the CPS staff relating to allegations of child sexual and physical abuse. Such statements include disclosures and denials of sexual abuse and provision of information directly related to the specific allegation.

          CA CPS social workers must document interviews that are not audio recorded, by including the following information in the electronic case notes:

          1. Questions establishing a voluntary interview and the child’s responses, i.e., permission for the interview and whether a child wanted a third party present.
          2. Who was present for the interview.
          3. Where the interview occurred.

          CA staff may summarize child and adult interviews that do not include discussions of the allegations. See the Operations Manual, chapter 13000, section 13100, for documentation requirements.

        3. When it is necessary to interview the child to make an initial assessment of the child's safety or the child's safety is endangered, the legal custodian's permission to record the interview is not necessary.
        4. When CA staff have assessed the child is safe in the home and determined an in-depth interview be scheduled at a later date, the legal custodian's permission to record the interview should be sought. In the event the legal custodian declines, staff should document the interview in near-verbatim form.
        5. When CA is supervising the care of a child in out-of-home placement subject to a shelter care or other court order, CA has the authority to consent to the interview and audio recording of the child interview.
        6. The child being interviewed should provide his or her verbal consent to having the interview recorded and this consent should be recorded at the start of each interview.
        7. Whenever a child interview is conducted by law enforcement, a child advocacy center, another agency, or forensic interviewer pursuant to a local protocol for the investigation of child abuse cases, the terms of the local protocol regarding recording and documentation of interview shall supersede any contrary provisions of this policy and shall be followed by CA staff.
          1. Whatever form of documentation is specified in the local protocol is acceptable for CA use.
          2. If CA staff are present during a child disclosure interview conducted by another agency or individual pursuant to a local protocol, CA equipment may be used to make an audio recording of the interview if local protocol permits.
      6. When recording interviews in languages other than English:
        1. If you are conducting an interview with a child who speaks a language other then English, follow your office procedures to request a qualified interpreter.
        2. If you are certified to conduct child interviews in Spanish, you may record the entire interview in Spanish without interpretive services.
    3. Asses intake accepted as sexually aggressive youth (SAY) for the following factors:
      1. Whether or not the youth has been abused or neglected.
      2. The youth's potential for re-offending.
      3. The parents' willingness to protect, seek and utilize services, and cooperate with case planning.
    4. If needed, photograph any child identified as a victim for the purpose of providing documentary evidence of the physical condition of the child. RCW 26.44.050. Investigative photograph are stored in the electronic file cabinet associated with each case.
    5. See Child Safety Section Policy for additional requirements
    6. Notify the parents, guardian, or legal custodian of a child of any CA/N allegations made against them at the initial point of contact, in a manner consistent with the laws maintaining the confidentiality of the person making the allegations. CA/N investigations should be conducted in a manner that will not jeopardize the safety or protection of the child or the integrity of the investigation process. RCW 26.44.100
    7. Notify the alleged perpetrator of the allegations of CA/N at the earliest point in the investigation that will not jeopardize the safety or protection of the child or the course of the investigation.
    8. Conduct individual and face-to-face interviews with the child's caregiver(s) and all alleged perpetrators if reasonably available. If DV is identified, all persons (e.g., children, caregivers or alleged perpetrators) should be interviewed separately. The social worker may coordinate interviews with local law enforcement agencies in accordance with local community protocols that may authorize interview of the perpetrators by a person other than the social worker.
      1. CPS staff must use near verbatim recording any time an alleged perpetrator of child sexual abuse makes statements to the CPS staff regarding the alleged sexual abuse.
      2. CPS staff may summarize the nature of questions and the nature of the responses when other adults provide information related to allegations of child sexual abuse. See the Operations Manual, chapter 13000, section 13100, for documentation requirements. For the CA social worker to rely on near verbatim reporting prepared by a law enforcement officer or other community participant, the department's local community protocol must provide that the law enforcement or other participant will provide the near verbatim report within 90 days of the interview.
    9. Document in the record when the alleged perpetrator is unavailable or unwilling to be interviewed.
    10. Notify law enforcement in accordance with local protocol. The social worker must ensure that notification has been made to law enforcement following instructions in section 2220 of this chapter. When in the course of an investigation there is reasonable cause to believe a crime against a child has been committed, the social worker or supervisor must notify the law enforcement agency with jurisdiction.
      RCW 26.44.030 and 74.13.031
    11. Request the assistance of law enforcement to:
      1. Assure the safety of the child(ren) or staff.
      2. Observe and/or preserve evidence.
      3. Take a child(ren) into protective custody.
      4. Enforce a court order.
      5. Assist with the investigation.
    12. See chapter 4000, section 43022, for notification to parents of their rights when a child is taken into temporary custody.
    13. Secure medical evaluation and/or treatment. The social worker considers utilizing a medical evaluation in cases when the reported, observable condition or the nature and severity of injury cannot be reasonably attributed to the claimed cause and a diagnostic finding would clarify assessment of risk. Social workers may also utilize a medical evaluation to determine the need for medical treatment.
    14. Make every effort to help the parent or legal guardian understand the need for, and obtain, necessary medical treatment for the child. The social worker must arrange for legal authority to secure necessary available treatment when the parent or legal guardian is unable or unwilling.
      The social worker must ask the parent to arrange for prompt medical evaluation of a child who does not require medical treatment, if indicators of serious child abuse or neglect exist. The social worker may seek legal authority for the medical examination if the parent does not comply with the request.
    15. Contact the statewide Medical Consultation Network in your region whenever identification or management of CA/N would be facilitated by expert medical consultation.

      For consultation with a pharmacist on prescribed or non-prescribed medications, contact the Washington Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 (TTY 1-800-222-1222), identify self as a CA social worker, and ask to speak to the pharmacist on duty.

    16. The assigned CPS social worker must refer a child ages birth to 3, identified with a developmental delay to a Family Resources Coordinator with the Early Support for Infants and Toddlers (ESIT).
      1. Referrals are made by calling the Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies hotline at 1-800-322-2588 or through the ESIT web site. The referral must also be discussed with the child's parents/caregivers. The parents/caregivers should also be informed that services from ESIT are free and do not commit the family to participate in the program.
      2. The referral must be made no more than two working days after a concern(s) has been identified. The family may request that the referral timeline be extended beyond two days. This request must be documented in FamLink.
    17. Seek professional and expert consultation and evaluation of significant issues. Examples include having the housing inspector or other local authority assess building safety or having the county sanitarian assess sewage and septic treatment issues.
    18. Interview, in-person or by telephone, professionals and other persons (physician, nurse, school personnel, child day care, relatives, etc.) who are reported to have or, the social worker believes, may have first-hand knowledge of the incident, the injury, or the family's circumstances.
    19. When requested, contact the referrers regarding the status of the case. More specific case information may be shared with mandated reporters; e.g., the disposition of the intake information and the department activity to protect the child. Take care to maintain confidentiality and the integrity of the family.
    20. Notify all persons named in the intake as alleged perpetrators of the abuse or neglect of the outcome of the investigation and the alleged perpetrators’ rights of review and appeal, using the Client Notification Letter.
      RCW 26.44.100
    21. IF DV is identified, the social worker must assess the danger posed to the child and adult victim by the alleged DV perpetrator. To assess the danger, social workers must complete the specialized DV questions in the Safety Assessment.
    22. Send a letter by certified mail to any person determined to have made a false report of child abuse or neglect informing the person that this determination has been made and that a second or subsequent false report will be referred to the proper law enforcement agency for investigation.
  5. Response to Serious Physical Abuse and Sexual Abuse
    1. The requirements in this subsection apply to all CA staff conducting investigations of serious physical abuse or sexual abuse. CPS staff must follow these procedures in addition to all other required investigative requirements in chapter 2000 of this guide:
      1. Social must obtain medical examinations of children when:
        1. They are seriously injured, or
        2. There is a pattern of injury to young children as a result of alleged child abuse or neglect.
        3. There is an allegation of sexual abuse that includes physical injury to the child or the potential for the child to have a sexually transmitted disease.

          The social worker should consult with the Statewide Medical Consultation Network (Med-Con) or with a Child Advocacy Center (CAC) physician when there is a concern about whether or not a child is alleged to be sexually abused needs a medical examination.

      2. The physician examining the child must be affiliated with the Statewide Medical Consultation Network (Med-Con) or with a Child Advocacy Center (CAC). If a child is examined or was previously examined by a physician who is not affiliated with the Statewide Med-Con or a CAC the social worker must also consult with Med-Con or a CAC physician.

        The Med-Con or a CAC physician must be made aware of the current allegations and available medical information, previous injuries and indications the child has been abused or neglected in the past.

      3. Children who are in the following categories must be placed in out-of-home care (except when the court has determined the child is safe to remain in the home):
        1. Children who have suffered a serious non-accidental injury and an in-home safety plan cannot be developed which will assure the separation of the child from the alleged perpetrator(s).
        2. Siblings of children who have been fatally or seriously injured due to abuse or neglect and an in-home safety plan cannot be developed which will assure the separation of the child from the alleged perpetrator(s).
        3. Caregiver has been determined to be unwilling or incapable (i.e., due to mental illness or substance abuse) of supervising or protecting the child and an in-home safety plan cannot be developed which will assure supervision/protection of the child.
        4. Sexual abuse of a child and an in-home safety plan cannot be developed which will protect the child from the alleged perpetrator(s).
      4. Any child who has an identified safety threat on the safety assessment must have a safety plan in place. The safety plan must include:
        1. Separation of the child from the person who poses the safety threat.
        2. Independent safety monitors such as regular contact by a mandated reporter aware of the safety threat and understands their reporting duty. Plans based mainly on promises made by the caregiver are not appropriate.
        3. A caregiver who will assure protection of the child.
        4. Regular contact by the social worker with all Safety Plan participants in the safety plan.
      5. Prior to contact between the alleged perpetrator and victim the social worker must:
        1. Consider the psychological harm as well as physical safety of the child.
        2. Consult with law enforcement, treatment providers or others involved with the family.
        3. Obtain reliable supervision of the contact between the child and the person who poses the safety threat so that the threat is addressed.
        4. Have supervisor approval.

2332. Family Assessment Response

Purpose Statement Family Assessment Response (FAR) is a voluntary Child Protective Services (CPS) alternative response to a screened in allegation of child abuse or neglect that focuses on the integrity and preservation of the family when less severe allegations of child maltreatment has been reported.
Laws RCW 26.44.010
RCW 26.44.020
RCW 26.44.030
RCW 26.44.031
RCW 74.13.020
RCW 74.13.031
Policy

When an intake screens in for the FAR Program:

  1. Make initial contact with the parents/caregivers within 72 hours to:
    1. Provide written information regarding the FAR Program.
    2. Obtain parents/caregivers agreement to participate in the FAR Program.
    3. Obtain permission from the parent/caregiver to interview the child(ren).
  2. Complete an initial face-to-face response within 72 hours on all victims per 72 hour response policy. All children in the home must be assessed for safety.
  3. Gather comprehensive information about the family to assess child safety and family's needs and strengths. If photographs are needed, the FAR worker must obtain and document parental permission before taking pictures of children or the home environment.
  4. Complete a Safety Plan when safety threat(s) are identified.
  5. Develop a case plan with the family to reduce the risk of harm to the child(ren) based on the family's needs when necessary.
  6. Convene a Shared Planning Meeting if the family refuses to participate in services.
  7. Complete the FAR case within 45 days from the date the intake was received.
  8. Extend the FAR case an additional 45 days for service delivery only with parent/caregiver consent. The case cannot be open more than 90 days.
  9. Include Tribe in case planning when a child or family a member or eligible for membership in a Tribe.
  10. Transfer FAR case to a CPS Investigation if:
    1. The parent/caregiver declines to participate in the FAR program
    2. The parent/caregiver refuses to allow the FAR worker to interview the victim(s)
    3. There is indication of severe maltreatment or abuse by the parent/caregiver
  11. Transfer FAR case to CFWS when a dependency petition has been filed.
Procedures
  1. Initial Contact with the parent(s)/caregiver(s) within 72 hours:
    1. Contact parent(s)/caregiver(s) by phone when possible to arrange initial meeting. Unannounced home visits may occur but only when efforts to contact the parents have been unsuccessful.
    2. Determine whether the parent(s)/caregiver(s) agree to participate in the FAR program or choose an investigation.
    3. Discuss the FAR Family Agreement (DSHS 27-106) with parent(s)/caregiver(s). Upload the signed FAR Agreement into FamLink no later than 10 calendar days from date of intake.
    4. Obtain permission from the parent(s)/caregiver(s) to interview the child(ren). Children can be interviewed in the presence of the parent(s)/caregiver(s). If parent declines interview with the child:
      1. Transfer the case to CPS Investigation
      2. Enter an IFF extension if needed or
      3. FAR worker may complete initial face-to-face if the:
        1. 72 hour timeframe is imminent; or
        2. FAR worker is in the vicinity of the victim(s) and the location of the child(ren) is a significant distance from the office.
    5. Assessment of Family
      1. Complete a Present Danger Assessment on all children in the home and document in the FAR Family Assessment.
      2. Immediate action must be taken by the FAR worker if a child is in danger.
      3. Gather comprehensive information to complete the FAR Family Assessment including:
        1. Safety Assessment/Safety Plan (Gathering questions must be entered into the FAR Family Assessment prior to completing the Safety Assessment.)
        2. SDM Risk Assessment
        3. Case Planning
        4. Child and Adolescents Needs and Strengths (CANS) Assessment
      4. Partner with the family to identify collateral contacts to speak with regarding the family's circumstances and the safety of the child(ren).
      5. Report any new allegation of CA/N identified during the assessment, following mandatory reporting guidelines.
      6. Complete monthly Health and Safety visits on all victims and parents for cases open longer than 45 days.
      7. Complete the DSHS-09-761 Indian Identity Request. Contact the identified Tribe if a child or family a member or eligible for membership in a Tribe. Maintain contact and consultation with the Tribe while the case remains open.
      8. The FAR Family Assessment must be completed upon case closure, no later than 90 days from intake.
    6. Identify and Provide Services and/or Community Resources
      1. Collaborate with the family to identify services or concrete resources based on the results from the FAR Family Assessment.
      2. Close the case when the family is not in need of services.
      3. Develop a Case Plan with the family when services are needed.
      4. Conduct a Shared Planning Meeting when the family declines services and the Safety Assessment indicates:
        1. The child is unsafe - Complete an FTDM to develop a safety plan.
        2. The child is safe - Complete a Shared Planning Meeting to determine if there are appropriate services the family would agree to participate in.
    7. Case Transfer/Assignment:
      1. Complete case documentation and FAR Family Assessment within 5 calendar days for case transfer.
      2. Staff case with Investigative and FAR supervisors to determine how the intake will be assigned when a new intake screens in for:
        1. FAR and the case is open to an investigative worker
        2. Investigation and the case is open to FAR worker
    8. Case Closure:
      1. Send the family the FAR closing letter upon case closure no later than 5 days, unless an extension has been approved.
      2. Close the case if the FAR worker is unable to locate the family and has followed the Guidelines for Reasonable Efforts to Locate Children and/or Parents.
      3. Staff case with the FAR supervisor to determine if the case needs to be transferred to CPS investigation or CFWS when:
        1. A new intake screens in for investigation
        2. A new intake screens in for FAR
Forms and Tools
  • FAR Family Agreement (DSHS 27-106)
  • FAR Brochure (DSHS 22-1534)
Resources
  • FAR Guide
Effective Date The Initial Date: January 1, 2014
Revised Date:
Approved by: Jennifer Strus, Asst. Secretary
Sunset Review January 1, 2018

2335. DLR/CPS Use Of Safety Assessment And Safety Planning Tools

  1. On all DLR/CPS intakes alleging the biological or adoptive child of a licensee is the victim of CA/N in which the child is not placed in out-of-home care, the assigned DLR/CPS Investigator will complete a Safety Assessment within 30 calendar days. The Safety Assessment may be documented directly in FamLink per Safety Section policy.
  2. Once the assigned DLR/CPS investigator has completed a Safety Assessment and Safety Plan, and has determined that there is a need for monitoring of the Safety Plan and/or provision of services, the DLR/CPS Supervisor shall contact the appropriate DCFS Supervisor.
    1. The Supervisor will ensure that the appropriate DCFS case assignment will occur to provide monitoring of the Safety Plan and/or provision of services.
    2. In the event of disagreement between the DLR/CPS Supervisor and the DCFS Supervisor, the matter will be immediately referred up the chain of command for resolution.
    3. As with any case transfer, appropriate staffings will occur to ensure the transition of services to the family.
  3. When DCFS staff assume responsibility for the case, DCFS also assumes responsibility for making ongoing decisions about the safety of the child and/or provision of services. DCFS and DLR will utilize joint staffings and shared decision making whenever appropriate, especially if the license remains active. DLR completes the investigation of the allegation.

2340. Ongoing Risk Assessment and CPS

  1. Risk Assessment continues throughout the life of a case from the initial CPS intake until the case is closed. CPS is defined by the type and goal of provided services and not limited by the organizational structure of local DCFS offices.
  2. CPS is a continuum of protection consisting of different but complementary functions. Intervention designed to protect children from CA/N must include permanency planning goals from the onset of the case and must be updated at 90-day intervals.

2400. CASE PLANNING

2410. Description

  1. Case planning builds on the principles of risk assessment by linking the identified risk factors to their case plan.
  2. The CPS worker must follow the requirements of WAC 388-15-131 and WAC 388-70-095 in determining if the reported child(ren) is Indian/Native American.
    1. Upon initial acceptance of a case for service, the social worker must seek to discover and document whether the involved child is of Indian ancestry. The social worker must do this in every case.
    2. Each time the case is transferred from one worker or program to another, the social worker receiving the case must confirm that verification of Indian ancestry has previously been completed.
  3. The CPS social worker must develop and implement culturally responsive case plans, consistent with the risk assessment model, designed to reduce the risk of CA/N to children.

2420. Process

  1. The social worker develops service plans with available parents using empowerment strategies that identify and build on parental strengths. The worker provides available parents with regular feedback about progress.
  2. The social worker develops a case plan with each available family when services are provided. The social worker completes a service plan and negotiates service agreements with the family and outlines the steps that are to be taken to achieve the case plans. See chapter 4000, section 45023, for procedures to access Intensive Family Preservation Services (IFPS) and Family Preservation Services (FPS). The social worker makes reasonable efforts to ensure that service agreements are translated into the primary language of the child and the child's caretaker.

2421. Emergency Planning for Children in Out-of- Home Care

  1. Purpose

    To store current photographs, height and weight information for children in out-of-home care, in case of a disaster or emergency.

  2. Policy

    The assigned Social Worker will collect and document the following information within (5) five business days of a child entering out-of-home care (date of OPD):

    • Photograph
    • Height & Weight

    Update photographs and height and weight information as follows:

    1. Significant changes in the child occur (e.g. change in appearance, major weight loss or gain)
    2. Every 6 months for children less than 6 years old
    3. Annually for children 6 years and older
  3. Procedure
    1. Store electronic file of child(s) photograph in the electronic Filing Cabinet for their case. Contact your local office RAFT Gatekeeper to have the photograph uploaded. See "Digital Photo Quick Help Guide" for instructions on the file upload steps and naming convention.
  4. Social Worker Documentation

    Document the following information about the child photograph in the electronic filing cabinet in the information management system:

    • Child name
    • Date photograph taken
    • Child age
    • Child's height/weight
    • Identifying marks/information

    For child photographs stored in the case file document the following information on the back of the photograph and place it in an envelope in front of the most current case record binder:

    • Date photograph was taken
    • Child's date of birth
    • Height and weight
  5. 2440. Voluntary Case Plan

    2441. Purpose

    A Voluntary Case Plan is used to engage families willing to participate in services intended to reduce current and future abuse or neglect issues that do not require court intervention. Voluntary services are short-term to help increase parent's protective capacity and manage child safety. Continued assessment of child safety occurs throughout the case.

    2442. Policy

    1. Child Protective Services Social Worker Responsibilities
      1. The CPS social worker must staff cases with a CPS supervisor when there is an an identified safety threat on the Safety Assessment, and/or a moderate high or high risk score on the SDM tool.

        During the staffing, the CPS social worker and CPS supervisor will review the information gathered from the Safety Assessment, initial interviews, case history and SDM risk assessment to determine if a voluntary case plan is appropriate, based on the following factors:

        1. Safety threats to the child exist.
        2. Protective factors exist within the family and their support system
        3. The family crisis is temporary in nature
        4. The family's ability and willingness to engage in services and achieve their goals within the time period specified
        5. The service(s) being offered to the family are likely to help maintain or restore a safe, stable family environment
        6. Safety and protection of the child does not appear to require court intervention
        7. The Voluntary Service Agreement is in the child's best interest
      2. Voluntary case plans are not for basic monitoring of service compliance.
      3. Based on the above factors, the CPS social worker and a CPS supervisor will determine if a VSA is appropriate.
        1. If a voluntary case plan is appropriate see section B "CPS Supervisors Responsibilities" below
        2. If a voluntary case plan is not appropriate the CPS social worker will:
          1. Initiate referrals, if appropriate, to service providers or community resources (see #3 below); or
          2. File a dependency petition with the court.
      4. The CPS social worker, regardless of whether a voluntary case plan is developed, may initiate referrals to service providers or community resources at any time during the investigation, when:
        1. The investigative process requires additional information (i.e. urinalysis testing or drug and alcohol assessment);
        2. There are immediate safety issues that need to be addressed;
        3. The family may benefit from a referral to a community resource (e.g., bus pass, public health nurse, First Steps, WIC, domestic violence programs, or family planning).
      5. If a case is co-assigned the CPS social worker is responsible for completion of the investigation within policy timelines. If the investigator needs subsequent contact with the family, it may be done jointly with the service worker when possible.
      6. A new screened in CA/N referral received on an open service case will be investigated by the CPS social worker. Risk Only Intakes will be followed up by the assigned social worker.

        * Note: Imminent Risk (without an allegation of CA/N) and aggravated circumstance cases do NOT require a new referral on an OPEN case.

    2. Supervisor Responsibilities
      1. When it is determined that a voluntary case plan is appropriate the CPS supervisor will work with a Family Voluntary Services supervisor to immediately identify and assign a Family Voluntary Service worker, within (3) three calendar days.
      2. Services needed beyond the initial 90-days, must be reviewed and approved by the Family Voluntary Service Supervisor.
      3. For cases where disagreement regarding case transfer occurs a supervisor will request approval of the Area Administrator to allow the case assignment to remain with the CPS worker or transfer to FVS.
      4. If family declines to engage in a voluntary case plan, staff case with social worker to re-address issues outlined above in 1(a i-vii).
    3. Family Voluntary Service Social Worker Responsibilitie
    4. s

      The Family Voluntary Service Social Worker (SW) will:

      1. Assume primary responsibility for case during co-assignment with CPS social worker.
      2. Make contact with the family within three business days of case assignment.
      3. Work with the family, in coordination with the CPS social worker, to develop the voluntary service plan.
      4. If family declines to engage in a voluntary case plan the FVS worker staffs case with supervisor to determine if filing a dependency or case closure.
      5. Develop the initial voluntary case plan per Child Safety Section Policy.
    5. Filing of a Dependency petition
      1. If the case is co-assigned and filing a dependency petition is necessary within the first two weeks of case transfer, the CPS worker will file the petition;
      2. However, if the Family Assessment has been completed and there is a need to file a dependency petition then the Family Voluntary Services worker is responsible.
      3. Exceptions to who is responsible for filing a dependency petition can be determined by the Supervisor or Area Administrator when necessary.

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