§2 ch3: County Protocol: Review and Assignment of Reports
3.5 Assigning Reports for Investigation or Family Assessment
Assignment of reports to staff for investigations and family assessments shall be made based on local protocol. Reports must be assigned in such a way that will ensure all investigations and family assessments are initiated within 24 hours of receipt of the report from the Hotline (or 72 hours in reports of educational neglect), and immediately in emergencies.
3.5.1 Things to Consider When Assigning Reports
When Reports are Assigned, the Following should be Considered:
- Type of report, (i.e., should educational neglect reports be assigned to one staff person who has an on-going working relationship with the school district?);
- Geographic considerations, i.e., based on school districts. This may assist in developing a good working relationship with school personnel and may also aid in conserving mileage;
- Whether particular staff has skills in certain areas;
- Staff’s familiarity with local resources;
- Caseload size; and
- After-hours assignment.
3.5.2 Transfer of Reports between Counties
Reports Assigned to Child’s Locale or Assigned to Incorrect County
Child Abuse/Neglect (CA/N) reports are assigned to counties by CANHU based on the location of the child at the time of the report. If a child will be in a county for at least 24 hours, even though their residence is in another county, the non-residence county will conduct the Investigation/Family Assessment. A frequent example is a child visiting a non-custodial parent for the weekend. The non-residence county is then responsible for completing the Investigation/Family Assessment, with the other county providing courtesy interviews, or ensuring that the other county is in agreement to accepting transfer of the report. This will assure more complete and timely Investigations/Family Assessments.
If it is found within the initial 24 hours that a report was assigned in error i.e., the child is in a different county or the address is incorrect, the county of assignment will contact CANHU to transfer the case. If a report is transferred, the county of assignment will request the CANHU to change the assignment. CANHU will verify the correct county of assignment and will transmit the report by sending an alert to the new county.
The Out-of-Home Investigation (OHI) Unit will follow the same transfer procedures as above. If, upon initial investigation, the report should be transferred from the county to OHI, or from OHI to the county, staff should confirm with staff in the other county/unit before requesting CANHU to transfer. If, during the middle of the investigation, staff become aware that the report should have been assigned differently, the person already investigating should complete the investigation. This will assure more complete and timely investigations.
Family Moves to a Different County during Investigation/Family Assessment
If a family moves from a county during an Investigation/Family Assessment, the county will conclude the Investigation/Family Assessment, with the new county of residence conducting courtesy interviews, if necessary.
Once Investigations/Family Assessments are completed, and are transferred to a county, they are handled the same as other “transfer in” reports, i.e., Family-Centered Services (FCS) are provided if a service need has been identified.
3.5.3 CA/N Reports on Open Family-Centered Services (FCS) Cases
Child Abuse/Neglect (CA/N) reports received on an open FCS case will be screened as either an Investigation or a Family Assessment, as appropriate. The Children's Service Worker assigned to the FCS case or another Children's Service Worker can conduct the Investigation/Family Assessment.