§2 ch4: Investigation Response
4.1.2 Initiating the Investigation
The Children's Service Worker must begin the investigation process within 24 hours of receipt of the report (unless the report is an emergency, which requires a three (3) hour response). The investigation process begins with the first contact with any individual, such as the reporter, law enforcement, or a family member.
The Children's Service Worker must also assure the safety of the victim within 24 hours of receipt of the report, through direct observation by the Children's Service Worker or by an appropriate multi-disciplinary team member. The only exception to this is in cases where the sole basis for the report is educational neglect, which requires the investigation to be initiated and safety assured within 72 hours.
18.104.22.168 Contacting the Reporter
The Children's Service Worker shall begin the Investigation/Family Assessment process or the non CA/N referral process by contacting the reporter to verify information received is accurate, complete, and to assist in determining safety of the child(ren).
For all reports screened as investigations, staff shall next contact appropriate law enforcement agency to begin co-investigation. See previous section 22.214.171.124: Informing Law Enforcement.
If unable to contact reporter or if the reporter's identity is unknown, the Children's Service Worker may begin the investigation process by assuring the safety of the victim through face to face contact within the required Response Priority Level timeframe.
Worker will inform the reporter at the time of contact of their right to obtain information concerning the disposition of the report. Permissive reporters must request in writing, findings and information concerning the case . Release of this information will be at discretion of the Division Director or designee , based on reporter’s ability to assist in protecting the child or the potential harm to child or other children in the home. Staff will notify the mandated reporter, or permissive reporter if requested, of the disposition using the CS-21B.
The worker will also inform the reporter that if the report is determined to be unsubstantiated, the reporter may request, in writing, that the report be referred by the Division to the Office of Child Advocate. If requested, staff shall forward a copy of the CA/N report to the Office of Child Advocate Director.
126.96.36.199 Contacting the School LiaisonWhen the victim(s) is enrolled in school, the school liaison m ust be contacted. The liaison is a valuable source of information and an active member of the multidisciplinary team. Communication between CD and the liaison should be ongoing, when appropriate, to enhance services to the child and family.
188.8.131.52 Additional Contacts
Contact eye witness(es) if the reporter did not see the described incident and provide name of eye witness(es).
Contact treatment worker, if possible, prior to contact with family if report involves an active case.
Determine if involvement of interdisciplinary team is appropriate and secure assistance (i.e., law enforcement, juvenile court, city/county health department personnel, etc.).
Inform Regional Child Care Supervisor if report involves persons caring for more than four unrelated children in order to conduct a joint investigation.
If alleged perpetrator is an employee of a child caring/child placing agency, the investigator may contact the child caring agency in which the alleged perpetrator is employed to obtain information about other potential victims, and to notify the facility regarding the allegations. The facility may take appropriate action as deemed necessary to ensure the safety of the children placed or cared for in the facility. This applies to investigations involving the employee’s own children. County staff should use judgment to determine when this is necessary, based on the nature of the allegations. Consideration should be given to placing the alleged perpetrator’s employment at risk if the allegations of the report are not serious, there is doubt that the allegations are valid, or there is no concern that the allegations could affect children the employee works with in their official capacity in the facility.
Notify Department of Health and Senior Services/Bureau of Special Health Care Needs (DHSS/BSHCN) Area Office if it is determined they have not been notified that a newborn infant may have been exposed to a controlled substance or alcohol.
Continue efforts to locate family and document efforts.
When the Children's Service Worker locates the family, he/she shall advise the parent/child of the report and provide a copy of the CS-24, Description of the Investigation Process, to the parent at first contact.
Chapter Memoranda History: (prior to 1/31/07)