Child Protective Services Handbook Revision January 2008

This revision of the Child Protective Services Handbook was published on January 2, 2008.

Family Group Decision-Making in Case Planning

72 Hour Contact for Priority 2 Reports

CPS Reform Policy, IMPACT, and MPS Changes for Investigations

Statewide Case Transfer Protocols; Transfers to FBSS; Transfers to CVS

Family Group Decision-Making in Case Planning (PATS 1782)

Child Protective Services (CPS) uses the Family Group Decision-Making (FGDM) philosophy as the basis for involving family and youth as partners in service planning and decision-making. Using the FGDM philosophy, CPS invites the family and youth to participate in a collaborative approach to make decisions to enhance safety, permanency, and well-being for children. This philosophy was communicated to staff with the release of PSA 08-025, dated October 12, 2007. See:

6400 Case Planning

6422 The Family's Service Plan

6422.1 Assessing the Family (new item)

6422.2 Family Participation in Developing the Family Service Plan (title change)

6422.3 The Family Plan for Children Under Age Two (new item)

6422.4 Content of the Family Service Plan (previously 6422.1)

6422.5 Completing and Documenting the Family Service Plan (previously 6422.3)

6422.6 Filing the Family Service Plan With the Court (previously 6422.4)

6423 The Transition Plan

6431 Reviewing the Family Service Plan

6435 Participation in the Case Plan Review

6437.3 Permanency Planning Meetings

6437.31 Family Group Conferences

6437.32 Permanency Conferences

6437.33 Children's Attendance at Permanency Conferences

6437.41 Circle of Support

6437.42 Transition Plan Meeting

The item below was revised to update a cross-reference changed in this revision. See:

6434 Required Content of the Child and Family Service Plan Review

72 Hour Contact for Priority 2 Reports (PATS 1292)

As a part of Senate Bill 6, the agency is expected to implement 72-hour contact on all Priority 2 reports. This policy was implemented on August 1st with the issuance of PSA 07-147 on July 31, 2007.

If a priority II reports involves victim children age six and older, the case is eligible to be screened. There are different initiation timeframes for P2s that fall within screening requirements and those that do not:

Reports not screened – These reports must be responded to by initiating an investigation within 72 hours of the intake.

Reports screened – A screening assessment must be completed no later than 72 hours from the time of intake. The screener will then stage progress the case. The assigned investigator must initiate the investigation within 72 hours from the stage progression.”

These policies are contained in the following handbook items:

2223 Time Frames for Investigations

2223.1 Time Frame for Progressing an Intake to the Investigation Stage

2223.2 Time Frames for Initiating Priority I and Priority II Investigations

2223.3 Twenty-Four Hour Documentation

2223.4 Time Frame for Completing Investigation Actions

2223.5 Time Frame for Documenting the Investigation

2223.6 Time Frames for Approving the Investigation

2223.7 Extending Time Frames

CPS Reform Policy, IMPACT, and MPS Changes for Investigations (PATS 1652)

CPS Reform activities continue as some of the changes guided by DFPS Renewal efforts and mandates from Senate Bill 6 are being implemented by the May 20, 2007 IMPACT/MPS roll out and release of the attached policy for investigations staff. These changes were communicated to CPS staff with the issuance of PSA 07-124 on May 22, 2007.

These changes are ultimately designed to improve documentation by reducing duplication, increasing the ease and speed of case documentation, and furthering steps to make the system more “user-friendly.” The changes improve accountability and increase child safety in investigations.

Most investigations staff are familiar with the changes as a result of PSA 07-094, CPS Reform IMPACT Changes, released 3-15-07, and of taking the computer based training (CBT) on the changes over the last several weeks. The changes for investigation staff concerned:

  ·  Safety Assessment Tool development

  ·  Risk Assessment Tool redesign

  ·  CPS Enhancements to Mobile Protective Services (MPS)

  ·  Medical Consent data (may pertain when the investigator is involved in a removal)

  ·  Multiple referral reports indicators (added to the a column on the Assigned Workload page)”

These policies are contained in the following new and revised handbook items:

2232 Casework Tasks Performed When Starting an Investigation

2232.1 Abuse and Neglect Background Checks

2232.2 Staffing a Report Assigned for Investigation

2232.3 Arranging Joint Investigations With Law Enforcement

2232.4 Contacting the Reporter Before Initiating the Investigation

2232.5 Multiple Referral Reports

2232.51 Worker Responsibilities

2232.52 Supervisor Responsibilities

2232.53 Child Safety Specialist Responsibilities

2232.6 Making a Contact to Initiate the Investigation

2232.7 Follow-up When Contact Is Not Made Within Priority Time Frames

2234 Assessing Safety

2234.1 Initial Safety Assessment

2234.11 Background Checks During the Initial Safety Assessment

2234.12 Time Frames Related to the Initial Safety Assessment

2234.13 Examples of Priority 1 and 2 Time Frames for Initial Safety Assessments

2234.2 Casework Process for Assessing Initial Safety

2234.21 Handling Safety-Related Tasks at the Beginning of the Investigation

2234.22 Identifying a Present Danger of Serious Harm

2234.23 Identifying Insufficient Protective Capacity

2234.24 Determining Elevated Child Vulnerability

2234.25 Determining Safety Criteria for Decision Making

2234.26 Making the Safety Decision

2234.27 Holding a Staffing Meeting and Obtaining Approval

2234.28 Completing the Safety Assessment Page

2234.29 Case Merge and the Safety Assessment Page

2234.3 Responding to Safety Concerns

2234.31 Controlling Safety Threats

2234.32 Assessing the Family’s Response to Child-Safety Issues

2234.33 Developing a Safety Plan

2234.34 Developing a Safety Plan When Removing an Alleged Perpetrator From the Home

2234.35 Developing a Safety Plan When Transferring to Family-Based Safety Services

2234.36 Initiating Safety Plans in Other Stages

2234.4 Voluntary Placement Initiated by the Family

2234.41 Developing a Safety Plan for Voluntary Placement

2234.42 Conducting a Safety Check Before Voluntary Placement

2234.43 Obtaining Criminal Background Checks for Voluntary Placements

2234.44 Conducting Abuse/Neglect Background Checks for Voluntary Placements

2234.45 Assessing Risk at the End of an Investigation Involving a Voluntary Placement

2234.5 Subsequent Safety Assessments During an Investigation

2234.51 Assessing Safety at the End of the Investigation

2234.6 When Safety Assessments Do Not Apply

2235 Assessing Risk

2235.1 Casework Process for Assessing Risk

2235.11 Time Frames for the Risk Assessment

2235.12 Abuse and Neglect Background Checks

2235.2 Risk Areas of Concern

2235.4 Assigning a Level of Concern to Each Risk Area

2235.3 Risk Factors and Categories Within Each Area of Concern

2235.31 Child Vulnerability Risk Factors and Categories

2235.32 Caregiver Capability Risk Factors and Categories

2235.33 Quality of Care Risk Factors and Categories

2235.34 Maltreatment Pattern Risk Factors and Categories

2235.35 Home and Social Environment Risk Factors and Categories

2235.36 Documenting Domestic Violence on the Risk Assessment Tool

2235.37 Response to Intervention Risk Factors

2235.38 Protective Capacities

2235.5 Determining Risk of Abuse or Neglect at the End of the Investigation

2235.51 Staffing of Dispositions, Risk, and Decision About Services

2235.52 Children Are at Risk

2235.53 Children Are Not at Risk

2235.6 Where to Document the Risk Assessment

2235.7 Investigations in Which Risk Assessments Are Not Conducted

2236 Referring the Family for Community Services

2237 Custody Disputes

2280 Documenting and Approving the Investigation and Assessments

2281 Documenting in the IMPACT System

2281.1 Completing the Maintain Person Task

2281.11 Person Identifying and Locating Information

2281.12 When a Person Has Died

2281.13 Personal Identifiers (Social Security Number, Driver’s License Number)

2281.14 Person Race and Ethnicity

2281.15 Person Language

2281.16 Person Characteristics

2281.17 Person Search, Person Merge, and Case Merge

2281.18 Add, Relate, or Delete Persons

2281.19 Change Principal to Collateral

2281.2 Completing the Maintain Allegation Task

2281.21 Consistency Between Allegations and the Reason for Death

2281.3 Completing the Contacts Task

2281.31 Documenting Contacts Within 24 Hours

2281.32 Documenting the Contact That Initiates the Investigation

2281.33 Documenting All Other Investigation Contacts

2281.4 Completing the Safety Assessment and Risk Assessment Tasks

2281.5 Completing the Services and Referrals Checklist Task

2281.6 Completing the Investigation Conclusion Task

2281.61 Completing the EA Eligibility Section

2281.62 Consistency Check Between the First EA Question and the Risk Finding or Safety Plan

2281.7 Completing Miscellaneous Investigation Tasks

2281.71 External Documentation Task

2281.72 Medical/Mental Assessment Task

2281.73 Service Authorization Task

2281.74 Conservatorship Removal Task

2282 Documentary Evidence for External Documentation

2283 Health, Social, Educational, and Genetic History (HSEGH) Information for Previously Adopted Children

2284 Approving the Investigation

2284.1 Secondary Approver for Investigations

Statewide Case Transfer Protocols; Transfers to FBSS; Transfers to CVS (PATS 1552)

As a result of the 79th legislative session, a workgroup was developed and tasked with developing protocols that would ensure cases are transferred between stages of service consistently and timely statewide. The workgroup was comprised of caseworkers, supervisors, program directors, child safety specialists, a disproportionality specialist, a case analyst and state office staff. The workgroup reviewed regional procedures and transfer checklists when developing the attached protocols for cases transferring to Family Based Safety Services (FBSS) and cases transferring to Conservatorship (CVS). Staff were informed of these policies with the issuance of PSA 07-086 on February 19, 2007. See:

2238 Case Transfers

2238.1 Transferring a Case to Family-Based Safety Services (FBSS)

2238.11 Completing the Referral to FBSS

2238.12 Developing a Safety Plan When Transferring to Family-Based Safety Services

2238.13 If Court-Ordered FBSS Are Requested

2238.14 Documenting Case Transition to FBSS

2238.2 Transferring a Case to Conservatorship

2238.21 Conferring Through a Post-Removal Staffing