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4300 CPS Assessment of Priority

SWI Policy and Procedures March 2015

Once it has been determined that the situation meets CPS definitions of abuse or neglect, the intake specialist selects the appropriate priority based on the information available at the time the intake is taken.

Intakes are assessed as Priority 1, Priority 2, and Priority N, based on the intake specialist’s assessment of the immediacy of the risk and the severity of the possible harm to the child.

4310 Assessment of Priority 1

SWI Policy and Procedures March 2015

A Priority 1 (P1) is assessed for any CPS intake in which the children appear to face a safety threat of abuse or neglect that could result in death or serious harm.

An intake received within 12 months after a previous investigation was closed with a disposition of Unable to Complete (UTC) is assigned a P1, if the appropriate criteria are met.

See:

4412 UTC Procedures

4420 Child Death Reports Under CPS Jurisdiction

4422 Death of a Child Reported by Law Enforcement

4431 Concerns Regarding an Unborn Child

CPS is required to initiate the investigation within 24 hours of receiving a Priority 1 intake.

For examples, see the Child Protective Services Handbook, 2143 Assigning Priority to Reports of Abuse or Neglect.

4320 Assessment of Priority 2

SWI Policy and Procedures March 2015

A Priority 2 (P2) is assessed for any CPS intake in which the children appear to face a safety threat that could result in substantial harm.

CPS is required to initiate the investigation within 72 hours of receiving a Priority 2 intake.

The assigned investigator initiates the investigation within 72 hours of the date and time that SWI received the intake report. If the report meets the criteria for formal screening, the CPS screener must complete the assessment as soon as possible, but no later than 72 hours from the date and time SWI receives the intake report.

When a screener determines that an investigation is warranted, the screener immediately progresses the case to the appropriate stage.

The assigned investigator then initiates the investigation within 72 hours of the date and time the stage was progressed.

4330 Assessment of Priority N

SWI Policy and Procedures March 2015

A CPS intake is assessed as a Priority N (PN) for three specific reasons only, as described below. 

4331 Past Abuse or Neglect; No Current Safety Issues; No Apparent Risk of Recurrence in the Foreseeable Future

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2016

An intake qualifies for this code when all four criteria are true:

  •   The victim is under the age of 18 years old at the time the report is received.

  •   The abuse or neglect happened in the past.

  •   There are no current safety issues.

  •   There is no apparent risk of recurrence in the foreseeable future.

An incident of abuse or neglect would have met legal definitions at the time the incident occurred; however, at the time of the report, there are no current safety concerns and no known risk of recurrence in the foreseeable future.

For example, a child reports she was sexually abused by an uncle six years ago. The parents are protective, and the uncle is in a nursing home and has no access to a child.

This PN Reason Code may be used regardless of whether or not CPS has investigated, as long as there are no remaining safety or risk concerns.

A PN is not assessed if the alleged victim is 18 years old or older. A report such as this would be assessed as the appropriate I&R type, and processed according to standard procedures.

A report regarding a child death that has been previously investigated and contains no new allegations involving other children is not processed as a PN using this PN Reason Code.  All reports of child death that meet the definition of a PN are processed with the PN Reason Code, Child Death/Review needed.

4332 Additional Information from Specific Collateral or Principal (COL/PRN) Is Needed

SWI Policy and Procedures March 2015

A key piece of information about the situation is missing, but is needed in order to determine whether an assignable allegation of abuse or neglect exists. A specific collateral contact or principal is known to have the key piece of information that is needed and contact information for that person is available. The additional collateral contact or principal cannot be the reporter since they are presumed to have provided all known information at the time the report was made.

SWI clearly identifies the specific person who should be contacted in the intake. This information is documented:

  •   in the Person Notes of the specific person on the Person List if the name and location are known; or

  •   in the Narrative if the specific person is identified but name is not known, such as “the 8th grade guidance counselor at the middle school on 2nd street in Taylor.”

      For example, the school nurse reports that the father hit the 11-year-old child. The nurse was told that the child has injuries, but she has no idea what the injuries are. The school counselor has seen the injuries and can provide a description to CPS.

This PN Reason Code is used on a very limited basis for reports for which the field can easily determine with an additional phone call to a specific collateral or principal contact whether or not the intake needs to be investigated or closed. The local office cannot contact alleged perpetrators or alleged victims for this information.

This PN Reason Code is not used for reports where the information is too vague or general to determine whether there is abuse or neglect, but only for reports where the information clearly points to an allegation meeting legal definitions. This PN reason also is not used when the only information needed from the specific COL or PRN is locating information. If the allegation meets legal definitions and there is a specific person who can provide locating information, the report is assessed as a P1 or P2.

4333 Child Death/Review Needed

SWI Policy and Procedures March 2015

This PN type is assessed only when a child died unexpectedly; and the situation falls under CPS jurisdiction to investigate; and one of the following is also true:

  •   The cause of death is unknown or undetermined at the time of intake.

  •   It is unknown if abuse or neglect was a contributing factor to the death at the time of intake.

  •   A report is received regarding a past child death that was never investigated by CPS, and the circumstances of the death are unknown, and there are no new allegations involving other children.

  •   A report is received regarding a past child death alleged to be the result of abuse or neglect, that was previously investigated by CPS, and there are no new allegations involving other children.

A PN is taken regardless of the amount of time that has passed since the death occurred.

4334 Reasons for Assessing a PN

SWI Policy and Procedures March 2015

For each of the situations above the intake specialist choses the applicable PN Reason Code in IMPACT from the Closure Code dropdown menu on the Intake Actions page. 

If a report is not a PN according to one of the Reasons Codes outlined above, the report is assessed as a P1, P2, CRSR (case-related special request), or I&R. There are no other valid reasons to assess a PN.

See:

4435 Processing Intakes Assigned a Priority of N (PNs)

4940 Assignment and Call-Out

Manual Assignment Chart

4340 Reviewing Allegations and Dispositions on a Previous CPS Case

SWI Policy and Procedures November 2015

When performing a person search on the principal, the intake specialist briefly reviews the previous cases involving the principal before deciding what priority to place on the current intake.

From the Case List screen, the intake specialist clicks the case to be reviewed.

1.   From the Case Summary page, the Investigation (INV) stage is selected. Allegations cannot be viewed from the Intake stage.

2.   The Allegation tab is clicked.

3.   The following information is reviewed:

  •  The victim

  •  The alleged perpetrator

  •  The allegation

  •  The disposition:

ADM = Administratively Closed

A-R = Alternative Response

R/O = Ruled Out

UTD = Unable to Determine

UTC = Unable to Complete

RTB = Reason to Believe

VAL = Valid

NVL = Not Valid

XXX = Closed Without Investigating (there are various reasons for XXX)

4350 Assessing CPS Reports of Abuse or Neglect When the Alleged Perpetrator Is Deceased

SWI Policy and Procedures November 2015

When a report is received regarding abuse or neglect of a child and the alleged perpetrator is deceased, the intake specialist assesses the information according to the following procedures.

If the reported information meets the legal definition of abuse or neglect, the intake specialist completes an intake.

If the reported information does not meet the legal definition of abuse or neglect, the intake specialist completes the most appropriate type of I&R.

The priority of the intake (P1, P2, or PN) depends on the circumstances of the report, as explained in the table below:

If …

then the intake specialist …

  •  an alleged perpetrator dies during the course of the alleged abuse or neglect; and

  •  the abuse or neglect is recent …

assesses the intake as a Priority 1 (P1) or Priority 2 (P2), as appropriate for the situation.

  •  an alleged perpetrator of past abuse or neglect is deceased; and

  •  there are no safety issues currently affecting the child, or the IMPACT history shows that the abuse or neglect has already been investigated …

assesses the intake as Priority None (PN), Past Abuse or Neglect; No Current Safety Issues; No Apparent Risk of Recurrence in the Foreseeable Future.

  •  an alleged perpetrator of past abuse or neglect is deceased; and

  •  there were other alleged perpetrators involved in the past reports of abuse or neglect, and the alleged perpetrators currently threaten the child’s safety …

assesses the intake as a P1 or P2.

  •  an alleged perpetrator of past abuse or neglect is deceased; and

  •  the victim is no longer a child (that is, the victim is not 17 years old or younger).

assesses the report as an I&R, Clearly Not Reportable.

In all cases, the deceased perpetrator is listed on the Person List in the intake.

If the date of death is known, the intake specialist enters it on the Person Detail page in the Date of Death field.

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