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2500 Monitoring Alleged Victim’s Safety During Investigations

2510 Safety Contacts

APS IH September 2014

Contact standards are the number of required contacts between the APS specialist and the alleged victim or collaterals every 30 calendar days following completion of an assessment or progression to a new stage or stage type. The contact standard during the investigation stage is determined by the safety decision reached on the Safety Assessment as well as the monitoring agreement made in the Immediate Interventions Agreement, if applicable. During the investigation, these required contacts are called safety contacts.

APS ensures the alleged victim's safety and minimizes or alleviates any risk of abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation by monitoring each alleged victim’s safety throughout the case. APS accomplishes this during the investigation stage by completing alleged victim and collateral contacts based on the safety decision. The Safety Assessment indicates the minimum number of contacts needed with the alleged victim and collaterals; however, the APS specialist may make more contacts as necessary.

APS monitors each alleged victim’s safety to determine whether:

  •   the alleged victim is currently safe;

  •   any problems identified on the Immediate Interventions Agreement or Service Plan have been resolved or require further action;

  •   any new problems have developed and require action; and

  •   further investigation is needed.

APS staff, APS Human Services technicians (HSTs), and college students interning with APS may complete safety contacts. APS contractors cannot complete safety contacts, but may be used as a collateral contact by APS staff, HSTs, or interns for purposes of completing a safety contact.

Only trained APS staff in the position of APS specialist I or higher may complete the final safety contact in the month of closure. When possible, this final safety contact is completed face-to-face with the alleged victim.

2511 Procedure for Safety Contacts

APS IH / April 2015

During the investigation stage, the following safety contact criteria apply:

  •  Safety contacts are completed every 30 calendar days following completion of the Safety Assessment.

  •  If a new Safety Assessment is completed for re-assessment purposes, the 30-day time frame for completing safety contacts starts over with the date the re-assessment is completed.

  •  Contact standards are based on the safety decision and cannot be changed except with the completion of a new Safety Assessment for re-assessment purposes.

  •  Contact standards set by the Safety Assessment (original or re-assessment) are followed until the investigation is submitted for closure or progressed to service delivery.

  •  The APS specialist is not required to complete safety contacts while the case is pending approval on the supervisor’s workload, unless the supervisor rejects the case. If the case is rejected for progression or closure, the APS specialist completes safety contacts as required by policy before resubmitting the case to the supervisor.

Safety Decision

Contact Standard for Safety Contacts

Safe

One phone or face-to-face contact with the alleged victim or with a credible collateral who has current and reliable information every 30 calendar days.

For example, if the Safety Assessment is completed during the initial face-to-face contact on January 15th, a safety contact is required before February 15th and within each subsequent 30-day period until a new Safety Assessment is completed or the case is submitted for closure or progressed to service delivery.

Conditionally safe

The contact standard is determined by the monitoring plan agreed upon in the Immediate Intervention Agreement, but must include at least one face-to-face contact with the alleged victim every 30 calendar days.

For example, if the Safety Assessment is completed during the initial face-to-face contact on January 15th, the APS specialist makes safety contacts as agreed upon with the alleged victim, but at least one face-to-face safety contact with the alleged victim is required before February 15th and within each subsequent 30-day period until a new Safety Assessment is completed or the case is submitted for closure or progressed to service delivery.

Unsafe

The APS specialist consults his or her supervisor to determine an appropriate monitoring plan. In developing the monitoring plan, the APS specialist and supervisor consider progress toward legal action, any findings of a professional assessment of capacity, and the likelihood of preserving rapport. At a minimum, the monitoring plan includes two or more face-to-face contacts with the alleged victim every 30 calendar days.

For example, if the Safety Assessment is completed during the initial face-to-face contact on January 15th, the APS specialist makes contacts as determined in the monitoring plan, but at least two face-to-face safety contacts are required before February 15th and within each subsequent 30-day period until a new Safety Assessment is completed or the case is submitted for closure or progressed to service delivery.

A high caseload, the geographical distance, and the APS specialist’s time constraints are not acceptable reasons for failing to complete required face-to-face safety contacts with the alleged victim when he or she is determined to be unsafe.

See also 2811 Risk-Based Contact Standards.

2511.1 Safety Contacts When the Alleged Victim Refuses to Cooperate

APS IH / April 2015

If the alleged victim refuses to cooperate with the investigation verbally, non-verbally, or by failing to respond to attempted contacts by APS and there are required safety contacts to be completed with the alleged victim, the APS specialist:

  •  follows the required procedure outlined in 2260 Alleged Victim Refuses to Cooperate With APS Investigation;

  •  documents all attempted safety contacts as outlined in 2512 Documentation of Safety Contacts;

  •  consults the supervisor; and

  •  documents this consultation as the safety contact by:

  •  selecting Safety Contact as the Contact/Summary Type,

  •  entering the date and time in the Contact Detail page that the APS specialist and supervisor discuss the APS specialist’s attempts to complete a successful safety contact,

  •  selecting the alleged victim under Persons Contacted on the Contact Detail page,

  •  selecting Staffing as the method of contact, and

  •  documenting the discussion with the supervisor regarding the APS specialist’s attempts to complete a successful safety contact, including any additional actions to be taken to gain the alleged victim’s cooperation.

Once the APS specialist has made good faith efforts to encourage the alleged victim to cooperate and the alleged victim still refuses to cooperate, the APS specialist no longer attempts to make face-to-face contact, even if more than one face-to-face safety contact is required within a 30-day period.

The APS specialist does not complete two or more consecutive safety contacts using the procedures above.

2511.2 Safety Contacts When the Alleged Victim Cannot Be Located During the Investigation

APS IH / April 2015

If the APS specialist attempts at least two face-to-face safety contacts on different days, preferably at different times of the day, and makes all reasonable efforts to reach the alleged victim, but is still unsuccessful, the APS specialist considers whether the alleged victim may have relocated.

If the APS specialist believes the alleged victim may have relocated or is no longer available at the known address, the APS specialist:

  •  follows the procedures in 2551 Procedure for When an Alleged Victim Cannot Be Located; and

  •  documents the unsuccessful attempt for a safety contact by:

  •  entering the date and time of the attempted safety contact in the Contact Detail page for the Safety Contact;

  •  marking the Attempted checkbox;

  •  selecting the client under Principals/Collaterals Contacted on the Contact Detail page;

  •  selecting Other as the method of contact; and

  •  documenting all relevant narrative information in the Narrative section of the Contact Detail page.

If the APS specialist believes the alleged victim is at the known address but is failing to respond to attempted contacts, the APS specialist refers to 2511.1 Safety Contacts When the Alleged Victim Refuses to Cooperate.

Once the APS specialist has made good faith efforts to locate the alleged victim and determines the alleged victim cannot be located, the APS specialist no longer attempts to make face-to-face contact with the alleged victim even if more than one face-to-face safety contact is required within a 30-day period.

If the APS specialist receives new information about the client’s location, the APS specialist resumes attempting to contact the alleged victim.

The APS specialist does not complete two or more consecutive safety contacts using the procedures above.

2511.3 Safety Contacts When the Alleged Victim Dies During the Investigation

APS-IH / November 2016

During the course of an investigation, if the APS specialist attempts to make a safety contact and is informed of the alleged victim’s death, the APS specialist:

  •  enters the date and time they were informed of the alleged victim’s death as the safety contact in the Contact Detail page; and

  •  enters the date of the alleged victim’s death on the Person Detail page in IMPACT.

See:

2333 Documentation of Investigation Contacts

2640 Alleged Victim Dies During the Investigation

3262.3 Service Contact when Client Dies During Service Delivery

2512 Documentation of Safety Contacts

APS IH September 2014

The APS specialist creates a new Contact Detail page in IMPACT for each attempted and successful safety contact completed.

For each attempted and successful safety contact, the APS specialist:

  •   selects Safety Contact as the Contact/Summary Type;

  •   fills in all fields on the Contact Detail page;

  •   clicks the Save button;

  •   clicks the Narrative button on the Contact Detail page and enters the narrative for the contact. If the person is not listed on the Person Detail page, the APS specialist includes the person’s name and relationship to the alleged victim (brother, friend, home health care provider, and so on).

For successful safety contacts, the contact narrative must include:

  •   a summary of the contact and address all actions taken;

  •   whether the alleged victim is currently safe;

  •   any problems identified in the Immediate Interventions section or Services Related to ANE section of the Service Plan have been resolved or require further action;

  •   any new problems have developed and require action;

  •   any delivered protective services and the effectiveness of the services; and

  •   if further investigation is needed.

If there was an immediate intervention during the case initiation or current danger factors identified on the Safety Assessment, the APS specialist:

  •   notes in the Contact Standards section of the Service Plan how many and what kind of safety contacts will be made with the alleged victim and collaterals, if appropriate; and

  •   documents each attempted and successful safety contact as outlined above.

See:

2333 Documentation of Investigation Contacts

2520 Supervisor Consultations

2521 Procedure for Supervisor Consults

APS IH / June 2012

Policy specifies when the supervisor must be contacted for certain case actions. For all other case actions, the APS specialist uses his or her judgment to determine whether a supervisor consult is necessary. The APS specialist consults with the supervisor regarding case actions as necessary and as required by policy.

2521.1 Documentation for Supervisor Consults

APS IH / January 2010

The APS specialist or supervisor enters a:

  •   contact in the Supervisor Consult Contact Detail page for each supervisor consultation completed; and

  •   narrative of the case-related issues and required actions discussed. If the supervisor consulted is not the APS specialist’s direct supervisor, the APS specialist includes the name of the supervisor consulted in the narrative.

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