National Study of Child Protective Services Systems and Reform Efforts. Review of State CPS Policy. Joint Investigations


The responsibility of the CPS agency may be shared with other agencies. The circumstances under which agencies are involved in joint investigations included emergency removals; joint investigations on sexual abuse reports; and joint investigations on sexual and severe physical abuse reports.4

Fifty States (98.0%) specified in policy that law enforcement could be involved in investigations related to specific types of cases. (See table 4-D.) Although the language varied, many States specified that law enforcement had the capacity for emergency removals of children from the home in cases of severe abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, and child death. One State described the policy as triaging all high-priority cases to the State police. Another State required a violation of criminal law or sexual abuse for law enforcement to be involved in a case. Another State included the police in cases with a criminal-level offense.

Responsibilities for investigations of maltreatment in childcare institutions were also frequently mentioned as either being shared or assigned to another agency. Seven States (13.7%) specified that another agency had the responsibility for abuse or neglect occurring in daycare centers or substitute care facilities.

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