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

04/01/2003

The review of current policies on screening revealed that more than two-thirds of the States addressed many of the key elements that support the screening and intake procedures in a comprehensive and systematic manner including the following:

  • Mandating persons to report allegations of maltreatment;
  • Criteria for accepting referrals;
  • Required documentation of key information that must be collected;
  • Provisions for receiving calls 24-hours a day;
  • Specification of criteria for referring a case to another agency; and
  • Cross agency notifications of referrals.

States varied, however, in the specific policy related to many of these features, and even more strikingly in many features of the screening and intake function. For example, there was less agreement on the following:

  • Limited types of allegations;
  • Decisionmaking jointly by worker and supervisor;
  • Decisionmaking by worker with supervisor approval; and
  • Who should be notified that a referral has been screened in.
Policy in Less Than 33% of States Addressed: Policy in 33-66% of States Addressed: Policy in More Than 66% of States Addressed:
Table 3-2:
Summary of Screening and Intake Policies
  • Limited types of allegations
  • Decisionmaking jointly by worker and supervisor
  • Decisionmaking by worker with supervisor approval
  • Reporters must be notified when referral is screened in
  • Alleged perpetrators must be notified when referral is screened in
  • Parents must be notified when referral is screened in
  • Specific lists of mandated reporters
  • Include blanket statements of mandated reporters
  • Accept allegations on major types of maltreatment with few exclusions
  • One timeframe for forwarding all cases
  • Three or four levels of response for handling cases
  • Refer to other unit in child welfare agency, if needed
  • Sharing information with other agencies
  • Accepting referral from anonymous reporters
  • Including professionals as mandated reporters
  • Criteria for accepting referrals
  • Forms needed to make referrals
  • Accepting referrals 24-hours a day
  • Criteria for referring call to outside agency
  • Cross-agency notifications of referrals

Regardless of the structure of the administration of CPS, there was wide variety in the features of policy related to screening and intake. (See table 3-2 for a summary of screening and intake policies.)

State SSP MED MHP EDU LEG CCP SUB VIC PAR REL FRI PER ANO OTH
Table 3–A:
Mandated Reporters (n=51)
AK M M M M M M M A A A A A A  
AL M M M M M M M A A A A A A A
AR M M M M M M M             A
AZc M M M M M M M   M M M   A A
CA M M M     M               M
CO M M M M M M M A A A A A A M
CTb M M M M M M M A A A A A A A
DCb M M M M M M A A A A A A   A
DEa M M M M                 A M
FL M M M M M M M             M
GA M M M M M M A           A  
HIb M M M M M M M A A A A A   A
IAb M M M M M M M A A A A A   A
IDa M M M M   M M M M M M M A M
ILb M M M M M M M A A A A A A M
INa M M     M M M M M M M M A M
KSb M M M M M M M A A A A A A A
KY M M M M M M M M M M M M M  
LAb M M M M M M M A A A A A A M
MA M M M M M M M           A  
MD M M M M M A A A A A A A   M
ME M M M M M M M           A M
MI M M M M M M M A A A A A A A
MN M M M M M M M A A A A A A M
MO                            
MS M M M M M M             A M
MT M M M M M M M A A A A A A M
NCa M M M M M M M M M M M M M M
ND M M M M M M A A A A A A A M
NEa M M M M M M M M M M M M M M
NHa M M M M M M M M M M M M   M
NJa M M M M M M M M M M M M M M
NMa M M   M M M M M M M M M A M
NV M M M M M M M A A A A A   M
NYb M M M M M M M A A A A A   A
OHb M M M M M M M A A A A A   M
OKa M M M M M M M M M M M M A M
OR M M M M M M M M A A A A A A
PAb M M M M M M M A A A M A A A
RIa M M M M M M M M M M M M   M
SCb M M M M M M M A A A A A   M
SD M M M M M M M A A A A A A M
TNa M M M M M M M M M M M M M M
TXa M M M M M M M M M M M M A M
UTa M M M M M M M M M M M M   M
VAb M M M M M M M A A A A A A M
VT                            
WAbc M M M M M M M A M A A A   M
WIb M M M M M M M A A A A A A M
WVb M M M M M M M             A
WYa M M M M M M M             M
Key: SSP = social service personnel; MED = medical personnel; MHP = mental health personnel; EDU = education personnel; LEG = legal, law enforcement, or criminal justice personnel; CCP = child daycare providers; SUB = substitute care providers; VIC = victim; PAR = parent; REL = other relative; FRI = friend or neighbor; PER = alleged perpetrator; ANO = anonymous; OTH = other; M = mandated; A = accepted.
a Everyone is a mandated reporter.
b Anyone who suspects CAN may report.
c Anyone with responsibility for the care of a child is mandated.

 

State Meets Statutory Definition of CAN Specifies Physical Abuse Specifies Sexual Abuse Specifies Emotional Abuse Specifies Neglect Medical Neglect Child Under 18 Ability to Locate Child Perpetrated by Parent , Guardian, Family Perpetrated by Caregiver, Institution CAN by Third Party with Relationship with Family Other
Table 3–B:
Criteria for Screening In: Inclusions (n=51)
AK   X X X X              
AL   X X X X X Xa         X
AR X X X X X X     X      
AZ   X X X Xb       X X   X
CA   X X X X     X X X   X
CO X   X X X             X
CT X           X X   X    
DC X                      
DE X           X   X X    
FL X           X X X X    
GA X           X   X X   X
HI X           X   X     X
IA X           X     X    
ID X                      
IL X X X X X X X   X X X  
IN X   X           X X    
KS                   X    
KY X X X X X             X
LA X         X X   X X X X
MA X           X          
MD X                      
ME Xc X X X X             X
MI X           X   X      
MN X             Xd       X
MO             X     X X  
MS X           X          
MT                       Xe
NC X               X X   X
ND             X     X    
NE X                      
NH X X X   X             X
NJ X         X            
NM X X X X X X X   X      
NV X           X   X X    
NY X           X     X    
OH X                 X    
OK X           X X X X   X
OR X X X X X X           X
PA X X X X X X X          
RI X           Xf   X X   X
SC X           X     X    
SD X                      
TN X                      
TX X                      
UT X                      
VA X           X   X X    
VT X                      
WA X                     X
WI X         X            
WV X             X        
WY X           X X X X    
Notes:
a Alabama: Also, married child under 18
b Arizona: Definition of neglect includes medical neglect.
c Maine: Referrals containing allegations of CAN of infants and pre-kindergarten children may not be screened out due to insufficient staff.
d Minnesota: There must be sufficient information to identify the child or at least one member of the family.
e Montana: All reports of suspected child abuse and neglect.
f Rhode Island: Child must be under 18 and living at home, or under 21 and living in DCF placement or DCF custody.

 

State Reporter Reliability Does Not Meet Definition for CAN Child Over 18 Cultural and Religious Differences, Spiritual Healing Medical Neglect Educational Neglect Poverty, Dirty House, Hygiene Reasonable Discipline Harm to Unborn Child CAN in Other State or County Third Party Perpetrator Duplicate Report Lack of Info, Cannot Locate Child Substance Abuse Custody Issues Other
Table 3–C:
Criteria for Screening In: Exclusions (n=41)
AK   X X                       X X
AL     X X       X X X            
AZ     X     X     X X X   X      
CO     X X       X     X   X      
CT   X               X   X        
DC X                 X     X   X X
DE   X X                   X X    
FL           X   X X Xa X       X X
GA X X       X X   X   X       X Xb
HI   X                 X         X
IA   X X               X          
ID   X                            
IL   X X     X     X     X        
KS   X                     X     X
KY   X                 X          
LA   X       Xc X X         X      
MA X X             X   X X X      
MD     X   X X X   X   X   X X X X
ME                               Xd
MI X X X               X X X      
MN                     Xe          
MO                 Xf           X X
MS           X Xg X         X X X X
MT   X                            
NC   X X           X       X      
ND X                 X   X X      
NE   X                            
NM   X                   X     X X
OK   X X   Xh     X     X   X X   X
OR         Xi X X X X           X X
PA       X     X                  
SC           X                    
SD           X   X X             X
TN   X                     X      
TX   X X               X          
UT   X       X   X                
VA                     X          
VT                           X   X
WA   X X     X         X       X  
WV X   X             X X X X      
WY   X                 X Xj X      
a Florida: Excludes reports alleging CAN on Military bases and Indian reservations.
b Georgia: Excludes juvenile delinquency unless also separate allegation of maltreatment, and incidents 6 months old or older unless otherwise directed by policy (i.e. severe maltreatment or ongoing risk).
c Louisiana: Exclusions include parent failure to provide glasses, braces, immunizations, and corrective shoes.
d Maine: No specific allegation of abuse and neglect.
e Minnesota: Law enforcement is notified whenever reports of maltreatment do not involve an alleged offender within the family.
f Missouri : Reports for “Newborn Crisis Assessment” for a drug involved infant are excluded.
g Mississippi: Reports which suggest a need to be addressed by another agency and pose no immediate danger are excluded.
h Oklahoma: Exclusions for commencing investigation include inattention to minor health issues such as insect bites and minor colds.
i Oregon: Exclusions include lack of immunizations.
j Wyoming: Reports accepted if there is evidence that caretakers’ behavior is preventing school attendance.

 

State 24-Hour Availability Required Form Description of Required Form
Table 3–D:
24-Hour Availability and Required Forms for Referrals (n=51)
AK Yes Yes CPS Intake Data and Report of Harm – pertinent information regarding a referral
AL Yes    
AR Yes Yes Referral and narrative screens in “CHRIS” system
AZ Yes Yes Information entered into CHILD Case Management System
CA   Yes Identifying information on child and reporter, information on all adults, alleged perpetrator, and all children in home, allegations, child characteristics, family factors, information regarding collateral contacts
CO Yes Yes Intake and Assessment Form
CT Yes Yes Department LINK system and CPS Reports Protocol DCF-2073a and DCF-2073b
DC Yes Yes FACES case management system
DE Yes Yes FACTS Family Abuse Report
FL   Yes Not specified
GA Yes Yes Child Abuse and Neglect Intake Worksheet
HI Yes Yes Standard statewide computer system
IA Yes Yes Child Protective Services Intake Form
ID Yes Yes Information and Referral Screen of FOCUS
IL Yes Yes All identifying information. Narrative description of Abuse/Neglect
IN Yes Yes 48-hour written report (Preliminary report of investigation)
KS Yes Yes CFS 1000 Face Sheet, CFS 1001 Report and Request for Services
KY Yes Yes DSS-115
LA Yes Yes Extent and cause of injuries, how child came to attention of reporter, name of possible perpetrator, contact information for reporter
MA Yes Yes Abuse and neglect narrative
MD Yes Yes Risk Assessment DHR/SSA 396 Intake Worksheet
ME Yes Yes Automated in SACWIS system
MI Yes Yes CPS Intake Record or corresponding computer screen
MN Yes   SSIS documentation
MO Yes Yes Not specified
MS Yes Yes Fill-in-the-blank, small narrative section; information on victim, perpetrator, type of maltreatment, caretakers, witnesses, other household members
MT Yes Yes CAPs report and request screen
NC Yes Yes Name, address, age of child, name and address of parents and alleged perpetrator, names and ages of other children in home, nature and extent of injury to child
ND   Yes SFN960
NE Yes Yes Standard screen which is part of SACWIS, called INFOCUS
NH   Yes Intake and referral log
NJ Yes Yes Referral Response Form 9-7
NM Yes Yes Not specified
NV Yes Yes Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Form
NY Yes Yes SCR system, or if local Form DSS-2221
OH Yes    
OK Yes Yes Referral Information Report
OR   Yes FACIS 307
PA Yes Yes Not specified
RI Yes Yes CPS Report which is a computerized report. All calls to the hotline are recorded.
SC Yes Yes Child Welfare Services and Intake and Central Registry Form
SD Yes Yes Information on family demographics, nature of referral, details of the allegations
TN   Yes Purpose of intake, contact information for family, child and family information, family environment, maltreatment
TX Yes Yes CAPS includes allegations, background, and demographic information
UT   Yes Referral Form and Intake Checklist
VA Yes Yes Automated in Online Automated Services Information System OASIS, which is the State SACWIS System.
VT Yes Yes Intake Form SRS-241
WA Yes Yes CAMIS person search intake screen – for all persons, victims, perpetrators, parents, and family members listed in referral
WI Yes    
WV Yes Yes SACWIS system – CPS-1
WY Yes Yes WYCAPS (SS-1)

 

State Required Timeframes
Table 3–E:
Required Timeframes for Accepting a Referral and Forwarding for Investigation (n=48)
AK Priority 1 = 24 hours; Priority 2 = 72 hours; Priority 3 = 7 calendar days
AL High risk = immediate response; reports of serious physical abuse or sexual abuse = within 3 working days; all other reports = within 5 working days
AR Priority 1 = within 2 working hours; Priority 2 = within 3 working hours
AZ Immediate = all reportsa
CO High risk = immediate to 24 hours; Moderate to low risk: as soon as possible to 72 hours; Low risk: as soon as possible to 4 working days
CT Failure to respond immediately could result in death or serious injury = 2 hours; report of abuse from a school = same day; nonlife threatening situation, severe enough to warrant same or next day action = 24 hours; nonlife threatening situation, indicates need for timely response = 72 hours
DC Emergency situations are immediate. Nonemergency within 24 hours
DE Urgent call = 1 hour; routine call = 3 hours
FL All reports requiring an immediate on-site assessment are forwarded immediately; other reports within 24 hours
GA Broad guidelines given in policy. Most serious within 24 hours of report. Five days specified for less serious. Each county makes own specific policies.
HI Immediate response = within 24 hours if meets criteria; all others = within 1 week
IA 1 to 12 hours, depending on risk level
ID Child in immediate danger = immediately; child not in immediate danger = 48 hours; child without parental care, not in immediate danger = 5 days
IL Within 1 hour
IN Risk of life = within 1 hour; all other abuse = within 24 hours; no abuse allegations = within 5 days
KS No later than 72 hours
KY Immediate to 48 hours, depending on severity
LA Immediate
MA No later than 24 hours in a nonemergency situation
MD When sufficient information is obtained, investigation should occur.
ME All appropriate reports are forwarded immediately.
MI Within 24 hours; emergency or high-risk referrals = immediate response
MN Imminent danger = immediate; infant medical neglect = immediate; no imminent danger = within 72 hours
MO Immediate
MS Reports of intentional burning, intentional torture, serious injury, sexual abuse, or abuse that would be a felony crime under State or federal law = immediate; physical injury that is not serious or specified = within 24 hours
MT Immediate response if report indicates child is in immediate danger; timely response to those of less urgent nature
NC Reports of abuse = within 24 hours; reports of neglect or dependency = within 72 hours. Certain high-risk situations require immediate response.
ND 24 to 72 hours
NH Within 24 hours
NJ One hour is immediate response is required; end of work day if response is required within 72 hours; 3 work days if a 10 day response is required
NM Emergency referrals = 1 to 3 hours; Priority 1 = within 24 hours; Priority 2 = within 5 calendar days
NV Investigation must begin no later than 3 days after receipt of referral.
NY Immediate
OH For emergency reports = immediate; all others = within 24 hours
OK Immediate
OR 1 day
PA Immediate = if emergency protective custody might be necessary, or within 24 hours
RI Emergency = within 10 minutes of report; immediate = within worker’s shift; routine = within 24 hours
SC 24 hours
SD 14 days
TN Priority 1 = midnight the same day; Priority 2 = midnight the next day; Priority 3 = within 5 working days
UT 1 working day
VA Child fatality, injury or threatened injury in which a felony or Class 1 misdemeanor is also suspected, sexual abuse, abduction of child, felony or Class 1 drug offense involving a child, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor = immediate
VT 72 hours
WA “Emergent response begins no later than 24 hours after referral is received”; nonemergent response begins within 10 days from referral. Referrals forwarded within 3 working days
WI Within 24 hours
WV Depending on severity, 0 to 2 hours, within 72 hours, or within 14 days
WY Within 24 hours
a Arizona: Entry before end of shift, once entered report automatically sent to local supervisor.

 

State Screen Out Refer to Other CW Agency Refer to Other Agency Accept for Investigation Accept for Other CPS Response Share Information Other
Table 3–F:
Results of Screening (n=51)
AK Yes   Yes Yes     Yes
AL Yes Yes Yes Yes     Yes
AR Yes   Yes Yes   Yes Yes
AZ Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
CA Yes   Yes Yes      
CO Yes   Yes Yes      
CT Yes Yes Yes Yes      
DC Yes Yes Yes Yes      
DE Yes   Yes Yes     Yes
FL Yes Yes Yes Yes   Yes  
GA Yes   Yes Yes   Yes  
HI Yes Yes Yes Yes   Yes  
IA Yes Yes Yes Yes   Yes  
ID Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes    
IL Yes Yes Yes Yes      
IN Yes Yes Yes Yes      
KS Yes   Yes Yes   Yes  
KY   Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes  
LA Yes   Yes Yes   Yes Yes
MA Yes Yes Yes Yes   Yes  
MD Yes   Yes Yes      
ME Yes     Yes   Yes  
MI Yes   Yes Yes      
MN Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes  
MO Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes    
MS Yes Yes Yes Yes   Yes  
MT Yes Yes Yes Yes      
NC Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes    
ND Yes   Yes Yes      
NE Yes   Yes Yes   Yes  
NH Yes   Yes Yes     Yes
NJ Yes   Yes Yes Yes    
NM Yes Yes Yes Yes      
NV   Yes Yes Yes   Yes  
NY Yes     Yes   Yes  
OH     Yes     Yes  
OK Yes Yes Yes Yes      
OR Yes Yes Yes Yes      
PA Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes  
RI Yes Yes Yes Yes   Yes  
SC Yes Yes Yes Yes   Yes Yes
SD Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes    
TN Yes Yes Yes Yes   Yes  
TX Yes Yes Yes Yes      
UT Yes Yes   Yes      
VA Yes   Yes Yes Yes    
VT Yes   Yes   Yes    
WA Yes Yes   Yes Yes    
WI Yes Yes   Yes     Yes
WV Yes Yes   Yes      
WY Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes  

 

State Worker Decides and Supervisor Approves Worker Only Supervisor Only Joint Worker and Supervisor Other Not Specified
Table 3–G:
Who Decides to Forward the Case? (n=51)
AK   X        
AL X          
AR Xb X   Xc    
AZ X          
CA X     Xd    
COa X X        
CT X          
DC         Xe  
DE     X      
FL X X     Xf  
GA X          
HI Xg Xh        
IA X          
ID Xi Xj Xk Xi,k Xl  
IL X          
IN       X    
KS     X      
KY       X    
LA X          
MA       X    
MD X X X      
ME X          
MI X     X    
MN           X
MO           X
MS       X Xm  
MT X          
NC           X
ND         Xn  
NE X          
NH     X      
NJ X          
NM X          
NV X          
NY   X        
OH           X
OK     X      
OR Xo     X Xp  
PAr X     X    
RI X       Xq  
SC X          
SD     X      
TN     Xr      
TX X          
UT X       Xs  
VA         Xt  
VT       X Xu  
WA X          
WI     X      
WV       X    
WY       X    
a Varies by county
b When a report is considered marginal
c Supervisor conducts daily reviews; can override worker's decision.
d Evaluated out
e Hotline operator makes decision and supervisor assigns priority.
f QA reviews are done for two samples by QA unit and supervisor-worker's decision may be overridden.
g Accepted cases for investigation
h Screen out cases-supervisor reviews and agrees case is not accepted, agrees case is not accepted and may be sent for diversion, case is unapproved and assigns it for our service.
i Service needs
j Supervisor may override
k Safety issues
l For children 6 years of age or younger, supervisor reviews case.
m Any report that is screened out for CPS investigation must be reviewed by a supervisor within the same working day.
n Joint decision between State and County with the State having final responsibility.
o Immediate response, questions on eligibility.
p Team-worker, supervisor, caseworker, multidisciplinary team members. Depends on county size and when the team meets. Teams in larger counties meet more frequently than do those in smaller counties.
q Downgrading a response priority must be approved by an administrator.
r All
s Staff decision with a licensed intake worker, a licensed caseworker, or a treatment supervisor.
t Worker and/or supervisor
u When a worker and supervisor disagree on whether or not to substantiate, the final decision is made by the district director or assistant distract director.

 

State Law Enforcement or Court Personnel Reporter Parents Alleged Perpetrator Other
Table 3–H:
Who Must be Notified When Calls are Screened In? (n=42)
AL Xa        
AR         X
AZ   X     Xb
CO         Xc
CT X X Xd    
DC         Xe
DE X X      
FL     X X Xf
GA X Xg      
HI X X      
IA   X X    
ID X        
IL X X      
KS     X X Xh
KY X       Xi
LA Xj Xk      
MA X       Xm
ME   Xl      
MI X        
MN X        
MS X Xn      
MT         X
NC X X      
NH         Xo
NJ   X      
NM X   X   X
NY         X
OH         X
OK         X
OR Xp       Xq
PA X        
RI X        
SC Xr X   X  
SD   X      
TN Xs       Xt
TX X        
UT X        
VA Xu     X Xv
VT         Xw
WA Xx   X X  
WI Xy       Xz
WY X   X X Xaa
a When CAN is of a “serious” nature, such as defined on page 67–68 of Chapter 7 and in AL policy review form.
b Local office
c County director in suspicious death cases
d Noncustodial if there is an investigation
e Youth Prevention and Service Division for sexual abuse, Priority 1 reports, and immediate danger
f Florida Local Advocacy Council and Institutional Licensing authority for institutional reports
g Mandated reporter receives letter but it does not specify the decision made about the report
h Victim and other relevant individuals who are interviewed
i Regional office of the Office of the Inspector General, Division of Licensed Child Care – reports alleging CAN, dependency of child in licensed childcare facility; Cabinet Division of Child Care – reports involving a licensed child daycare facility; Office of the Inspector General, Division of Licensed Child Care and Department for Community Based Services’ Division of Child Care – reports of CAN, dependency alleged in a daycare center licensed through the Office of the Inspector General
j Law enforcement is informed based on each local office written agreement
k Reporter is informed at the completion of investigation
l Most professional referents
m Director of area office if a foster home or employee
n Mandated professional reporters may be notified if requested and if they have an ongoing relationship with alleged victim
o Assessment supervisor in the regional office
p In accordance with local multidisciplinary team protocol and if crime is suspected, worker danger, trouble gaining entry, and possible child removal.
q Child Care Division must be notified when allegation is made of abuse in child daycare program
r For sexual abuse cases
s Juvenile court judge, and for severe cases, law enforcement
t Child Advocacy Center and district attorney’s office
u For all felony physical or sexual abuse report
v Commonwealth’s attorney for all felony physical or sexual abuse reports.
w District director for allegations of CAN by department employee.
x Physical and sexual abuse may be referred within 48 hours; generally neglect cases are not referred to law enforcement
y All sexual abuse reports
z Tribes
aa Alleged victim

 

View full report

Preview
Download

"apc.pdf" (pdf, 390.04Kb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®