DFCS Online Policies & Procedures

  DFCS Online Policies & Procedures

   <<< Return to OPP Table of Contents
Handbook 1: Intake
1-5 Emergency Response Protocol
Intake
1-5  Emergency Response Protocol
Reference Points
Overview
Factors to Be Identified When Taking a Report
Completing the ER Protocol


Reference Points
Effective Date: TBA
Last Updated: 2/6/07
 Legal Basis:
Popup Window Welfare and Institution Code § 16208
PDF California Department of Social Services (CDSS) Manual of Policies and Procedures (MPP) Division 31-105
 Non CWS/CMS Forms:
Bullet SC 22 (Child Abuse and Neglect Referral) - not online
 CWS/CMS Forms:
Bullet Referral Management Section: Screener Narrative
Bullet Client Management Section: Client Notebooks
Bullet CAT Response Determination Assessment Tool


Overview  

The Emergency Response Protocol (ER Protocol) is a state-designed tool developed from regulations outlined in the California Division of Social Services (CDSS) Division 31-105 . It is used by child welfare services agencies receiving a referral of alleged child abuse or neglect to determine whether an in-person investigation is required. The Protocol specifies the minimum information that must be gathered in response to a referral.

    < Return to OPP Table of Contents | ^ Back to Top of Page
   
Factors To Be Identified When Taking a Report  

The Screening social worker (SW) identifies the following basic details (who, what, where, and how) as part of the ER protocol and documents the information on the SC 22 (Child Abuse and Neglect Referral) and CAT Response Determination Assessment tool before entering the information into the CWS/CMS referral:

The information is then inputted into a referral created on CWS/CMS.

Identifying the Reporting Party
The Screening social worker identifies the following information about the person, also known as the referent, reporting the incident:

  • The referent's name, address and contact telephone numbers.
  • The referent's relationship to the child.
  • The referent's agency affiliation if s/he is a mandated reporter.
  • A non-mandated reporter's preference regarding anonymity.  
    • A non-mandated reporter can choose to file an anonymous report.

Identifying the Incident
The Screening social worker identifies the following information about the alleged incident and risk factors:

  • The time and date the referral is received
  • The time and date of the alleged incident
  • The location of the alleged incident
  • The location, type and description of any injury on the child's body
  • A referral name (the mother's name) and referral number (assigned by ER clerical)

Identifying the Parties Involved
The Screening social worker:

  • Identifies the parties involved, which include:
    • The child alleged to be abused and each minor child in the family.
    • The child's caretaker.
      • If there is more than one mother involved in the referral, indicate such, and document each separately, so that each mother is connected to a separate referral.
      • Document and list all fathers that are identified, regardless of legal status, for each child.
    • Each adult in the household and their relationships to each other and the child.
    • The alleged perpetrator and his/her relationship to the child, whether or not the child lives with the perpetrator.  
  • Obtains the following information on each of the identified parties:
    • Name
    • Birthdate
    • Sex
    • Ethnicity (including eligibility or possible eligibility under the Indian Child Welfare Act)
    • Primary language and secondary language, if any
    • Current addresses (including zip codes) and phone numbers
    • Current location

  • Obtains more specific information on the following parties:
    • Victim Child and Other Children in the Family
      • Name and address of school/daycare, if applicable
      • Name, location and current phone number of each parent
    • Child's Caretaker:
      • Ability to care for the child
      • Interaction with children or other caretakers
      • Parenting skills/knowledge
      • Substance abuse, criminal behavior, mental health issues, if any
      • Ability to protect child from alleged perpetrator
      • Impairments or disabilities that may expose the child to substantial risk of abuse or neglect
    • Each Adult
      • Relationship to child
      • Alleged or known history of abuse of children
    • Alleged Perpetrator:
      • Relationship to child
      • Whether the perpetrator lives in the home
      • Access to child
      • Relationship to each person listed in the referral
      • Alleged or known history of abuse of children

Identifying the Family Risk Factors

The Screening social worker collects information about family strengths and risk factors, which include:

  • Severity of the alleged abuse, neglect or exploitation
  • Frequency of the alleged abuse, neglect or exploitation
  • The child's age, vulnerability and any special circumstances
  • The child's behavior, interaction with caretakers, siblings and peers
  • Child's appearance and hygiene
  • Family's relationships and support systems
  • History of child abuse, neglect or exploitation
  • History of substance abuse
  • History of domestic violence
  • Condition of the home environment
  • Parents' insight into problems
  • Parents' willingness to protect and supervise the child
  • Disabilities that may expose the child to substantial risk of abuse or neglect
  • Presence of a parent substitute
  • Respite support

Identifying Collateral Contacts

The Screening social worker identifies the following information about collateral contacts:

  • Date of contact
  • Name and phone number of each person contacted
  • Agency affiliation or person's relationship to child
  • Summary of information obtained from each contact

Collecting Additional Information

The Screening social worker collects the following information, which is not required by state protocol, but assists the Screener in making appropriate assessments of referrals:

  • Are court custody orders in effect for the child? Are there informal custody arrangements between the parents?
  • Are there visitation schedules for the child? Are there informal custody arrangements between the parents?
  • Is there violence or a history of violence in the family or regarding the alleged perpetrator?
  • Who is the child's pediatrician? What is the pediatrician's phone number?  
  • What time does the child get out of school?  Where does the child go after school?
  • Is the child developmentally challenged or with special needs? Does the child have psychological or behavioral issues?
  • Does the child or any family member have a social worker or probation/parole officer?

For drug exposed newborns, the Screening social worker asks about the following:

  • Pre-natal care
  • Gestational age, delivery date, and birth weight
  • Positive/negative toxicology results
  • Baby's current health
  • Discharge date and needs
  • Bonding with mother
  • Other children to be cared for in household
  • Mother's positive/negative toxicology results
  • Drugs mother admits using/is known to use/have used
  • Mother's willingness to undergo drug treatment
  • Presence of drug sharing partner
  • Mother's housing
  • Mother's financial circumstances
  • Preparations for infant's arrival (e.g. clothing, crib)
  • Familial support
  • Referral of mother to physician/public health nurse -- accepted/refused
  • Mother's psychological history
    < Return to OPP Table of Contents | ^ Back to Top of Page
   
Completing the ER Protocol  

The ER Protocol is complete when enough information has been recorded for a Screening social worker to decide whether or not an in-person investigation is required and is able to document:

  • The specific decision outcome
  • The rationale for the decision if the case is not assigned (evaluated out)
  • Supervisor approval
    < Return to OPP Table of Contents | ^ Back to Top of Page
   
Other References  
bullet2

Comprehensive Assessment Tool (CAT)

    < Return to OPP Table of Contents | ^ Back to Top of Page