Children can be abused by persons who are not their parent/legal guardian or a member of their household either causing the children to suffer or placing them at substantial risk of suffering serious physical harm, illness, sexual abuse, acts of cruelty, neglect and/or exploitation. DCFS intervention is required for this population of children when the child’s parent/legal guardian willfully neglected to adequately supervise or protect the child from the custodian with whom the child had been left and/or when the parent/legal guardian knew or reasonably should have known that their child was being harmed or placed at risk of harm.
When the child’s parent/legal guardian/primary caregiver is not alleged or suspected to have caused or allowed the abuse, neglect or exploitation to have occurred and has taken appropriate steps to protect the child, DCFS has no jurisdiction. However, if the perpetrator has children of his or her own who may be at risk, DCFS involvement is required to assess the situation of those children.
|Steps to Take
Screening Social Worker:
When the Screening social worker receives a report of child abuse/neglect in which the parent/legal guardian/primary caregiver is not the perpetrator, the Screening social worker:
- Gathers information from the reporter.
- Assesses the allegations to determine if there is any reasonable suspicion that the parent/legal guardian/primary caregiver is also a perpetrator or contributed to the present circumstances.
- Assesses the circumstances to ascertain if the parent/legal guardian/caregiver could or should have known that the child was in danger, and/or failed to subsequently take adequate steps to protect the child.
|If either 2. or 3. are..
||then the Screening social worker..
- Completes the referral.
- Creates separate allegations that name both the parent/legal guardian/caregiver and the other perpetrator in the referral.
- Determines if an in-person response is necessary.
- Makes a cross report to law enforcement, if the report meets the requirements for cross reporting.
|are not part of the reporter's allegations
- Does not create a referral in CWS/CMS.
- Cross reports to law enforcement, if the report meets the requirements for cross reporting.
- Asks the reporting party if the perpetrator has children of his or her own.
- If there appears to be a substantial risk to those children, create a referral in CWS/CMS for them.
4. If an in-person response is necessary:
- Assigns an appropriate response time.
- Follows referral assignment criteria.
Screening Social Work Supervisor:
- If the referral has been evaluated out by the Screening social worker, approve the determination.