DFCS Online Policies & Procedures

  DFCS Online Policies & Procedures

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Handbook 1: Intake
1-7.5  Investigating Placements to which a Registered Sex Offender is Associated


1-7.5  Investigating Placements to which a Registered Sex Offender is Associated
Reference Points
Initial Screening of the State RSO List
Screening Social Worker's Role
Emergency Response Investigation of RSO Listing
Approved Homes without Children Placed
Homes Placed on Hold

Reference Points
Effective Date: In effect
Last Updated: 8/20/2012
 Legal Basis:
PDF California Department of Social Services (CDSS) All County Letter (ACL) dated 3/12/2012
 CWS/CMS Forms:
PDF Referral Management Section


The California Community Care Licensing (CCL) Division of the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) investigates and/or monitors placements of children under the jurisdiction of respective California counties when those placements are suspected to be associated with a registered sex offender (RSO).  These placements include foster homes, relative homes, relative guardian homes, non-related legal guardian homes, and court specified homes.  State regulations preclude a foster child from residing in a home in which an RSO is residing or to which an RSO is otherwise connected.

The California Department of Social Services sends a report to respective counties after identifying homes suspected to be associated with an RSO.  The listings are considered to be a report to the counties' Emergency Response hotlines.  The information in the listings will have been matched with information from the California Sex and Arson Registry (CSAR), provided by the Department of Justice.  These data are derived from multiple sources and are more reliable and current than those found on Megan's law.  Therefore, social workers should not attempt to verify the RSO address using the Megan's Law web site, which is insufficient for determining whether an investigation is warranted. 

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Initial Screening of the State RSO List  

The State listing comes to the Department of Family and Children's Services' (DFCS') Director and is given to the Administration Support Bureau.  The listing has two tabs: under one tab are addresses with children in the home and under the other tab are addresses with no children in the home.  The addresses listed with children in the home are separated into licensed foster family homes and relative/non-relative extended family member (NREFM) homes.   The separated lists are sent respectively to the Resource Homes and the Child Abuse and Neglect Center (CANC) manager.   Licensing social workers complete investigations on licensed foster homes and report findings back to the supervisor.  If applicable, the home may be placed on hold. 

RSO listings for relative, non-relative, guardian, and court specified homes are forwarded to the CANC and the South County Bureau for assignment to Child Abuse and Neglect (CANC) social workers.   When assigned a RSO listed home, the CANC Program Manager works with clerical staff to determine if a child is currently living in the home and to determine the response priority for each listing.  Addresses on the listing that cannot be verified are sent back to the state for further clarification. 

Clerical Staff:

  • ID's the address in CWS/CMS to determine if there are children living at the address.
    • Referrals must be created for addresses with children in the home, regardless of the location of the home.  Social workers must investigate homes out-of-county or out-of-state, if a determination is made that there are children in the home.

  • If... Then...
    CWS/CMS shows no children living at the address Writes:
    • "No children placed at this address" or "child move to a different address", if applicable.
      • If a child has moved to a different address, writer, "Child moved and is living at:  ___________."
    the victim is now an adult

    Determines if there are any other children living in the home.

    • Indicate the children's names and the names of their parents.
    • Determine if multiple referrals must be created if there are multiple mothers listed at the address.
    the system shows that a child(ren) is living at the address
    • Verifies:
      • If the address is that of a relative or foster home.
        • If a foster home, the address is referred to the Resource Home supervisor.
      • If there is a child abuse/neglect history
      • There is an open referral
    If... Then...
    There is an open referral
    • identify the social worker's name, number and phone number.

    • Print the Screener and Investigation Narrative
    There is no record in CWS/CMS

    Search CalWIN and print any information found in that system

    If... Then...
    It is found that the RSO lives at a different address
    • Print a screen of the RSO's current address
    • Determine if there are living at the current address of the RSO.
    • Verify that the DOB of the RSO in either the CWS/CMS system or CalWIN system is the same DOB given for the RSO on the state listing.
    The listed address is an apartment complex with not apartment number
    • Select Verification Results Option 1- No children in placement that match the same address.

    • Select Safety Action Option 1.- No safety action required.

    • Put the placement "At capacity" in CWS/CMS


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Screening Social Worker's Role  

If the Screening social worker is unable to create a referral due to limited information, the CANC SSPM writes a memo using the format below and submits it to the Administration Support Bureau program manager along with the listing with responses.



Re RSO: (Name of RSO)   DOB:

RSO's Address:

We are unable to create a referral due to limited information for RSO  (Name of RSO); DOB:_____.  There is no further action being done by CANC.

(Name of Program Manager) , CANC Program Manager






For an RSO listed home in which it is determined that a child lives and there is sufficient information for a referral to be created:

Screening Social Worker:

  • Creates a referral in CWS/CMS.
    • The referral is opened in association with the specific child identified on the list.
      • If an investigation of the home was already completed within the last year, and the referral would appear to be a duplicate, do not create another referral.  Indicate in the notes section when the previous investigation was completed.
    • The referral is treated as risk of neglect and victim is listed as "unknown child."
    • The allegation type is "general neglect."

  • Writes the Screener Narrative as follows:



This referral reports possible residency of a possible registered sex offender in the home where a child may be residing.  Referred to Emergency Response for assessment.

Assigned social worker please capture the following items in CWS/CMS:

  • Referral disposition
  • In the Investigation Narrative:
    • Investigative action taken
    • Results of registered sex offender determination (i.e. does not live at the address, person unknown to resident, etc.), and, if necessary, what action was taken upon confirmation of the registered sex offender living in the home.

Special notification to upper management is requested.

Narrative completed by (name of CANC social worker and worker number) on (date).







  • Completes a Response Determination Comprehensive Assessment Tool (CAT).

  • Prioritizes the referral as a 10-Day response, unless information received determines that an Immediate Response (IR) priority is appropriate.

  • Assigns the referral to an Emergency Response social worker.
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ER Investigation of RSO Listing  

ER Social Worker:

  • Investigates the referral as appropriate.

  • Documents the details of the investigation in the Investigation Narrative in CWS/CMS.
    • Include in the Investigation Narrative, at a minimum:
      • The date of in-person contact
      • Full name (first and last) of the worker completing the investigation.
      • Referral disposition
      • Investigative action taken
      • Results of the RSO determination (e.g. whether the person lives in the home or if the person is unknown to the resident)



    If.. then the social worker..
    It is confirmed that the person is living in the home in which a child under DFCS supervision is placed
    • Assesses the circumstances of the situation and determines if there is risk to the safety of the child. 

    • Consults with an Emergency Response supervisor to decide course of action.

    • In the Investigation Narrative, describes the action that was taken upon confirmation of a RSO living in the home (e.g. safety plan, removed child, made court aware)

      Note:  If the child is not removed, the relative home approval must be updated to include a Director's Exemption.  Funding may be affected pending the home reassessment.
    It is confirmed that the person is not currently living in the home Note in the Investigation Narrative that the person no longer or never has lived in the home.









  • Complete Registered Sex Offender Associated with Placement Address—Investigaton Results (SCZXXX)

  • Submits the referral with completed investigation documentation to the bureau manager.

  • Closes the referral within the Division 31 allotted 30-day timeframe.

Early Intervention Bureau Manager

  • Within 20 days of receiving the RSO listing:
    • Completes the results sheet with:
      • The referral number
      • Status of the home
      • Indicates the action taken regarding the home

    • Forwards the results to the Administration Bureau program manager and Associate Management analyst who reviews the data and submits the final report to the State per State instructions.
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Approved Homes without Children Placed  

If an RSO is found to be residing in an approved relative home in which a child is not currently placed, the social worker contacts the Placement Tracking Team (PTT) to place a "hold" on the home in CWS/CMS to prohibit placement until the home approval is updated, expires, or is rescinded. 

PTT uses the "At Capacity" feature in CWS/CMS Placement Section to put a relative home on "hold".   Click here for a screen shot of the Placement Home Notebook page.

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Homes Placed on Hold   Homes that are placed on hold as a result of the RSO listing investigation can be viewed on Info View.  Social Workers must ask their supervisors to check the Info View screen showing homes on hold before each relative/NREFM home approval process is initiated to verify that the prospective placement home is not currently on hold.
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DFCS Administration Support Bureau Program Manager

  • Wendy Kinnear-Rausch

373 W. Julian St., 5th floor

Tel: 408-501-6804


DFCS Administration Support Bureau Management Analyst

  • Somala Del Chairo

373 W. Julian St., 5th floor

Tel: 408-501-6819


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