Department for Community Based Services

Standards of Practice Online Manual

3.1 Engaging the Family and Opening the Case

Cabinet for Health and Family Services

Department for Community Based Services
Division of Protection and Permanency
Standards of Practice Online Manual
Chapter 3-In Home Child Protective Services (CPS) Case
3.1 Engaging the Family and Opening the Case

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Legal Authority/Introduction


An in home CPS case is opened when the assessed level of risk determined by the assessment process, the parental/guardian capacity to protect and the level of informal and formal supports indicate that a child may be maintained in the home with minimal risk.

The services that a SSW may perform are social work functions such as:

  • Family and individual counseling;
  • Advocacy;
  • Case coordination; and
  • Referral to other agencies or community resources.


The SSW assigned to the family: 

  1. Reviews the results of the assessment and the prevention plan;
  2. Makes the initial home visit within five (5) working days of the case assignment in order to discuss: 1 
    1. Continuing the family assessment;
    2. Identifying SSW and family roles and expectations; and
    3. Initiating the formation of a family team, including identified fathers as outlined in SOP 4.15 Family Attachment and Involvement;
  3. Along with the family revise the prevention plan, if necessary;
  4. Ensures that the family receives the DPP-154 Service Appeal Request, either by mail or by hand delivery, and documents that the family has received it;
  5. Asks the appropriate family members to sign the:
    1. DCBS-1 Informed Consent and Release of Information and Records (if appropriate for HIV/AIDS, alcohol or other drug treatment);
    2. DCBS-1A Informed Consent and Release of Information and Records Supplement to obtain permission from the client in order to consult with other professionals; and
    3. DCBS-1B Application for Services;
  6. Follows guidelines related to HIPAA compliance;
  7. Ensures that the family case plan is developed within fifteen (15) calendar days of case assignment by the FSOS. 


  1. The purpose of the first visit is to engage the family in establishing a therapeutic relationship based on trust.


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